1 large jalapeño
1 cup corn meal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 large egg
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly butter a 12-cup muffin tin — but 9 cups for large muffins or all the cups for smaller muffins. Cut jalapeño in half and scrape out seeds. Then thinly slice the pepper into half-round slivers.
In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the milk, egg, and melted butter. Fold in cheese and the jalapeño, reserving a few slivers of pepper to garnish the tops.
Divide batter between 9 or 12 muffin tins. Fill any empty muffin tins half-full with water for even baking. Top the muffins with a sliver or two of jalapeño.
Bake the muffins until golden brown, 20 to 24 minutes. A tester should come out clean from one of the center muffins.
Let the muffins cool briefly before removing from the tin and serving.