I’ve learned many things in this process so far, and it’s only the first chapter! Of the things I learned, neither of my sisters likes cornbread! That is not the case for me. Granted, I prefer it with a little honey (sugar? shocker!), I also love it as polenta, hot out of the oven drizzled with a little olive oil. Now, that’s comfort food!
So, when Sara and Marie were tossing around this recipe like it was a hot potato, I couldn’t help but be shocked and aghast! I rescued it from its “ugly red-headed step-child” status.
I’ve made cornbread from a mix, cornbread from scratch, and even gluten-free cornbread, but I’ve never ventured into the jalapeno variety. I wasn’t super excited, to be honest, but the serving suggestion was a little more intriguing — with salad (a kclever staple) or with eggs for brunch (also a weekend-post training staple).
While at Sara’s I made the infamous “rubber band soup” mentioned in a previous post, I thought this would be a good complement.
I started cutting and sauteeing the onions and jalapenos while little E was out of the kitchen. It would definitively sour the day if a little surprising jalapeno juice made its way to his toast or on his water or in his milk. Jalapenos are tricky because they are so potent…they can deceptively creep into all kinds of things.
I tried to used the plastic bags as mini rubber gloves but that was inefficient, and I was afraid I just might slice my finger because I wasn’t entirely tactile with the “gloves” and that would hurt even more.
I let the sauteed 4 diced jalapenos and 6 scallions cool as I assembled the rest of the ingredients. I mixed up the dry ingredients in their own bowl (2 cups of corn meal, 1 & 1/2 cups of flour, 2 Tbsp of sugar, 2 Tbsp of baking powder, and 2 tsp of salt).
In a larger bowl I beat the eggs gently just to break them up and added 2 cups of buttermilk and the 8 Tbsp of melted butter. Once this was all lovingly combined I folded in the pepper/onions and about 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro (Malgieri suggested 1/4 cup of but I ended up with 1/2 cup).
I then folded in the dry mixture to the wet and poured it into the prepared pan (it was supposed to be 10 in round, buttered and then layered with parchment paper — but it might have only been an 8 or 9 in pan).
Following the instructions, I baked at 375 for 30 minutes. After testing, it seemed to be done, but later when I eagerly sliced into the creation, it was a little soft in the center. This explained why the happy dome kind of collapsed (I think?). The culprit of the par-baked bread could either be the too small pan or just my impatience.
Trying to resurrect my work, I put the sliced bread back in the oven at 375 for another 10 minutes. I’m not adverse to a little mushy bread, but given there’s a nursing mom in the house, I thought it was better to have a drier version on hand. It’s still pretty tasty though, and I imagine it will be stellar with eggs.