Friday, September 12, 2008

Barefoot Contessa's Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

I have been wanting to make this recipe since August and just now got around to it, but it was worth waiting for. Every time I saw it on another food blog, I was reminded that I should make it, but I just didn't know how to fit it in. So I didn't. I made it just because.

I love cornbread but am often disappointed by dry, gritty, crumbly squares that need to be slathered in butter and honey to be edible. This is entirely different. This cornbread is more like cake (hmm, is that what all that butter is in there for?). The perfect addition to a potluck or just a simple home-cooked meal, I plan on nibbling on this morning, noon, and night.

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal (I use Martha White because the Grand Ole Opry told me to)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups milk
3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra to grease the pan
8 ounces aged extra-sharp Cheddar, grated, divided
1/3 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts, plus extra for garnish, 3 scallions (I omitted.)
3 tablespoons seeded and minced fresh jalapeno peppers


Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and butter. With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until most of the lumps are dissolved. Don't overmix! Mix in 2 cups of the grated Cheddar, the scallions and jalapenos, and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking pan.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining grated Cheddar and extra chopped scallions. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into large squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.

I'm also submitting this to Joelen's Chef Spotlight: Food Network Celebs Event!