Last weekend was Labor Day which is great for the many of you who are gainfully employed. It’s nice to have a three day weekend or an extra day off from work in general. For me, every day is an extra day of from work these days, so Labor Day was just a wonderful excuse to have a barbecue and eat tons of food. Which is exactly what I did.

We were invited to a barbecue in our neighborhood thrown by some of Stu’s friends and old co-workers. There was going to be a ton of food including burgers, sausages, and ribs. I felt that I should bring something and had been waiting for the right moment to use up all of our jalepenos to make Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread. It was the perfect addition to the feast.

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread
from the Barefoot Contessa

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
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
1/4 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts, plus extra for garnish (3 scallions)
3 tablespoons seeded and minced fresh jalapeno peppers

Combine the flour, conrmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and butter. With a wodden 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. Grease a 9x13x2-inch baking pan.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top and sprinkle with the remaining grated Cheddar and extra 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.

Woooahhhh these were awesome and a huge hit! Luckily, no one else had thought to bring cornbread. The jalapenos were not too spicy, but there was a nice warm after-taste, complimented with the Cheddar. I used regular yellow Extra-Sharp Cheddar. Ina Garten says that the yellow will look better, but white will give it more flavor, so it’s a matter of preference. I did not used aged Cheddar, just what I could find for cheap in my nearest super market.

The one issue with this recipe is that because the bread is so thick, it took much longer to cook than what the recipe listed as 30-35 minutes. After the 35 minutes, the middle was still very undercooked, although the edges were pretty much done. After sticking them back into the oven a few times, I eventually cut off the sides and put the middle in for another 15 minutes later on. Finally, they came out cooked. When baked correctly, these are incredibly thick and moist and very cheesy. So delicious and a great crowd pleaser! A great dish to make in the summer time when jalapenos are popping up everywhere. We had quite a bit from our friend’s garden, so it was a great way to use them up!

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