Ooh, I do like good cornbread. And this qualifies as really good cornbread, no matter how you shake it up. Dorie Greenspan's recipe for Savory Corn and Pepper muffins has good bones, so add or take away mix ins and it's still going to work out great. At my house, the two little charges turn up their young noses at bits of jalapeno and red bell pepper in their corn muffins. It was easy enough to churn out a plain batch of Dorie's recipe, sans the spices and lovely bits that the Quiet Man and I would have enjoyed. Sniff, sniff. So after I'd made a wee batch and popped it into a 24 cup mini muffin pan, I felt a little deprived of all the savory add ins. Rather than wallow, which I often do if deprived of food, I simply topped half of the muffins with about 1/4 teaspoon each sour cream, green chilies, and a bit of shredded Tillamook cheddar. Warm out of the oven, they tasted almost like short cut green chilie and cheese tamales. Make yourself a wee batch to perch on the side of your soup bowl, or better yet, next to your Super Bowl serving of chili. Be sure to leave a few plain ones, if you've got your own little charges. I love it when I can make everyone happy. It doesn't happen often, but I sure love it when it does.
Money Saving Tips: Making Cornbread from Scratch is super inexpensive and fairly easy, too. If you don't have buttermilk on hand, squeeze a teaspoon of lemon into a half cup measure; fill to the top with milk and let stand for ten minutes.
A Plain Half Batch of Dorie's Recipe:
Estimated Cost: $1.50 for 24 minis
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons butter, melted, and cooled
1 egg yolk
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a mini muffin pan with 24 paper cups, or coat the cups with cooking spray. Combine dry ingredients in medium bowl. In small bowl, combine buttermilk, butter, and egg yolk. Gently fold into dry ingredients. Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full. Top some muffins with 1/4 teaspoon each green chilies, sour cream and cheddar cheese.
A Post Holiday Confession