Side dishes don't have to be complicated, especially if you're investing in a more elaborate main dish. Sometimes all you need to do is spruce up a ready-mix of something to transform it into yumminess. Such is the case with cornbread. I've made cornbread from scratch, and then I found Jiffy brand cornbread mix is everything I'd ever want and more. So that's my standard. And you can whip up a cornbread loaf or muffins in...well, a jiffy!
I've used different spices, cheeses, chopped "stuff" added to the basic batter to make some delicious treats. A classic combination is cornbread-jalapeno-cheese. Simple. Divine. Using a nice spicy jalapeno and some good sharp cheddar will make the perfect accompaniment to that summer bbq or fall chili. And it takes literally minutes to prepare.
Jalapeno-Cheddar Cornbread Muffins
1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
1/3 cup milk
1 jalapeno small dice (seeded if you want it milder)
3/4 cup finely grated sharp cheddar cheese
freshly ground black pepper
Special equipment: 8 cupcake paper liners
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine the cornbread mix, milk, egg, jalapeno, cheese, and black pepper to taste in a bowl. Using a wire whisk works best for this. Let batter stand for 3 minutes before scooping so it can thicken up a bit. While batter rests, line your muffin tin with the cupcake liners. Scoop out the batter and divide evenly among the lined cups, filling each about 2/3 of the way full. Bake in center of oven about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Try it with my recipe for 3 Bean Autumn Chili.