Every year for our family's Thanksgiving party, my sister and I always make the dessert and side dishes, which usually consists of crescent rolls (and I'm not ashamed either, they're way better than anything I could make) and cornbread. This year, I decided to give Ina Garden's cornbread recipe a try. I'm a big fan of Ina's show on the Food Network, Barefoot Contessa, and her simple approach to French cooking. Though this recipe was certainly not French inspired in any way, it was undeniably delicious, and true to her words, this cornbread definitely did not disappoint. The crisp, golden brown cheese was definitely the thing that put me over the edge. To those of you afraid of the jalapenos, don't fret, removing the seeds and the inner membrane cut down on a lot of the heat while still providing just enough bite to counter the sweet corn flavor.
Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread:
Yields: about 18 muffins
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup yellow corn meal
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
2 cups milk
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 lb. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 cups sharp cheddar, shredded plus extra for garnish
3 jalapenos, seeded and minced
1/3 cup of scallions, chopped plus extra for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan, set aside. Combine the first five ingredients into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, milk and cooled butter. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry and mix, be careful not to over mix. Fold in the two cups of the cheddar, 1/3 cup of the scallions, and the jalapenos. Let the mix sit at room temperature for roughly about 20 minutes. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and top with the remaining cheddar and scallions. Then pop into the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown or until a toothpick comes out clean. Slice into squares and serve.
Note: You can also bake these as muffins using a muffin pan, cook time change: 15-20 minutes.