Thursday, May 24, 2007

Corn bread is corn bread is corn bread?

Tonight I made green onion and smoked white cheddar corn muffins. Unfortunately, the cheddar didn't come through much (though the muffins are slightly smoky), but they're still delicious. (UPDATE: Holy heck - after cooling and sitting overnight, these are some freaking flavorful muffins. The cheese is a lot more noticeable, and my whole house smells like onions. Yum!) I've always preferred savory food in the mornings to sweet, so I plan on grabbing on or two on the way out the door to work tomorrow.

I generally rely on the sweeter corn bread recipe that my trusty Betty Crocker provides, but I had a saltier, more buttery flavor in mind for what I wanted with these, so I tried the "Southern Buttermilk Corn Bread" recipe. It was exactly what I needed. If I want honey soaked into my corn bread, I'll stick with the sweeter recipe, or even if I want some sweetness to counteract the spice of jalapenos, I'll use it. Oddly, the sweeter recipe is the one that actually has butter in it, but it's the buttermilk recipe where amore buttery flavor comes through. I've edited the recipes below to better reflect how I actually make it, but both are from the Betty Crocker book.

Corn Bread

1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups yellow corn meal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Heat oven to 400F. Grease sides of or place paper cups into each space of a muffin tin.

2. Beat milk, butter an d egg in al arge bowl with hand beater of wire whisk. Stir in remaining ingredients all at once just until flour is moistened (batter will be lumpy). Pour into pan.

3. Bake 20-25 minutes or until folden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out lclean. Serve warm if desired.

Southern Buttermilk Corn Bread

1 1/2 cups yellow corn meal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups shaken buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs

1. Heat oven to 450F. Grease sides or place paper cups into spaces in muffin tin.

2. Mix all ingredients. Beat vigorously for 30 seconds, pour into pan.

3. Bake about 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Adding extras (jalapenos, grated cheese, bacon, ham, berries) is your option. I've thought once or twice of putting large dollops of jam onto each muffin, like corn muffin thumbprint cookies. If I ever get around to it, I'll report back!
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