The worst insult that any can give your cornbread in the South is that it's "just a little dry." No one will ever say that about my version. I've packed with good stuff like buttermilk, local honey, and best of all, smoked cheddar. The smoked cheddar gives the cornbread an authentic quality that's missing in many bacon-grease-less cornbread recipes.
Smoked Cheddar and Jalapeño Cornbread
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup smoked cheddar
1/8 cup minced jalapeño (1 large, optional)
1/4 cup butter + 1 tablespoon
2 tablespoons local honey
2 eggs (beaten)
1 cup buttermilk
Place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet into a cold oven and preheat it to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal,
all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, cheddar, and jalapeño. In a medium bowl, melt 1/4 cup of the butter. Add the honey, eggs, and buttermilk to the melted butter and whisk.
Next, add the wet ingredients to the dry. Stir until just incorporated. Using a sturdy, reliable oven mitt, carefully remove the hot cast-iron skillet from the oven and place it onto a trivet. Place the remaining tablespoon of butter into the skillet and swirl it or use a silicone brush to coat the bottom of the pan. Pour the batter into the pan and place the pan into the oven for twenty to twenty-five minutes. Run a knife around the edge and turn the cornbread out onto a cutting board. Serve hot with beans and black eyed peas.