Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cheese and Pepper Cornbread

In summer, I often dress up my cornbread with fresh corn, cut right from the cob. At this time of year, I still like to dress up the cornbread, but with other ingredients. For this recipe I chose cheddar cheese and sweet fire-roasted red peppers.

If you want something spicy, you could of course use hot peppers. But since this was intended to be served with some spicy chili, it make more sense to make the cornbread sweet and mild, Besides adding extra flavor and texture, the bright red peppers and the orange cheese look darned pretty, too.

This isn't a super-sweet cornbread, nor is it crumbly - it holds together well. The measurements for the cheddar and red peppers don't have to be exact - use more or less, as you desire.

Cheese and Pepper Cornbread

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more for the pan
2 ounces cheddar cheese, cut in small cubes
1/2 cup fire roasted red pepper, cut in medium dice

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees with a cast iron frying pan in the oven.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

In a small bowl, combine the eggs, milk, sour cream, and vegetable oil. Whisk to combine.

Remove the pan from the oven, add about 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan, and swirl it around to coat the pan. Return the pan to the oven.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine. It's fine if there are a few lumps. Add the cheese and pepper, and stir to distribute them.

Remove the pan from the oven and pour the cornbread batter in. Return it to the oven and bake at 400 degrees until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean - about 25 minutes.

Remove the cornbread from the pan and let it cool on a rack. Or, if you prefer, you can cut it and serve it directly from the pan.