Today I was craving some savory cornbread, so I decided to do a twist on jalapeño cheddar bread. I use the basic recipe from the back of Quaker cornmeal since it has just enough sweetness and is fairly fluffy. This time, I didn’t quite have enough cornmeal, so I upped the flour content hoping that would produce more cake-like bread. I added a few handfuls of what Dominick’s/Safeway calls ‘Mexican blend” finely shredded cheese, which is mostly cheddar, and a big handful of diced green bell pepper.
Originally I wanted to use a blend of jalapeños and green pepper, but the amount of pepper I like in my cornbread would be overwhelming with spicy peppers. Instead, I was generous with the bell pepper (you could use red, or any other peppers you like) and added some chili powder, salt and pepper to them before folding them into the batter. I greased a 9x9 pan with oil because butter has a lower burn temperature, and set the timer to 20 minutes (the low end of the recommended bake time). I find that the shorter time is plenty in my oven, and my cornbread comes out just golden on the top and sides.
I sliced it up right out of the oven even though I know you’re supposed to let it rest. I'll be honest...it smelled too good to wait. As I had hoped, the texture was fluffy and light and the taste was all corn and peppers. The cheese added a creamy element that balanced the bite of peppers, handily emphasized by the pat of butter I put atop my steaming slice. It was delicious and I will definitely be making this delectable snack again-maybe with a pot of chili.