This week, Simple Pairings is celebrating its first birthday! The year has flown by so quickly, but I’ve enjoyed all the steps along the way in creating, developing, and sharing this blog. Not only am I celebrating an entire year’s worth of SP, but I’m also celebrating the onset of fall, and doing so with a quintessential fall dish, Chili Beans and Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread. I especially love this cornbread recipe because it provides a bit of subtle heat with savory cheddar cheese and green onions speckled throughout each piece. It’s definitely an elevated side dish that stands up to the spiciest and heartiest bowls of chili.
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jalapeño cheddar cornbread
Adapted from Ina Garten
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups milk
3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled a bit
8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated, 2 ounces reserved for garnish
1/2 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts, plus 1/4 cup or so for garnish
4 tablespoons seeded and minced fresh jalapeño peppers
Butter or olive oil for greasing the pan
Butter or oil a 8 1/2-by-11-inch baking dish, and set aside.
Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and melted butter. With a wooden spoon or large rubber spatula, stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined, being careful not to over-mix. Gently fold in 6 ounces of the cheddar cheese, scallions, and jalapeños until evenly distributed. Let the mixture rest at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
During the rest period, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (depending on how long it takes your oven to preheat.) Pour the batter into the prepared dish and sprinkle with the remaining grated cheddar cheese and a small handful of chopped scallions. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into large squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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