Until making this dish, I hadn't baked for years. I had given up on it. At best, everything I made turned out crooked, deformed, or messy-looking. But recently I got hit hard with a hankering for jalapeno cornbread, and I figured I might as well give baking another shot.
There was no way I was going to cut corners and use some mix - that's just not how I roll. This was going to be made from scratch, or not at all. So I hunted around online for recipes, but nothing felt exactly right. There was too much sugar, or not enough. Too much white flour. Canned corn. Too few eggs. And so on.
Plus, I had this idea to incorporate corn milk into my recipe for extra moisture. If you've ever made maque choux, you know what I'm talking about. Corn milk is the creamy liquid left behind if you only cut off half of the kernels from a fresh ear of corn. You scrape out the milk with a knife, and it looks like this:
So, keeping in mind the basics of ingredient proportion, I made up my own recipe. And not only did it not turn out deformed in any way, it was just about the richest, most moist cornbread I've ever had. It was so good in fact, that I made a second batch to take to a barbeque, where it was a hit. (When you show up to a party with a still-warm batch of sweet-smelling cornbread, who is not going to love you?)
Luscious Jalapeno Cornbread
1 3/4 cups organic ground cornmeal
1/2 cup organic all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
1/2 cup jarred jalapenos, drained well and chopped
kernels from 2 ears of swet corn, plus the corn milk
First, with a sharp knife, slice about 1/2 the kernels off of the cob. Scrape the milk from the cob and set aside. (If you can't get fresh corn, I imagine you could do this with thawed frozen corn cobs, though I haven't tried it myself.)
Saute the corn kernels in a pat of butter until tender; set aside to cool.
Sift together all of your dry ingredients: cornmeal, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, melted butter, eggs, and cornmilk. Whisk together vigorously, until bubbles form.
Stir the corn and jalapenos into the liquid.
Gently incorporate the liquid into the dry ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Don't stir too much - just get it to a smooth consistently.
Pour into a greased 8 by 8 baking pan and bake in a 400 degree oven for 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Rub the top with a bit of butter.
Enjoy with beans, chili, or a yummy eggy brunch!