Place cornmeal in a mixing bowl and season with a little salt. Add cheese and jalapeno or pepper. Toss with fingertips to combine.
In a saucepot, heat milk but do not boil. Melt in butter then stir into cornmeal and cheese mixture. Let stand about 15 minutes to cool.
Place a bowl of warm water near a mixing bowl and cover a baking sheet with parchment. With moistened fingers, form 3-inch balls of the cornmeal mixture. Pat each ball into corn cakes about half an inch thick. (Make 4 large balls for entrée size or 8 small balls for appetizer size)