Crispy on the bottom but moist on the inside, this easy skillet cornbread is kicked up with jalapeños, creamed corn, cheddar cheese and green onions, and is a family favorite.
You know how they say owners start to resemble their dogs—as evidenced here—I think the same thing may be happening to me, but with the food I eat.
Spicy and sweet…Yep, that’s me. Crispy on the outside but soft on the inside…Sure, I’ll admit to that. And, why yes, I do melt every time I come into contact with butter.
Just like the food I like to eat, I’m a contradiction in terms.
I’ve become a spicy-sweet, crispy on the outside but soft on the inside, better-with-butter humanoid version of…cornbread.
So does this mean I need to turn my bed into a cast iron skillet?
My mother in law, Pat, is a master at Southern cooking. As a little girl growing up in Arkansas and the second to youngest of 7 children, she would ask her her mom if she could help her cook but her mom was too busy putting from scratch food on the table for the large family to become a teacher too. “It was just easier for mother to do it herself,” so my MIL was more often shushed off to set the table instead.
But Pat paid attention. She watched. She learned from the sidelines. And she took those lessons through life to develop her own cooking style.
The other night Pat made this cornbread recipe for us. Unlike her mother, Pat is happy to share her how to’s in the kitchen, even when I ask a million questions and sometimes interject a few ideas of my own.
But Pat takes it all in stride. She knows her way is the best way, and her way always starts in true Southern form.
About the Recipe
The base of this cornbread is the simple part, and is basically the classic recipe from the side of the box of cornmeal. It’s the way Pat’s been baking it for years, so why go changing? The add-ins and the way it’s baked are what take it to the next level.
Basic cornbread is doctored up with jalapeño and green onion are added for spice and spunk with a splash of creamed corn added for moisture. Cheese is another key player. We used a medium cheddar but a colby would be tasty too.
Somewhere along the line, Pat had written down the jalapeño portion of the recipe in one of her notebooks. “Where did you get the recipe?” I asked. She couldn’t remember. It had just sounded good. I wonder if she saw it on Facebook. After a quick search online, I can be reasonably sure it was adapted from the always dependable Ina Garten.
After the basic cornbread has been doctored up, the real magic and Southern charm of this recipe happens when it’s baked in sizzling bacon drippings. I’d reserved a bit of drippings after making this dip recipe and this salad, so we had some on hand. Pre-heat a cast-iron pan with the bacon drippings and enough cornmeal to cover the bottom of the pan and bake until the cornmeal turns a light brown. Then, add the batter to the hot pan. Remember your hot pads!
You’ll never want to have cornbread any other way. The drippings and cornmeal combo create a crispy, crunchy bottom you won’t get any other way. If you don’t have drippings on hand, vegetable oil works too.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Cheddar and Jalapeño Skillet Cornbread
- 1 cup yellow corn meal plus 1-2 tablespoons
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1/3 cup canned creamed corn
- 2 green onions chopped
- 1 jalapeño seeded and chopped
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1-2 tablespoons bacon drippings or vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven to pre heat.
In a medium bowl, mix the 1 cup corn meal, flour, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl whisk the milk, butter and egg together. Add to the flour mixture and stir just until blended. Stir in the creamed corn, green onions, jalapeño and cheddar cheese.
Remove the hot skillet from the oven (use hot pads!) and add 1-2 tablespoons bacon drippings to the pan to melt. Sprinkle with 1-2 tablespoons corn meal or just until the bottom of the pan is covered. Place back in the oven (use hot pads!) and bake just until the cornmeal begins to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Add the batter to the skillet and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and the edges are pulling away from the side of the skillet. Serve warm or at room temperature.
More Corn for the Bread
There’s a plethora of favorite cornbread recipes to be found. Here are a few that just might take you back to your roots, too.
Honey Cinnamon Cornbread Muffins
Get the recipe | A Spicy Perspective
Kale Ceasar Salad with Cornbread Bits
Get the recipe | A Couple Cooks
Cheddar Cornbread Waffles with Fried Eggs and Queso
Get the recipe | How Sweet It Is
Honey Cornbread Pancakes
Get the recipe | Warm Vanilla Sugar
Breakfast Sausage and Cornbread Muffins
Get the recipe | Mountain Mama Cooks
Do tell! What’s your favorite way to eat cornbread?
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