This was a really fun challenge for me as a recipe for the magazine. I don’t eat spicy food so I choose peppers that are mild when I need them. It was time to break out my hazmat suit and tackle jalapeños. This is a basic cornbread recipe but with the goat cheese, and a touch of cheddar, it’s really moist with a wonderful taste and texture.
First, we char the jalapeños. I placed my cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and added coconut oil. You can use other oils but coconut is a great high-heat oil. Use “refined” otherwise, the peppers will taste like coconut. To char on a stove, one must have a powerful fan. If not, not only will the smell of jalapeños be in the house but also some of the sting. I will say that my eyes hurt a little for the rest of the day until I could air things out. I highly recommend charring them on an outdoor grill. Whatever you decide, don’t skip this step because it’s totally worth it.
I cut the peppers in lengths for thinner slices, using the largest middle slices for the top of the cornbread. The peppers may be cut in half and charred on each side, if preferred.
Once you have some of that great charred jalapeño oil in the skillet, add 2 more teaspoons of oil and place in the oven while you mix the rest of the ingredients.
When adding goat cheese, leave small bits unmixed.
Want a sweeter cornbread, add an additional 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar.
Don’t have buttermilk on hand, make your own. Use 1 cup of whole milk, 2% milk or heavy cream then add 1 tablespoon of either lemon juice or white vinegar. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken.
For more heat, add 1 extra jalapeño, seeded and diced to the batter.
If you like the added flavor of the jalapeño but not the heat, remove the pepper from the top of the cornbread slice before eating. There is plenty of pepper flavor already in the cornbread after baking.
Don’t have a cast-iron skillet, use a 10 or 12-inch pan with coconut oil or cooking spray. Char jalapeños in a separate stove safe pan or on an outdoor grill.
Top cornbread slices with pats of butter and drizzle with honey.
Use gloves when handling hot peppers and avoid touching your eyes.
Avoid breathing pepper fumes when charring.
Cast-iron skillets are very hot so remember to use good hot-pads when lifting, or moving, and never leave the hot skillet unattended.
This is a great recipe for a family meal. Using a large 12 inch cast-iron skillet will give the cornbread more flavor with a moist center. You may cut this recipe in half and use a smaller skillet but watch your cooking time to retain moisture in the center.
Ingredients you'll need...
4 teaspoons coconut oil, refined (or a vegetable oil)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups yellow or white cornmeal
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups whole buttermilk
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
8 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
5 jalapeños (to char for the top)
Try the attached recipe and let me know what you think in the comments section below. Enjoy!