Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread (Makes 12 large pieces)
Copyright 2006, Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten, Clarkson/Potter Publishers, All Rights Reserved
Photo: Quentin Bacon
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, plus extra to grease the pan
8 ounces aged extra-sharp Cheddar, grated, divided
1/3 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts, plus extra for garnish (3 scallions)
3 tablespoons seeded and minced fresh jalapeno peppers (2 to 3 peppers)
Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and butter. With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until most of the lumps are dissolved. Don’t overmix! Mix in 2 cups of the grated Cheddar, the scallions and jalapenos, and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining grated cheddar and extra chopped scallions. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into large squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.