Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Skillet Jalapeno Cornbread

I hope everyone made it through the hurricane okay. I know we didn't get hit as hard as expected. We had a few trees down, some flooding in the area, and power outages. We didn't have power for close to 48 hours, which compared to the 7 days we were told it would be, it wasn't bad at all.

But, you know, everyone around is complaining "I can't charge my phone!" "I can't watch TV!" "I can't see anything!" But I kinda liked it. No, I really liked it.

Now you get to do things like cook dinner over a fire (or a charcoal grill, close enough), force people to play Scrabble with you, bathe in the backyard (alright so that was just me, the rest of my family decided to shower at Grandma's. BORING.), and bake. How do you bake when your electric oven has no power, you ask? On the grill! We're just reaping resourcefulness over here. The only downside: power outages=no internet=no posting. So here I am a week later finally able to report back to you. I can't rub sticks together and get the internet to work, people. I tried.

So skillet cornbread can be a little tricky when working with a charcoal grill, just because the temperature isn't so easy to control. More oxygen, less oxygen, hot on this side, extremely hot on that side. It's just complicated. But I suggest just letting the coals go for a while, tweaking the amount of oxygen getting to them and using a thermometer so when the lid is closed it's somewhere between 350-420 degrees F. Dad also made the note the when baking on the grill KEEP THE LID CLOSED. Like, barely even peak at it. Since most of the heat is hitting the bottom of your pan, you need as much heat getting to the top of the pan as possible. And strategically place the pan near the edge of the grill or wherever it's a little less like the depths of hell.

Now that we've had that little pep talk, I think we're ready.

Skillet Jalapeno Cornbread
Adapted from Taylor Takes a Taste, which she calls "Perfect Cornbread," and she's not kidding!

1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter, plus another 1/4 cup for the pan (I suggest using salted butter)
1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels
1 Tbsp chopped jalapeno

Get your grill ready, aiming for 400 degrees F (or preheat your oven....). Put the cast iron pan on the grill to heat up while you make the batter.Whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder and spices together. Add wet ingredients and stir until just combined, then add the corn and jalapeno. When ready to bake, put the remaining 1/4 cup of butter into the skillet and swirl to coat the pan. Immediately add batter and place back on the grill. Bake for about 30 minutes, depending on the temperature (we had ours around 425 degrees and it took almost 30 minutes). The middle should be just set (not liquid-y, but not dry).

The butter will bubble up over the batter once it's poured in. And not to boast, but I'm pretty sure I should be a hand model. 

Voila, we have cornbread! It's TV magic in blog form! 

This makes a pretty spicy cornbread to average folks, so use less (or more!) jalapeno depending on what you like.

Just doin' the dishes old school style, using a puddle in the yard. Disregard the basketball hoop laying in the driveway. And the flour hand print on my butt (it is my own THANK YOU VERY MUCH). 

Have a wonderful storm-free day!

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