I love cooking (and baking) with jalapenos. I know a lot of people avoid jalapenos because they’re afraid the jalapenos will be too spicy. And while jalapenos (or Texas pickles, as my father likes to call them) definitely up the level of spiciness in a dish, you can still do a lot to control the heat. More specifically, the majority of the capsaicin (the “spicy” compound found in many chili peppers) is found in the stems and seeds of jalapenos. So if you are concerned about spiciness, simply deseed and destem the jalapenos before adding them to your dish. Or if you like spicier foods, then leave some or all of the stems and seeds in…but just be careful as the heat really increases quickly! The point of all of this is that, aside from their spiciness, jalapenos have an incredible and unique flavor that greatly enhances many dishes.
I find diced jalapenos work well in breads and pizza dough. I usually leave some, but certainly not all, of the seeds in. I was in the mood for cornbread the other day, so I figured why not throw some jalapenos in this time. It tasted incredible! I baked the cornbread in a cast iron skillet, which created wonderfully crisp bottom and edges. And the flavor from the jalapenos was perfect! We sliced the cornbread up, and it was delicious next to a bowl of Vegetable Bean Soup. So the next time you crave cornbread, remember this recipe and add a couple of jalapenos to spice things up a bit!
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 jalapenos 2 diced finely and 2 sliced into rings (I removed most of the stems + seeds from my jalapenos.)
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter melted (plus 1 more Tbsp to grease pan)
- In a medium bowl, mix the buttermilk, oil, cornmeal, and flour together. Stir until well combined. Let sit for 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees with cast iron pan in the oven.
- Once the cornmeal mixture has rested, add eggs, baking powder, baking soda, salt, 2 diced jalapenos, and melted butter. Stir until well combined.
- Carefully remove the cast iron pan from the oven and grease the bottom and sides with 1 Tbsp of butter.
- Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.
- Pour batter into skillet. Lay rings of remaining 2 jalapenos on top of the batter.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.