Chile Cornbread with Chipotle Butter

This Caribbean pepper is famous for being the hottest chile pepper in the world. They come in a variety of shapes and colors (yellow, orange, green, red, chocolate). Not only are they extremely hot, but they also have a unique, distinctively fruity flavor. It is the key ingredient in the popular Jamaican Jerk sauce. The habanero is also widely used in many different types of hot sauces. The popularity of this chile pepper continues to grow and is becoming easier to find on the grocery shelf.

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For the Butter:
2 dried chipotle chiles
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 habanero chile (or chile of your liking), chopped
250g/8 oz unsalted butter, softened and cubed
Salt and pepper to taste

For the Cornbread:
2 jalapenos, finely sliced
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
325g or 1 1/3 c. (corn meal) polenta
100g (about 1/3 c.) plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
250ml (1 cup) buttermilk
2 eggs
2 corn on the cob, steamed till cooked and kernels removed
150g cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
2 tablespoons cottage cheese

Make the Butter:
Put the chipotles into a small bowl and pour enough boiling water over them to completely cover. Set aside for 30 minutes. After soaking for 30 minutes, drain and discard the soaking liquid, deseed and take off any stems.

Put the re-hydrated chipotles into a food processor along with the rest of the ingredients and blitz until smooth.

Spoon the butter onto a piece of baking paper and roll it up into a log shape. twist the ends of the paper and put it in the freezer for 30 minutes. Take it out of the freezer and *cut it into portions, re-roll and return to the freezer and use as needed.

Make the Cornbread:
Preheat the oven to 200C (400F). Spray a 20 cm x 30 cm baking dish with cooking oil spray and line it with baking paper. Set aside.

Put the jalapenos into a small bowl and sprinkle with the vinegar and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

Combined the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, buttermilk, eggs and a good pinch of salt in a large bowl. Add the corn kernels, cheddar and cottage cheese and most of the jalapenos, reserving a few for sprinkling on top. Give it a good stir.

Pour the batter into the prepared dish and sprinkle the reserved jalapenos on top. Bake for 35 minutes until golden and done. Leave in the pan for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Serving with copious amount of the chipotle butter.