In my humble opinion, taste is everything.  I like sparkling over subtle, innovative over obvious.  And of course, the hotter the better.  This preference for extra-spicy everything manifests itself boldly in both my personality and my cuisine. 

I am also completely obsessed with corn – sweet corn soup, summer corn ravioli, grilled corn salad, fried corn fitters, I could expound endlessly in the marvels of maize…    Needless to say, when I encountered a paring of my favorites in Barefoot Contessa’s recipe for Jalapeno-Cheddar Cornbread I knew that the medley of corn + spice would become an instant go-to recipe. 


The Barefoot’s spin on the Southern classic is, like everything else she creates, superb.  Where it lacks in elegance, it shines in flavor – the cheddar evens out the sweetness of the corncake, while the jalapenos add delectable pizzazz.  It’s also a wonderfully versatile complement to main courses: I serve this cornbread with everything from hearty winter chili to tangy seared ahi salad.  If you aren’t sure about your guests’ tastes, honey butter (1 stick butter + 4 tablespoons honey) serves as the perfect embellishment to mellow the spice. 

The best part of spoiling yourself with this crowd-pleasing carb indulgence?  It is practically diet fare – I’m told that spicy foods serve as a natural metabolism enhancer that can shed up to ten pounds off your frame per year!  xx tt

Recipe – adapted from Barefoot Contessa


·  3 cups all-purpose flour

·  1 cup yellow cornmeal

·  ¼ cup sugar

·  2 tablespoons baking powder

·  2 teaspoons kosher salt

·  2 cups milk

·  3 extra-large organic eggs

·  2 sticks unsalted butter (plus more to grease pan)

·  8-ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese

·  3 scallions

·  3 jalapenos


·  Preheat oven to 350 degrees

·  Butter a 9 x 13 baking pan

·  Chop scallions (white + green parts, except for the top third of the green portion)

·  Cut jalapenos in half, then de-seed them with your fingers under running water (DO NOT TOUCH YOUR EYES UNTIL YOU HAVE WASHED YOUR HANDS SEVERAL TIMES)

·  Mince jalapenos

·  Grate cheese

·  In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder

·  Beat eggs lightly

·  In a separate bowl, combine eggs, milk, and melted butter (microwave butter for 1 minute to melt)

·  With a wooden spoon, stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture until most of the lumps are dissolved

·  Mix in cheese, jalapenos, and scallions

·  Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes

·  Pour mixture into greased pan

·  Bake 30-35 minutes