It’s a tough balance at the moment between writing posts that are relatively timeless and acknowledging that the reason we’re cooking and baking so much at the moment is because of a pandemic that’s forcing people all over the world to stay home. One of the things we’ve really been missing is eating out, so we’ve been trying to bring some of our favourite dishes into the home, resorting one weekend to actually having an NYC themed weekend complete with homemade pizza, bagels and a DIY dive bar in the living room.
One of the dishes that’s been missed, but relatively simply to replicate at home, was the jalapeño cornbread from Caravan in London. It’s a versatile cornbread, perfect as a side, a snack or as we served it, for brunch; fried, covered in chipotle butter, spring onions and fried egg.
A good cornbread recipe shouldn’t be difficult. It’s a simple mixture of polenta/corn flour (not cornflour, that’s a whole different thing), sweetcorn and jalapeño peppers. The main recipe simply calls for spring onions (scallions) mixed through, but if you replace some of that with chopped jalapeño peppers it gives an excellent spicy kick.
We serve this with a simple chipotle butter, just like the one they do at Caravan. You can find the recipe for both in their cookbook, but we only had chipotle paste to hand rather than chipotle chillis themselves, and it worked just as well with that.
Caravan’s Jalapeño Cornbread
- 60 g butter melted
- 3 eggs
- 400 ml milk
- 170 g polenta
- 80 g strong white bread flour
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 spring onion thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp jalapeño peppers from a jar, chopped*
- 150 g sweetcorn kernals tinned**
- Preheat your oven to 220°C(200°C fan assisted). Grease and line a 23x13x7cm loaf tin with baking paper.
- Combine the polenta, bread flour, caster sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
- Whisk together the eggs and milk then pour in the melted butter and keep whisking until they’re combined.
- Pour in the wet ingredients and mix until they’re just combine. Be careful not to overmix at this point, but make sure there are no dry patches.
- Stir through the spring onions, jalapeño peppers and sweetcorn.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
- Transfer the tin to the middle shelf of your preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes.
- At this point, lower the temperature to 200°C(180°C fan assisted) and bake for another 20-25 minutes. It should be golden brown on top and a skewer inserted into the middle will come out clean.
- Place the tin on a wire rack and leave to cool for 5 minutes before turning the loaf out and leaving to cool completely.