Thursday, March 5, 2009


Eddie Browning, who writes the food column for the New Bern Sun Journal, recently had a recipe for corn bread with smoked cheese and chilies. I loved the idea of chilies and cheese, but I prefer muffins, because I like to freeze the leftovers. Cornbread works better when you have a crowd and it will be eaten up the day you make it.
I halved the recipe, and played with it a little. I wanted some fresh corn in it, and I wanted to try evaporated milk for a flavor change. Instead of smoked cheese, which I didn't have, I used Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers, which I did have. I also wanted bacon in the muffins. I had a can of chilies in the pantry, but didn't want to open it for the little bit this recipe would use. So instead, I used some of the pickled peppers that Guy bought at the olive bar recently and chopped them.
First off, let me say that these muffins were delicious -- moist, tender, full of flavor. But not corn flavor. There wasn't a strong corn muffin flavor, and I'm blaming the evaporated milk. Since I bit into the muffin expecting a corn taste, I was a little let down. I also didn't taste any heat from the jalapeno peppers or the pickled peppers. Maybe the chilies would have been a better way to go. I was really wanting a kick from these muffins, so there was the second letdown. I'm going to give you the recipe, because I think it could be a good one. You can make it as is, or you can play with it and make it better. If you want to look at some other really good corn muffin recipes, try my other three higher-rated recipes.

Before I give you the recipe, let me share with you how I cook bacon. I line a cookie sheet with tinfoil, then place a wire rack over the foil, and lay the bacon strips on the rack. Into the oven (400F) for about 20-25 minutes, or till very crispy. I turn the strips over and spread them better, half way through, after they've shrunk. When they're done, I lay them on several thicknesses of papers towels to drain off any excess fat. When the fat that drains into the foil hardens, I fold up the tinfoil and discard it, fat and all. The rack washes easily.

Cheese, Corn & Bacon Corn Muffins
Adapted from Eddie Browning's Corn Bread with Smoked Cheese and Chilies
Rating: 7 out of 10

INGREDIENTS: 4-1/2 Tbsp. Smart Balance 50/50 Butter Blend
1 ear fresh corn, shaved and husk scraped
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup stone-ground cornmeal
1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 small can (5 oz.) evaporated milk (or regular milk)
1 Tbsp. honey
1 large egg
1/4 cup grated cheese of choice
1 Tbsp. chilies, chopped
1/4 cup crisp cooked and crumbled bacon
Preheat oven to 450F. Spray 6-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
In small skillet, saute the corn and scrapings in 1/2 Tbsp. SB over medium heat, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In large bowl, combine salt, peppers, flour, cornmeal, baking powder and sugar, whisking well. In small saucepan, combine remaining SB, milk and honey and heat till SB melts. Cool slightly.
Add egg to cooled milk mixture, whisking till frothy. Stir into flour mixture with spoon just till barely combined. Stir in cheese, chilies and bacon and cooled corn. Spoon into a 6-cup muffin tin, distributing batter evenly among the cups.

Place muffins in oven and immediately reduce heat to 375F. Bake about 18 minutes, or till muffins test done when a toothpick is inserted near center. Transfer to wire rack to cool or serve immediately. Yield: 6 muffins


Amanda said...

Those look great Judy!

Debbie said...

My husband would love these with the corn in them! Thank YOU!!! I will take your suggestion with blogger and check and see if my links are being put in correctly or if blogger is changing things...still seem to have the problem....ugh!!!

Elyse said...

Oh, man, do these muffins look over-the-top good. Anytime you put cheese and bacon together, there's bound to be an explosion of happiness and flavor. But, putting them in a corn muffin?! That's just perfect.

Lynda said...

The muffins look delicious! too bad they didn't mrasure up to your expectations. I like the way you cook bacon. I rarely do bacon because I hate cooking it!

Sara said...

Bacon in muffins? Sign me up!

Donna-FFW said...

Judy, you have so many wonderful muffins on your blog. I have 2 starred the sweet potato one and the Quaker choc chip oatmeal one.. I am just curious, which muffin out of all you listed is your most favorite? I love the way you rate your recipes. If you get a minute lmk which is your favorite. Thank you!

Judy said...

Donna - That's a good idea for a future post, to list favorite muffin recipes. Here are my all-time faves:
1. Chocolate Zucchini
2. Chocolate Lovers
3. Prize-winning Oatmeal CC w/ chocolate streusel topping
4.Gingerbread Pear
5.Caramel Chocolate Streusel
6.Cranberry Muffins w/Walnut Crumb Topping
8.Caramel Pecan Macchiato
9.Nonna's Lemon Ricotta Biscuits, Adapted, renamed to Almond Ricotta Muffins
10.Banana Nut Scotchie
Some of my older recipes are not rated. At some point I thought it would help readers to have my rating, even though eating preferences are highly individual. What I like, someone else may not. I tend to sweeten less and try to add fiber and nutrition to my sweets, mostly because I'm a borderline diabetic.

Donna-FFW said...

Thank you Judy for taking the time to answer me. I am trying out a few of these over the next couple of weeks. A friend has gotten ill and loves baked goods, especially breakfast ones, so, she thanks you too.

Kevin said...

Those corn muffins look tasty! I made a corn bread with cheese, corn and bacon a while ago.