This Southwestern-style recipe is a perennial favorite at the National Cornbread Festival.
- 8 slices bacon
- 2 tbsp. vegetable shortening
- 2 eggs
- 1 small yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 5 pickled jalapeños, stemmed, drained, and chopped
- 1 tbsp. jalapeño pickling juice
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1⁄4 tsp. ground cumin
- 1⁄4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups white cornmeal
- 1 1⁄3 cups buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 425°. Fry bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, turning once, until crisp, 10–15 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towels to let drain, pour rendered fat into a small bowl, and set skillet aside.
- Melt vegetable shortening and 2 tbsp. of the bacon fat together in skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, grease a 12-muffin tin with the remaining bacon fat and transfer to oven to let heat until hot.
- Crumble bacon and set aside. Lightly beat eggs in a large bowl. Add bacon, onions, jalapeños, jalapeño pickling juice, sugar, baking soda, salt, cumin, and pepper and beat well. Add cornmeal and buttermilk and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Pour the hot fat from the skillet into the batter and stir until just combined.
- Carefully remove muffin tin from oven and divide batter between the muffin cups. Bake muffins until lightly golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 15 minutes.