Once the cornbread is completely cooled, cut in half horizontally and then into 3/4-inch cubes. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Turn with a spatula and bake until firm and lightly toasted, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let cool and harden.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, corn, salt, and cayenne and cook, stirring, until very soft, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeno, stir to mix, and cook for 1 minute. Add the cheese and cream and cook gently over low heat, stirring, until the cheese melts and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and pour into a decorative bowl, surrounded by the cornbread cubes. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Pour the oil into a 9-inch cast-iron skillet or round pan, and preheat in the oven.
In a small bowl, combine the cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking soda. In a large bowl, combine the starter, buttermilk, eggs and butter, and blend well. Add the dry ingredients, and stir until combined without overmixing. Remove the hot skillet from the oven. Pour the batter into the hot skillet and bake until golden, 25 to 30 minutes.
Basic Sourdough Starter:
In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, and sugar. Let sit until the yeast becomes foamy, about 5 minutes. (If the yeast does not foam, discard the mixture and begin again with a new yeast.)
Add the flour and stir vigorously to work air into the mixture. Cover with a towel let rest in a warm, draft-free place (an oven with its pilot light or light bulb turned on works well) for 8 to12 hours. (The mixture should become very bubbly.) Use immediately or cover loosely with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.
Preserving the Starter: Each time you remove a portion of the starter for a recipe, reserve at least 1/4 cup and replace the amount you have taken out with equal amounts of flour and water.
For example, if you remove 1 cup of starter, you must replace it with 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of warm water. Whisk these ingredients into the starter until blended but not completely smooth, cover loosely, and return to the refrigerator.
Also, the starter must be maintained by feeding it every few days. Refresh by removing 1 cup of the starter (give to a friend or discard it) and adding 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of warm water. Whisk until blended but not smooth. Cover loosely and return to the refrigerator.
If you plan to be away longer than a week, freeze the starter in a sterilized, airtight freezer container. Thaw the starter 2 days before you plan to bake with it. Refresh as indicated above with 1 cup each of flour and warm water. Cover and leave at room temperature 12 hours or overnight before using.
CAUTION: Never keep your starter tightly closed! The gasses expelled by the yeast will build up pressure and may cause the container (such as a glass jar) to burst!