Sunday, August 21, 2011

Dinosaur BBQ Jalapeno Cornbread

I'd been craving cornbread since I made blueberry butter. Then, my husband had planned to go to Dinosaur Bar B Que in NYC, which is the sister restaurant of the wildly popular original in Syracuse, NY. We used to go there when I was in school, and it's an egalitarian paradise. It's where bikers, professors, and students co-mingle. And it's a great spot for vegetarians. I'm not kidding.

I had the pleasure of meeting the owner of the Dinosaur empire when they catered an event at the Syracuse U bookstore and he bought some books from me. But I digress. My husband's planned trip to Dinosaur in NYC convinced me to make something from the Dinosaur Bar B Que cookbook, and cornbread it was.
 The cookbook's called Dinosaur Bar B Que: An American Roadhouse by John Stage and Nancy Radke.

Dinosaur BBQ Honey-Jalapeno Cornbread (serves 9-12)
  • vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 C yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 C flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 C buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 C butter, melted
  • 2 jalapenos, finely diced
  • 1-2 Tbs honey
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8 x 8 baking dish with the shortening. Pop the dish in the oven while the oven heats up.
2. Mix together the dry ingredients: cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and melted butter. Once mixed well, stir in the jalapenos.
4. Mix together the dry and wet ingredients until just moistened. 
5. Pour the batter into the baking dish. Cook for 25-30 mins (took 20 in my oven). Bread is done when a toothpick comes out clean.
6. While the bread is still hot, drizzle the honey on the bread, and brush the honey over the top. After the bread has cooled 10 mins, it's ready to cut and enjoy. 

 Kitchen Notes: I had never made cornbread before, so I didn't deviate from the recipe. Now I'm ready for mix-ins. I'm thinking: cheddar, chipotle, chopped chives, or caramelized onions.

Verdict? The cornmeal I used came from a local farm, Moore Family Farm, and its ground was a lot coarser than cornmeal I've seen before. As a result, this is a slightly gritty, earthy tasting cornbread, but it works. The jalapenos don't add a lot of spice, but do contribute to the earthiness of the cornbread. It's not a very sweet variation, but the honey glaze adds a lot of depth. The vanilla is a crucial element of the flavor.

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