Yellow cornmeal glorified in a super scrumptious indulgent cornbread, brings back so many memories of meals enjoyed at friends’ family homes in the US. It is one of my all time favorite American comfort foods, and I am really excited to have found with this spin on a classic!
Part of the reason why my initial arepas were no good, was due to the “flour” that I was using. Originally, I bought some regular yellow corn (or maize) flour, instead of the instant variety which is required for the Colombian heavenly griddle cakes. After failed attempts at making arepas out of this, I tried making polenta and pizza crust, but nothing worthwhile was coming out using this yellow cornmeal. (Funny side note: Our Greek wedding caterers also made the same mistake, and ended up serving these terribly hard and raw corn rusks – rather than mini arepas which we had briefed them on. If I didn’t know the difference, how was I expecting them to figure it out?)
I left the yellow cornmeal in the cupboard knowing that one day an idea for a recipe would come to me, and I would use it to make something scrumptious. Then came last Friday cold, rainy and gloomy – we needed something comforting and cozy to welcome the weekend. Warm, golden and deliciously moist cornbread seemed like the perfect remedy.
As I mentioned in the opening, this was not just any cornbread, it is cornbread at this full potential: infused with spicy jalapeños, sharp cheesy cheddar and finished off with a fresh kick of spring onions – and the best part? It is amazingly moist!!
Corn Bread with Bacon, Cheddar, Jalapeños and Spring Onions
Yields about 20 cornbread squares – You do not need to make it with bacon, I just had some around that I wanted to use up. Recipe adapted from Allrecipes
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup (250g) butter plus one 1tbsp for greasing
- 2 cups milk
- 3 large eggs
- 8 oz (225g) grated very mature cheddar
- 3 jalapeños finely diced (or any other chili)
- 3 spring onions finely sliced
- 5 slices bacon sliced into small strips (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350˚F (175˚C).
- Melt 1 cup butter and let cool. If using bacon, cook in skillet until crispy. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to remove excess grease.
- Whisk together all the dry ingredients (cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt) in a large mixing bowl.
- Whisk the eggs, milk and cooled butter together. Pour the mix over the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until most of the dry mix has been mixed through (do not overmix). Fold the cheddar, jalapeños, spring onions into the mix. Let rest for 10 mins. Lightly grease a medium baking dish with the 1 tbsp butter and put in the warm oven until the dish gets hot and butter melts 2-3 mins.
- Remove dish from the oven, pour the cornbread mixture in, using the back of the spoon to create an even distribution of the thick batter. If using bacon, sprinkle on top, pressing the bits into the dough. Return to oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden on top and toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the thickest part of the cornbread. Let cool slightly and serve!
Note: To keep moist and fresh for longer, remember to cover with cling film.