Jalapeño cornbread with charred spring onion soured cream
- February 2016
- 150g coarse cornmeal
- 280ml buttermilk
- 1½ tbsp clear honey
- 50g plain flour
- 3 spring onions, finely sliced
- 200g tin sweetcorn, drained and rinsed
- 1-2 jalapeño chillies, finely chopped
- 100g extra-mature cheddar, grated
- ½ heaped tsp fine salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 large free-range eggs, beaten
- 80g unsalted butter
For the soured cream
- 6 spring onions, halved
- Vegetable oil for rubbing
- 300ml soured cream
- Large handful fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
- Grated zest 1 lime and juice ½
- Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat. Toast the cornmeal in the pan, tossing occasionally, until fragrant. Transfer half the toasted cornmeal to a mixing bowl, then add the buttermilk and honey. Mix well, then leave to soak for 2-3 hours.
- Heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7. Add the remaining cornmeal, the flour, spring onions, sweetcorn, jalapeños, grated cheese, salt, baking powder, bicarb and eggs to the soaked cornmeal and mix well.
- Melt the butter in a heavy-based ovenproof 20cm frying pan and let it foam and start to brown, swirling it to coat the pan. Tip the excess into the cornbread mix and stir in.
- Pour the mixture into the buttered frying pan, then transfer to the oven for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4 and bake for 20 minutes more or until the top is golden and set. Cool until just warm.
- Meanwhile, make the soured cream. Put a frying pan over a high heat until smoking hot. Rub the spring onions with a little oil, season with salt and pepper, then add to the pan. Cook for 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until well charred. Put the soured cream in a bowl, snip in the charred spring onions, then stir in the coriander, lime zest and juice. Season well. Serve wedges of cornbread with the soured cream for spreading or dunking
You can buy coarse cornmeal in larger supermarkets or in Caribbean, Italian or American food shops. If you can’t find it, use polenta instead (not the instant kind).
Fresh jalapeños vary in heat, so taste one before adding more. If you can’t find them, use regular green chillies or pickled jalapeños, patted dry with kitchen paper.
Make the cornbread up to 24 hours ahead and keep cool, wrapped in foil. Char the onions up to 12 hours in advance and keep covered in the fridge.
Freeze the cornbread, wrapped in cling film and foil, for up to 1 month. Defrost completely, then warm in a low oven to serve.
Something hoppy to take on the chillies: Brew Dog’s 3.8% Dead Pony Club (£1.75 for 330ml, Sainsbury’s) is like sticking your head in a bucket of hops – and that’s a good thing. The toasted malts handle the soured cream, too.
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