This week's project for "Tuesdays with Dorie" was Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins, chosen by Rebecca of Ezra Pound Cake. For the recipe, check out Rebecca's blog, or better yet, buy "Baking: From My Home to Yours" by the delightful Dorie Greenspan!
This turned into a bit of a "use it up" project. We didn't have a jalapeño pepper on hand, and the only sweet red pepper was chopped and frozen (though I'm sure that would have been fine). No fresh cilantro, either. I suppose I could have taken a quick drive up to the Mexican market in Sauk Prairie, and maybe even watched some bald eagles as well, but I didn't really feel like traveling on this cold Wisconsin day.
So I rummaged around to see what needed using up. The partly-used package of frozen corn held about 1/2 cup. OK, use that up. Leave out the red peppers because I didn't want to load these down with too much stuff. (Now that I've made them, I think they'd be great with lots of add-ins!) Here's about half a cup of grated cheddar cheese. All right, add that in too. How about 2 tablespoons of freeze-dried chives from Penzeys? I've been meaning to use those chives more often -- let's do it!
Other than that, I stayed with the recipe -- using 1 1/2 teaspoons of very mild home-grown chili powder plus a teensy-tiny pinch of super-duper-hot home-grown chile piquin powder. I reduced the sugar to 2 tablespoons -- just right for our tastes -- and the melted butter to 4 tablespoons. (Next time I'd use 6 tablespoons instead.)
This was more like a dough than a batter, about the same consistency as drop biscuits. Here they are spooned into the muffin tin:
And here they are after exactly 20 minutes in the oven:
Let's have dinner! Home-made lentil soup, corn muffins and red wine. Great for a winter evening!
These were excellent -- crunchy on the outside, tender and tasty on the inside. The cheddar and chive flavors were really subtle. The chili and corn were just right. I can see playing around with these -- one idea is to use more cheddar, cut into small chunks so you get little melty cheese bites here and there, with scallions instead of chives. How about some fresh chopped garlic tops in early spring? Hey, would roasted garlic be good? And I can't wait until late summer to try different varieties of home-grown peppers! I'm thinking the very mild Delicias jalapeños with sweet red Apple peppers, or the mildly hot red Beaver Dam bell peppers all by themselves.
Which reminds me, it's time to check our seed collection and order seeds...see you all next week!