1/4 cup bacon grease or vegetable oil
2 cups cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
5 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
2 tablespoons minced jalapeño
Roasted garlic (recipe below)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place the bacon grease in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet to coat the sides and bottom evenly. Place skillet in oven to heat.
In a bowl, combine the cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper and mix well.
In another bowl, combine buttermilk, egg, melted butter, jalapeños and mashed roasted garlic. Add to dry ingredients and stir to mix well.
Remove the hot skillet from the oven and carefully swirl to evenly distribute the hot grease. Quickly pour the cornmeal batter into the skillet and bake until firm and golden brown on top, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Let sit for 5 minutes and cool. Cut into wedges and serve hot, with butter on the side.
To roast garlic:
3 heads garlic
2 teaspoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut the top quarter from the heads of garlic and place, cut side up, on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle each with oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
Turn the garlic cut sides down and roast until the cloves are soft and golden brown, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let sit until cool enough to handle. Squeeze each head of garlic, gently pressing with your fingers to expel cloves into a small bowl. Mash with a fork and blend well.