Corn Muffins: Load 'Em Up!
I love foods that are portable, cover a few food groups, and are delicious. You may see a thread running through some of my baked good recipes, which is that while I love a good sweet once in a while, my true love is in the land of savory.
Muffins have never been my thing. I don’t mind making them and I make them pretty well, but for a breakfast treat, I’ll take a popover, quiche, frittata or egg sandwich any day. However, if a savory bread element is needed to round out a meal, I will always turn to a solid cornbread, cornstick, or corn muffin. And I prefer the muffins loaded. Loaded with what, you ask? Here’s the part where I get to preach about possibility and trying new combinations of flavors, using what you have on hand! Yay!
Here are a few things I’ve put in my loaded corn muffins over the years: cheeses of all varieties (gruyere, cheddar, blue cheese crumbles, parmesan, pecorino, asiago, smoked gouda); alliums of all varieties (scallions, sautéed and finely minced leeks/vidalia/red onions/garlic); seasonal veggies (coarsely grated, salted, and squeezed summer squash, roasted red pepper, grilled corn, minced leftover broccoli); and any freshly minced herbs you’d like to use.
So, there is a basic recipe to give you a base, then it’s up to you to go for it and load them up! I give some basic measurements, but you can experiment. As a rule, try not to add any extra moisture once your batter is mixed. So keep things less liquid and dry your veggies off before stirring them in.
As always, I use my beloved Bob’s Red Mill cornmeal and gluten free flour mix (or King Arthur, if gluten is your friend). If you don’t have buttermilk, try the replacement suggested below. In a pinch, add a squeeze of lemon juice to regular milk and let it sit for a few till it looks curdled. Gross, but delicious. These muffins can almost fill in for a meal on the run. They are great for a picnic or lunch box. Your savory friends and family members will love you.
Loaded Corn Muffins
Makes 12 large muffins (or a million mini-muffins. I truly have no idea!)
1 cup of GF flour (or regular)
1 cup of coarse cornmeal (see above)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of dried mustard powder
1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
2 large eggs
6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
1 cup of buttermilk (or 1/2 cup yogurt mixed with 1/2 cup milk)
1/4 cup minced fresh chives
1/2 cup of roasted red pepper from a jar, drained, patted dry, and finely diced
1/2 cup of grated asiago cheese
1/2 cup of cooked (grilled is best) corn, cut off the cob
Fix up a 12-muffin tin with paper liners (for large muffins). Heat the oven the 375. Sift or whisk the dry ingredients together in a big bowl. In a smaller bowl, beat the eggs and then add the melted butter, still mixing. Add the buttermilk last and make sure the mixture is combined well. Dump the wet into the dry ingredients and give a quick stirring to mix. Add the chives, red pepper, cheese and corn and mix only until just combined. Use an ice cream scoop to fill the muffins. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a wooden tester comes out dry and they are lovely and brown and spring back a little when you poke them gently.