Gloria Bernstein’s Nine Days Jalapeno Corn Bread Kugel

All the way back in 1997, I spotted this recipe for cheesy cornbread in the New York Daily News. It was submitted by reader Gloria Bernstein, who says that she likes to make it during the Nine Days. Actually, she says that she like to break her fast after Tisha B’Av with it, along with a bowl of tomato soup and a salad. I don’t know that I would want to eat tomato soup and spicy cornbread after a fast, but soup, salad and cornbread sounds like an easy delicious meal. I like to serve the cornbread with tomato salad, made with large beefsteak tomatoes.

What makes this cornbread special is the use of fresh corn, a confetti of minced red pepper and jalapeno, and some sour cream and cheddar cheese. It is rich, moist, cheesy–more of a casserole or main dish kugel than a bread.

Gloria Bernstein’s Nine Days Jalapeno Corn Bread Kugel
Adapted from a recipe in the New York Daily News, The After Five Column, as submitted by Gloria Bernstein. The recipe says that it makes one small loaf, but the original photo accompanying the article showed Gloria holding a casserole dish. I also make this in a small (8″x10″) casserole. This isn’t really bread so much as a dairy casserole/kugel that you serve as a vegetarian main course.

2/3cup vegetable or canola oil (I have tried reducing the oil and found it better to use the full amount)
2eggs, lightly beaten
8 ounces low-fat or nonfat sour cream or yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
Kernels from 1-3 ears of fresh steamed corn (I cut off corn from two uncooked ears of corn)
2 Tbl. minced onion
2 Tbl.chopped bell pepper
1 1/2 to 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped (I used one)
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 to 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese (I used 2 ounces of reduced cheddar)

Combine oil, egg, sour cream, corn, onion, red pepper and jalapeno in a mixing bowl. In another bowl, combine the cornmeal, salt and baking powder. Add the cornmeal mixture to the egg/oil/sour cream mixture. Stir just to combine, leaving a few lumps (as with pancake batter, it is best not to overmix).

Put half the batter in an ungreased loaf pan or small casserole. Sprinkle over the cheese and then spread over the remaining batter. Bake the cornbread at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes, or until golden brown on top and set in the center. Cool at least ten minutes before serving either warm or at room temperature. It tastes best warm. Delicious with thick slices of tomato.

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