Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Ultimate Corn Bread Bread Recipe, Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread from the Lake Country.

I love the ocean but I also love the mountains and with the mountains I love a lake.  A lake unlike the sea is usually a contained and fathomable body of water. It sit's mirror-like in it's relation to the land around it. Playing with light and wind a lake can have many shapes, colors and moods. And like the ocean give the senses a shower of wonderful sensations.

Generally a lake is gentle and calm and shows day's colors and hews with it's prism of colors, sort of like paint on a canvas. I like to think a lake as a backdrop to life's more relaxing moments. While the ocean in turn demands my complete attention and pushes me to honor it's power. A lake takes from me the burden of life I bring to it's shore and says lie with me and rest awhile.

It is maybe part of the old dialogue between which is more attractive to one's soul and senses, the sea or the mountains. I for one can never decide for they both bring such different feelings into my world and life.

Lakes and mountains offer up living and recreation which seems to center around a frontier born sense of a camping, woodsy mentality.

The Lake and the Mountains speak to me not solely of Summer but also of the coming change in seasons.  And with the Fall almost upon us and my sense of life drawing in upon itself. Like the gathering in of crops or the light retreating slowly in the late Summer sky. I turn my focus towards the colors of the autumnal table and feeling of comfort that it affords.

I found myself last year in the Adirondack Mountains on Lake Placid to be precise. Enjoying the tables bounty of  brook trout and summer salads fresh from the local farms. Crisp air and clear water and lots of sunshine marked our days and delicious meals and wine marked our nights.

It was a good time. Lakes are a reminder for me of times in my youth and my past as well as a companion in times present.

Recently my friend Fred Tessler ( of the Denver Tesslers), shared with me a recipe for cornbread that he got from a lake retreat of his own. Seems a dear girl friend of his has a family lake house up in the lake country of Minnesota. This family would as part of their tradition host a fish fry on fridays of every week they would be at the lake house. As part of the meal they prepared cornbread amongst other dishes to go with the fish fry. He asked for the recipe and has used it ever since.

This cheddar cornbread is perhaps the best I have ever made. I had it the first time when Fred had me over to dinner one day. Then he made it with me at my place. It is somewhat set but open to personal interpretation as I noted during his preparation of the cornbread in my kitchen that day. I took this recipe and ran with it and have decided that it will forever be my go to cornbread recipe.

It is very similar to my previous recipes emulating the cornbread at Bandera Grill and Rutherford Grills respectively, but just that much better. And it's gluten free which makes it really interesting for folks trying to cut that out of their diets. But not to worry it is rich and moist and incredible. Cheesey and cake-like it IS the starter to a meal as well as an incredible side dish. It's so good it doesn't need butter.

So here make this cornbread is all I can say. It has Midwestern flavors and Southern soul. Enjoy Ya'll.

Forrest's Best-ever Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread Recipe

2 eggs
1 cup Cornmeal ( yellow or white)
1 cup creamed corn from a can
1 cup or so freshly shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 fresh jalapenos finely diced ( this is spicy if you want less heat use less or omit)


Preheat ove to 400 degrees

Mix all dry ingredients together including cheese
Add buttermilk, creamed corn and oil
Mix well

Pour into a heated medium cast iron pan or a 9x9 baking dish

Bake 30 mins till golden brown do not over bake.

Serve warm, slice and enjoy, this tastes best right out of the oven.