Corn seems to be our "vegetable" of choice this summer. As I mentioned that to my 14 year old son last night he proceeded to tell me, "Mom... everyone knows that corn is not a vegetable, it is a fruit." I guess somewhere back in the remote regions of my mind I knew that, but it still seems to fall into the vegetable category for me when I think of meal planning.
As my son and I continued our conversation he pulled out the lap top and proceeded to explain that my mistake was not uncommon. For instance, tomatoes, peppers, snap peas, cucumbers and eggplants are all fruits that are commonly referred to as vegetables. Something about the fruit having a seed, he said. 8th grade science had covered this subject, and well, I guess he was listening!
As such, I will restart my post: Corn seems to be our "fruit" of choice this summer! Our menus have featured it in salads, side dishes, soups and now bread. This bread was featured on July 19th in The Cilatropist's post Cheesy Jalapeño Cornbread and immediately caught my eye. Anything spicy and with a Mexican flair is usually a hit with my husband, and this spicy, cheesy, cornbread was no different.
Originally posted by Epicurious, I slightly adapted the two recipes for a bread that worked for me. I can't help myself in looking for ways to reduce fat and calories in most recipes, and I was able to cut a few calories here by reducing the oil and cheese content. The original recipe calls for 1 cup of milk and did not specify if whole milk was recommended, so I used the fat free milk I had in the fridge. I also upped the spice a bit by adding finely diced jalapeños directly to the batter.
With two recipe requests and frequent "Wow, this is great!" comments from the many friends who sampled it, I would definitely call this bread a hit. With it's easy portability and tastiness even when reheated in a warm oven, this "fruit" bread will remain on our frequent use list.
Manchego Jalapeño Cornbread
adapted from The Cilantropist & Epicurious
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 - 2 Tbs fresh jalapeño, finely diced
½ cup fresh corn kernels, grilled and removed from cob
1 cup + 2 Tbs fat free milk
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup pickled sliced jalapeño peppers
½ cup Manchego cheese, grated
Serve with honey butter if desired.
Preheat oven to 400º F. Spray an 8 inch square baking pan with cooking spray.
Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add the fresh corn kernels to the dry ingredients and stir to distribute evenly.
In another bowl combine the minced jalapeño with the milk, oil and eggs, whisking to mix well. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Distribute the pickled jalapeño slices over the top of the batter and sprinkle evenly with the Manchego cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean and the cheeses are a golden brown. Serve warm, or cool on a wire rack until ready to serve.
Note: Honey butter was a nice addition to the bread! To make honey butter simply take softened butter and sweeten with honey. Stir, place into a serving container and chill.