I’ve never actually had authentic cornbread. But the first time I tasted cornbread it was bland and gritty and really unimpressive. It was a rare occasion where a Nigella Lawson recipe did not hit the spot.
Little did I know, a few years later I would meet K and The One Cornbread, in that order. (Or is K the The One..? Hmmmmm.) After making a pot of chilli (not the Boilermaker Tailgate chilli, or else I would have died of excitement), K whipped up some cornbread from an online recipe. Truth be told, I wasn’t expecting much. The batter looked too runny and it seemed too easy to be tasty.
After a short time in the oven, it was turned out of the tin and the sunshine yellow loaf was sliced into fat portions. With a blob of chilli, I sank my teeth into the mottled, oily, crispy crust, a smattering of crumbs tumbling out of the soft interior. The sweet sponge and the heat from strips of jalapeno chilli soaked up the the chilli, making the combination an assault of sweet, grainy, hot, spicy and stodgy. Quite thrilling for the carb lover.
So from then on, the cornbread became known as K’s cornbread (but it’s actually from All Recipes!!). I’m not sure how authentic it is because we use fine polenta instead of genuine cornmeal, but when there’s a pot of chilli, this sidekick of cornbread is always there too. I demand it.
The batter is simply getting the wet ingredients together in a jug, stir into the dry stuff and pour into a tin. Too easy.
(I wish wish wish I had this cornbread tin just to have cute corn shaped cornbread!)
Adapted from All Recipes’ Jalapeno Corn Bread by Archie Timmons
There’s slightly less sugar and more jalapenos in our version.
185g cornmeal or finely ground polenta
9g baking powder
2g baking soda (bi-carbonate of soda)
60ml olive oil
4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and sliced into fine strips
In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In jug or bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk and oil. Add to the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Stir in jalapenos. Pour into a greased loaf pan. The batter will puff up to almost double its size.
Bake at 200°C for 20-22 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cut into big fat slices. Serve warm. Leftovers can be happily nuked in the microwave.
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