This recipe comes from my desire for balance in my meals. As I was watching Ina for this week I noticed that she was serving Mexican Chicken Soup (spoiler alert: more on that Wednesday) with Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread, which to my way of thinking doesn’t make a ton of sense. For me cornbread is the break my taste buds take in between bites of something spicy and if the cornbread is also spicy well then where will I be?
I felt it was my responsibility to re-work her recipe and create a version for my fellow spice-lightweights. I wanted to take down the spiciness without eliminating the flavor. I started thinking about other cornmeal-related dishes like biscuits and grits and took the recipe in a more Southern direction with the addition of buttermilk and chives to create a milder cornbread. The result: Cheddar Chive Cornbread is a welcome respite for a mouth on fire and might just steal the show from the flashier dishes at your next tailgate or Chili Cook-off.... Fighting words!
Cheddar Chive Cornbread (serves 6-8)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
4 ounces aged extra-sharp Cheddar, grated, divided
1/4 cup minced chives
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate small bowl, gently whisk the eggs then incorporate the buttermilk and slowly stir in the melted butter.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the dry. With a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined. Some lumps might remain, but don’t over mix!
Next fold in 1 cup of the grated Cheddar and the minced chives. Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9” glass pie plate or an 8 x 8 x 2-inch baking pan with non-stick spray.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining grated Cheddar and any extra minced chives. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Small Kitchen Friendly?
Yes, no electric mixer required! I used two mixing bowls one medium, one small; one small microwave-safe bowl, measuring cups and spoons (dry and liquid), and a box grater. I also used a medium cutting board, a chef’s knife, rubber spatula and a 9” pie plate.
I don’t mean to toot my own horn here, but this Cheddar Chive Cornbread is pretty killer and Mike said he thinks it’s the best cornbread he’s ever had. High praise indeed. The sprinkled cheddar makes the top crunchy and golden, the crumb is deliciously moist and has a little tangy edge thanks to the buttermilk and cheddar. I have a feeling that this cornbread will make a lot of appearances on our dinner table this fall.