Saturday, January 22, 2011

Aunt Flossie's Jalapeno Cornbread

Food isn't love.  But it is culture and history, the warmth of belonging and tactile 'Yes!' that says you're home.  And where home is.  Ask any ex-pat. 

Most folks have food traditions.  One of our family favorites is Aunt Flossie's Jalapeno Cornbread. She was my grandmother's cousin's wife and in those Hill Country days, Aunt was pronounced Aint.  Just like Mrs. was Miz.  As in, "The Golden-Age Club voted Miz Bragg 'The Girl I Most Want Under the Apple Tree' the year she was 96.  Most of the Golden Age guys were  under 80 but Miz Bragg was cute and strong and smart and knew how to cook.

I never knew Aint Flossie but judging by her representation in our family cookbook, she knew her way around the stove. I know her cornbread has a fan base --some variation of it comes to table at most of our gatherings.

Aunt Flossie's Jalapeno Cornbread

Before stirring up the cornbread, spread a couple teaspoons oil in a #8 cast iron skillet (mine is 8 3/4" across the bottom and approx. 10" rim-to-rim) and put it in the oven while you preheat it to 400 degrees.  Starting the cornbread in a hot greased skillet gives a nice crisp bottom crust.

Ingredients
1 c yellow cornmeal
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 c buttermilk
2 eggs
1 c creamed corn (I use frozen corn kernels & add a dollop of buttermilk if the mixture seems dry.)
1/4 c bacon drippings (nowadays we use canola oil)
1 med onion, minced
2 lg jalapeno peppers, minced. *The jalapeno heat mellows in cooking so leave the seeds in for a bite.  If I'm in a hurry I substitute a tsp or so of  red pepper flakes. 
1/2 lb. grated cheddar cheese ** I usually omit the cheese layer and add a light sprinkle of low-fat cheddar on top. A hit of toasted cheese flavor, fewer calories.

If you want to make it like my mother does, use the creamed corn and layer the cheese.

Directions:
Mix all ingredients except cheese.  Pour 1/2 batter into hot skillet.  Spread grated cheese over this.  Pour remaining batter over the cheese.  Bake 20-25 minutes until top is brown.  Let stand to set.  Slice and serve from skillet.

Enjoy with loved ones, and memories. 

Copyright 2009-2011 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

11 comments:

  1. Oh, yum. This looks and sounds outstanding! I wish I could come to your house for dinner one of these days --

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  2. That's a recipe I'm going to try. Looks delicious. Thanks for posting.

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  3. This has to be the best cornbread in the world. I would eat it as a main course.

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  4. Sounds and looks delicious!

    xoxoxo ♡

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  5. Must try this .
    And I love the little story on your Aunt .

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  6. Yummmm - cornbread is one of my favorites :-) Lovely post and story about your aint.

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  7. As an afficianado of cornbread recipes, I can state unequivocally that this sounds like a winner! Can't wait to try it.

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  8. That recipe sounds like my Alabama grandmother's recipe for what she called "corn casserole." It's pretty much the same, except she used an additional (undrained) can of whole kernel corn and one red and one green bell pepper. She also used butter instead of bacon fat, if she had it. It was an absolute, "we will riot if it's not there," staple at Thanksgiving.

    I've modified it with either a large Anaheim or Poblano chile and have added crumpled cooked bacon or chorizo on a whim.

    Thanks for the post. I'm whipping one of these babies up tonight, methinks.

    Cheers.

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  9. This is going into my recipe collection -- thank you! Love cornbread!

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  10. Well, food may not be love, but corn bread would do a person until the real thing came along. The photo jumps off the page; just wish my computer had smellavision.

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My readers are all geniuses. Can't wait to see what you have to say.