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.