RECIPE: Cast Iron Pepperjack Cornbread

Tonight was a chicken tortilla soup and cornbread night. I had the house smelling good when my husband came home from work and he was happy. Smells always link you up to good memories, especially memories of home. That is something I hope I leave behind some day, that I made our house a home for him.   Anyway, I can’t even begin to tell you about all my trial and errors with cornbread. For years I made people suffer through some really bad cornbread for the simple reason that it was a family recipe and I feel like family recipes are always more meaningful and special. Well folks, let me tell ya – family recipes aren’t always that special, especially when they just aren’t tasty. I finally admitted it, and even though I still keep my beloved great-aunts cornbread recipe in my cookbook, alas I shall never bake it again. What I finally have is a terrific recipe and I want to share it with you! (Whoever you are). I personally love love diced jalepenos and whole kernel sweet corn in my cornbread. Tonight I discovered that I did not have any peppers, but I did have Pepperjack cheese. Most people love cheese in their cornbread, and I figured this would be the best of both worlds since Pepperjack cheese has the peppers in it. And it turned out GOOD!   PEPPERJACK CORNBREAD 1 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour 1 cup cornmeal 1/2 cup sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt, to taste 1 1/4 cups milk 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled* 1 large egg 1 cup freshly shredded (from a block) Pepperjack cheese.   Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 9″ square or round pan (I made mine in a cast iron skillet – make sure to preheat your skillet in the oven while the oven preheats), or 12 muffin cups. 1) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 2) Stir in your desired herbs, Pepperjack cheese, corn kernels, or other flavorings. 3) In another bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the milk, melted butter, and egg. 4) Pour the liquid all at once into the flour mixture, stirring quickly and gently until just combined. 5. Spread the batter into the prepared hot skillet, or scoop into the muffin tin. 6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the edges just begin to pull away from the pan and a cake tester or paring knife inserted in the center comes out clean. 7. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 5 minutes before cutting; serve warm.

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