Sunday, May 30, 2010

Recipe: Honey Serrano Cornbread

What do you get when you pick a peck of pickled peppers?  Why, Honey Serrano Cornbread Muffins of course!  My serrano pepper plants were ready to harvest their first crop when I checked on our garden boxes on Friday.   I got five of the hot little ladies and I had visions of salsa swimming in my head.  But salsa can be a bit boring, so I decided to try something a little different: honey serrano cornbread!  Sybilla and I spent Saturday afternoon and evening with my parents and I requested fried fish for dinner.  Fried fish is also the perfect accompaniment for this cornbread recipe, but so would any Southern entree.

What makes this recipe so delightful is the contract between sweet and spicy.   I've always liked my cornbread sweet, so using honey within the recipe adds a depth to the sweetness that regular sugar just can't add.  And you can adjust the spice to suit your needs; in this case, I removed all the veins and seeds and we still had a subtle level of heat that was pleasing and comfortable.

Photobucket

Honey Serrano Cornbread Muffins
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup AP flour
1 TBSP baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 c sugar
1 cup milk or buttermilk
1/4 c honey
1/8 cup canola oil
1 egg
2-3 serrano peppers, seeded, deveined and finely diced

1.  Preheat your oven to 425F and spray your muffin tin thoroughly with cooking spray.  Set aside.
2.  In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients together and mix well with your hands or a whisk.
3.  Add in the wet ingredients and combine until everything is just barely mixed.
4.  Throw in the serrano peppers and stir one more time to disperse them throughout the batter.
5.  Take the muffin tin and place it in the oven for one to two minutes to heat it up, but don't let it the cooking spray blacken!  Then, pull it out and pour in the batter.  Bake the muffins for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
6.  Flip them up and leave them in the pan to allow to cool for a couple of minutes before removing them and buttering the tops.  Enjoy!

Some food for thought...
  • If you don't have serrano peppers, you can use jalapenos instead.  The heat of a pepper is primarily contained in the veins and the seeds, so if you like more heat, you can leave those in, otherwise, discard them.  You will still have a little bit of heat even after removing the veins and seeds, but it's very mild. 
  • This recipe is derived from the one on the back of the cornmeal package I used.  My family has used Lamb's cornmeal for years since it's a Texan brand; if you can't find it where you live, I strongly suggest you use whatever cornmeal is local to your state.  Support local grown!  (And no, I wasn't paid to plug Lamb's.  I just really like their cornmeal!)
  • If you're not doing corn muffins, take note: there is a slightly different method for baking the cornbread.  The original recipe instructs you to place the oil in the pan you'll be baking in, then put it in the oven to get good and hot for about five minutes.  Once you've done that, you pull it out and pour in the batter, then bake til golden brown.  You don't mix the oil in the batter if you opt for cornbread instead of corn muffins.  Whichever way you choose, it's yummy!
Happy Baking~
Kelly

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