I have returned from Mexico! Some friends and I headed south of Tucson until we hit the Pacific to get SCUBA open water certified. It was a great trip, and much needed after this semester. We camped on Himalaya Bay. We pitched our tents mere yards from the ocean (In the morning, I'd open the flap to see pelicans flying across the water's surface). We dove and snorkeled in crystal clear water, and encountered amazing sea life: eels, slugs, sting rays, fish, coral, sea cucumbers, crabs, urchins, jellyfish... We watched amazing sunsets. We gathered 'round the campire at night. Suffice it to say, I did not want to come back to landlocked Arizona.
The water really was that blue... I've got a fever in this 100-something-degree weather, and the only prescription is more ocean. I also really, really, really want a fancy underwater camera case that I cannot afford in the foreseeable future. It's a whole other world beneath the surface. A photo could never capture the true wonder and tranquility of swimming at depth, but I wish I could share just a little piece of it with you.
I made this recipe for a going-away-dinner for our dear friend Emily, who is too smart and fancy to hang around Tucson anymore and is headed to Princeton. Emily can be sweet, corny, and spicy (red head - the girl has some sass) and loves beer, so this Jalapeño Beer Cornbread with a Honey Glaze seemed only fitting for my ex-neighbor. I also recently found these nifty cast iron pans at the thrift store for only a few dollars, so this was a good excuse to take them for a test drive.
This cornbread is buttery, sweet, spicy, moist, and beer-y (just roll with it). What more could you ask for in a cornbread? Whole corn kernels, diced jalapeños, and a beer-butter-honey glaze -- Yes, please. The cornbread can be made in the oven or on the grill. If you are afraid of the spice, simply omit the peppers, but in my humble and open-minded opinion that would just be foolish. I used a Hefeweizen, but feel free to use your favorite beer, because you might have to drink the rest of it while the cornbread is cooking. Darn. This recipe is sure to reappear in my kitchen this summer. I hope you find it as delicious and satisfying.
adapted from Huffpost Living (Canada)
yields 1 10-inch round pan of cornbread
3 ears grilled corn kernels, or 1 cup of canned corn
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup of your favorite beer
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded, membrane removed, and finely diced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter
1/4. cup honey
1/4 cup of your favorite beer
Preheat oven to 425°F.
In a bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together eggs, milk, beer, jalapeños, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated. Add 1 cup of corn and enough extra beer (if necessary) to moisten batter.
Melt butter and coat entire inside of pan. Pour in batter.
Place pan in oven for 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove cornbread from oven and let cool in pan for 10 to 15 minutes. Unmold cornbread from pan. Brush all over with glaze. Serve.