Jalapeno Bacon Cornbread
Cornbread has always been a favorite of mine, but I think I was preconditioned to appreciate it given I was born on the Gulf Coast and cornbread is heavily associated with "the South". This recipe combines everything we love about cornbread. It's texture, whole corn inside, some green chiles, crispy bacon, and just a touch of sweetness. It's divine to say the least and aside from the soaking step, is pretty quick to pull together.
The seeded jalapeños don't add much heat at all. If you want a little heat from the jalapeños, leave a few seeds in the mix. We made this recipe in 4 small 6" cast iron skillets. The recipe was perfect sized for those four. With cast iron, make sure you give it enough time to heat in the oven before you put the batter into the pan. You should hear the batter sizzle when you put it in. When you put the bacon on the top once the batter is in the pan(s), make sure you lightly press it into the surface of the batter so that the bacon is "in" the batter not just resting on top. That ensures that as the batter cooks the bacon isn't just pushed off the side.
As always, from our table to yours... #SpiceConfidently #EssenceOfFlavor #ChemistryInTheKitchen #CasaMSpice
— Mike Hernandez
For the Cornbread:
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1-1/2 Tablespoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons Casa M Spice Co® Chain Reaction®
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
- 3 jalapeno chiles, stemmed, seeded, cut into strips, diced
- 16 ounces sweet corn
Pulling It All Together:
- 8 ounces bacon, cooked crispy, crumbled
- 2 Tablespoons bacon fat
With cast iron, make sure you give it enough time to heat in the oven before you put the batter into the pan. You should hear the batter sizzle when you put it in.- Mike Hernandez
LET’S GET COOKING
The night before you plan to bake the bread, soak the cornmeal in buttermilk. Add the cornmeal to a mixing bowl, add the buttermilk, mix well, then cover and let stand at room temperature for 8-12 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Once the oven comes to temperature, put the bacon on a baking sheet and place into the oven. Bake for 20-45 minutes depending on your oven and the thickness of the bacon. Monitor closely, you want crisp, but not burnt.
When the bacon is fully cooked, remove it from the oven, reduce the temperature of the oven to 350°F, then using tongs, remove the bacon to a platter lined with paper towels to let it drain and cool, then crumble it and set aside. Reserve the bacon fat for greasing the pans for cooking the cornbread.
Pull three mixing bowls to use. In the first mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and Chain Reaction® and mix well. Then add the two sugars and mix well to incorporate. In the second mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. In the third mixing bowl, mix together the honey and melted butter. Once this is well combined, mix it into the eggs.
Add the egg mixture into the cornmeal and buttermilk and mix well.
Slowly add the cornmeal mixture into the flour mixture mixing by hand or using a hand mixer (on the lowest setting). At this point the batter should be like a thick pancake batter. Finally, Add the corn and diced jalapeno and mix to incorporate them.
Prepare your baking dish(es) by adding the reserved bacon fat into the baking dish(es). If you're using one large 13" x 9" baking dish, use all the fat in that one. If you're making smaller individual sized cornbreads, split up the bacon fat. Place the dish(es) into the hot oven and give them 10 minutes to get hot with the bacon fat in them.
Using mitts, carefully remove the hot baking dish(es) and place them onto a heat-proof surface. Carefully spoon the batter into the baking dish(es) adding to the middle and spooning out toward the edges as needed. Sprinkle the reserved bacon pieces over the top of the batter pushing down a little to get the bacon adhered to the top of the batter.
Bake for 30-45 minutes depending on the size of your baking dish(es). The bread should be firm and have some spring to it. It should be golden brown and read just under 195°F internal temperature. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes before you cut it.