I admit cornbread and I have not gotten along in the past. Every new recipe I try always seemed to result in dry, flavorless, yellow bricks. So like an incompatible relationship, my determination for moist cornbread began to fizzle. At first our interactions involved steamy greetings in the night. To heated arguments about how a cornbread should act and taste. Finally, everything ended when I caught cornbread a little to close to the ribs in the dark corners of the refrigerator.
Recently, my spirits were lifted when I saw a Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread recipe featured on the Barefoot Contessa show. I was inspired by the balance of jalapeño with cheddar, the ratio of flour to cornmeal seemed balanced, and allowing the batter to rest might provide a moist texture. Since my track record for a stable cornbread relationship has not fared so well in the past, I decided to follow the recipe to a “T”.
True to Ina’s word, she did not disappoint. The exterior was a rich golden yellow with dots of green from the scallions. I decided to use sharp white cheddar, as recommended, and it provided a punch of sharpness that enhanced the light spice of the jalapeño. Don’t be scared by this recipe. If you make sure to remove the seeds and white veins from the jalapeño, this cornbread will not be spicy at all.
Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread
by: Ina Garten
book: Barefoot Contessa at Home
Authors Note: The recipe calls for a 9 X 13 X 2-inch baking pan. The cornbread tends to rise pretty well. Make sure whatever type of pan you use has high sides. Also, this works as a great side to my Smoked Kielbasa and White Bean Soup recipe.