When Chompy was still living in Boston but making frequent trips to NYC, he used to bring back an edible gift every time, including macarons from my favorite Maison du Chocolat, a chocolate mousse hedgehog we named Bruno, and once, a loaf of cornbread, which was kind of a weird gift to bring to a girl but really delicious all the same. Chompy also made me promise to speak kindly of him on this blog forever and ever, so here we are with a random Chompy story and some mighty tasty skillet cornbread, spiked the way I like with jalapeño, pepperjack cheese, and sweet corn kernels. The best part is that it bakes up in only 20 minutes! In the summertime, that’s a godsend.
You know you can trust this recipe because it’s adapted ever so slightly from the Moosewood Cookbook, a vegetarian classic, a legend, a James Beard Award Cookbook Hall of Fame inductee! I simply swapped out the scallions for a jalapeño pepper and used pepperjack cheese instead of the mild white cheese called for in Moosewood’s Mexican Corn & Cheese Bread. I simply cannot live without the spicy.
If you have an 8 or 10 inch cast iron skillet, use that! The batter will be a bit deeper in the 8 inch skillet, so you will need to bake it for an extra 5-10 minutes. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can also use a square baking pan, a round cake pan, a pie dish, or a muffin pan. Just keep an eye on the baking time. The cornbread is ready when the top is golden yellow and the edges are just starting to brown.
Side note: I like to grease the heck out of my bakeware, then stick it in the fridge for a couple of minutes so the butter solidifies before pouring in the batter. Plus, mo’ butter mo’ nummy. Try saying that out loud. Yeah, it’s horrible.
Anyway, the cornbread will be quite crumbly straight out of the oven. That never stops me from eating a hot, steamy slice, as you can see from the pacman-sized gap in the pan below. That said, your cornbread will be much easier to cut when it has cooled to room temperature.
Serve with butter, a fried egg, jam, veggie sausage (okay a regular sausage would work too but I’m vegetarian so I have to advocate the veggie links here), or eat it plain, preferably with your hands. Sometimes less is more! Although I am obsessed with homemade jalapeño peach jam…
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease an 8-10 inch cast iron skillet with butter, then set in the fridge for 2 minutes. For other bakeware options, see my post above!
- Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Combine buttermilk (or yogurt), the egg, sugar or honey, and melted butter in a separate bowl. Stir the wet mixture into the dry. Mix lightly, add the corn kernels, cheese, and jalapeño pepper, then mix just enough to thoroughly combine. Spread into the cast iron skillet.
- Bake for 20 minutes, rotating halfway through, or until the top crust is golden yellow and the edges are just starting to brown.
- Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.