January 26, 2016

Cornbread with Creamed Corn and Jalapeño Infused Honey

Cornbread with Creamed Corn and Jalapeño Infused Honey

It's safe to say cornbread is less than thrilling to most. Many people think of it as a thrown in accompaniment to the real star: chili. We love a good bowl of chili as much as the next guy, but don't think it deserves ALL the glory. We are firm believers that if something is worth making, it's worth making great. Enter these creamed corn cornbread muffins with jalapeño infused honey. You heard that right. These babies aren't just a filler to take up room on your game-day table spread, they are a delight on their own and take that perfect bowl of chili to the next level.


This was moist, rich, buttery, and abundantly flavorful.

Before you accuse me of being a little over enthusiastic about something as mundane as cornbread, let me lay a little background. My relationship with cornbread did not begin as a love affair. Not once growing up did I ever wish for it's presence on the dinner table. Not. once. It was tolerated at most. I have vivid memories of passing up the cornbread that was an ever present staple at our Sunday church potlucks, right next to the homemade macaroni and cheese with hot dog pieces (is it just me or do kids these days have it really, really good?). It wasn’t until I was newly married that I first enjoyed cornbread and realized why I had never liked it before.

About the time I was first getting into cooking and taking an interest in trying new foods, my husband and I went to a friend’s home for dinner. Our friends had chicken in the pressure cooker which would later get shredded for enchiladas and homemade cornbread in the oven (homemade! None of that boxed stuff- a first for me). Once tasted, I realized what I had assumed was your run-of-the-mill cornbread was actually quite different. It wasn’t sturdy like bread, but was, for lack of a better word, mushy. It was what I would later discover was spoonbread. So delightful. Forget dry, flaky, and bland. This was moist, rich, buttery, and abundantly flavorful. I left that night with the recipe and went on to make that dish countless times over the years for many pleased guests

I won’t tell you what the ingredients are for that original spoonbread, because if I'm being honest, I'm a little embarrassed about all that butter (and maybe sour cream too) and just how much I've eaten of it over the years. However, Natalie and I took our inspiration from that decadent dish for this cornbread muffin and couldn't be more pleased with the results. It's a lot more sturdy than spoonbread, yet still so soft and moist. We served these muffins with an infused honey to give them a little kick without having to commit to putting the jalapeños IN the bread (we love options!). The result is a chili side dish that can finally hold its own and isn't just taking up very valuable space.

We bet you didn't know cornbread could be sexy, but we did. Try these. We know you'll love them as much as we do and will receive some much needed inner healing for all those horribly dry muffins you choked down as a kid.

Cornbread with Creamed Corn and Jalapeño Infused Honey

Serves 12

Ingredients

1 cup honey
1 jalapeño, thick sliced
1 1/3 cup flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 can creamed corn
2 eggs, beaten
8 tbsp (1 stick) melted butter, cooled slightly
1/2 cup full fat sour cream

Method

  1. In a small sauce pan, warm the honey. Place the sliced jalapeño (only use ½ if you want a mild heat) in a 1 cup (or larger) heat proof glass jar. Once the honey is liquid and warm, pour it over the jalapeños in the jar. Let it infuse while making the muffins. Test the honey every 10 minutes or so to make sure the heat is to your liking.  
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Position rack in center of the oven.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 
  4. In a separate bowl, stir together the creamed corn, eggs, butter and sour cream. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir together just until combined. Do not over mix.
  5. Let the batter sit for 10 minutes on the counter.
  6. Meanwhile, coat a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray. (You can also use muffin papers or butter)  Then flour to prevent muffins from sticking to the pan.
  7. Divide batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups.
  8. Bake for 12-14 minutes until firm in the center. Allow to cool slightly before serving warm with butter and infused honey.


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