Spring is here and I´m cleaning my kitchen and my closet. Spring cleaning is in full swing at this house, though it would be good to have such interest in tidying and de-cluttering my home with every change of season, not just spring.
My refrigerator froze in some parts, something that became obvious with today´s cleaning chores.
How can I go to sleep with a perfectly working fridge and wake up with frozen eggs, jalapeños, egg whites, cream cheese, salami and a few more items? Beats me, after all the weather is getting hotter, the fridge should be loosing cold if anything.
So it was time to make cornbread. Because it´s almost Thanksgiving, because I´m getting rid of bits and pieces, because it tasted good and I haven´t had lunch. There are always many good reasons to make cornbread. Moist, tender, full of corn kernels, a bit of a kick from the peppers and overall really interesting flavor and crumb.
Cornmeal is a wonderful ingredient, so unique in color and texture. So adaptable to both sweet and savory like these corn rolls, this daisy cake or this galette dough. In this bread it complements the rest, there´s no cornmeal crunch really, just an overall amalgamation of ingredients. I add a lot of black pepper because I just love it, it´s probably my favorite spice and I use it a lot, even with chocolate.
For those jalapeño lovers the amount here will make you laugh. I know. It´s in the title so you were expecting a lot of kick, but feel free to add as much as you want. This is more of a please everyone kind of cornbread, with a spicy aftertaste. The kind that it´s easily adaptable no matter what kind of food you serve. Because let´s face it, sometimes it´s hard to please everyone and things are better kept at a medium level.
Even though I´m not much of a celebration enthusiast, as I explained here, I like Thanksgiving. Any time to give thanks and eat good food is a good time. We don´t celebrate it here, and I went to maybe five in my life. Two when I was living in California, and the others the couple of times my grandmother decided we should celebrate it. It was really the excuse to cook the turkey and the sweet potatoes and the pies. But then again, nothing beats a table full of happy, laughing people enthusiastically eating wonderful food.
My warmest and loving thanks to all my food blogging friends, wherever you are, wether you´re celebrating or not, this is a good moment to acknowledge the fact that my life right now wouldn´t be the same without your friendship. Life is better since I´m a food blogger.
DOUBLE CORN BREAD WITH PEPPERS AND CHEESE
adapted from Bon Appetit, november 1997
I use a buttered metal ring with aluminum foil on the bottom instead of the springform pan. If I make half the recipe I use two small eggs.
2 Tbs + 7 Tbs unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1 cup chopped onion (1 small medium)
1 cup corn kernels
½ cup red pepper, seeded, deveined and finely chopped
2 Tbs jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
1 ¾ cups yellow cornmeal
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
Freshly ground pepper
1 ½ cups buttermilk or whole milk
3 large eggs
1 ½ cups grated fontina or mild cheddar cheese, packed
Preheat oven to 400ºF /200ºC
Butter round or square 9-inch springform pan.
In a skillet over medium heat melt butter. Add onion and red pepper and cook for a few minutes until a little browned. Add corn and jalapeños and cook for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and reserve.
In a large bowl mix cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, salt and pepper. Add cold butter and rub with your palms until mixture resembles coarse sand.
In a small bowl mix buttermilk and eggs. Add all at once to the dry mixture and mix just to combine. Add cheese and sauteed vegetables and mix well.
Pour into prepared pan and bake 30 to 40 minutes, until golden and tester comes out clean.
Let cool on wire rack.