Fresh Ideas: Family classic cornbread recipe uses spicy jalapeños

Photo by Helana Brigman  --  Sweet and Spicy Cornbread With Jalapeños makes a welcome addition to the family meal. Show caption
Photo by Helana Brigman -- Sweet and Spicy Cornbread With Jalapeños makes a welcome addition to the family meal.

When I talk with Louisiana residents about our year-round growing season, a lot of vegetables come to mind: winter greens, spring onions, late summer zucchini and my favorite — sweet corn most often found during warm summer months.

Sweet and starchy, corn is one of those versatile ingredients that can be used for sweet or savory dishes. Add grilled kernels to a salad for a warm, but sugary crunch. Or, purée corn with cream and butter to prepare a rich bisque.

Of course, you’ll want to check with your local farmers to see when they’ll expect their first harvest of corn this summer, but you can expect to see sweet ears of Louisiana corn at many roadside stands and markets beginning in May.

For today’s recipe, I’d like to share with readers an improvised family classic that pairs spicy jalapeños with sweet summer corn. During cold winter months, there’s nothing I miss more than my grandmother’s fresh cornbread baked inside a cast-iron skillet. Use a heavy dose of sugar and precooked corn to create a cakelike cornbread that is moist and won’t crumble.

Running low on time? Bake a store-bought box of cornbread mix and prepare according to manufacturer’s instructions. Add shredded cheddar cheese and jalapeños.

Helana Brigman is a food writer, photographer and cookbook author. She can be reached at http://clearlydeliciousfoodblog.com or via email at hbrigm1@tigers.lsu.edu.