Tag Archives: Corn

Chili Cheesy Mini Corn Muffins

Chili Cheesy Mini Corn Muffins, Just out of the oven
Chili Cheesy Mini Corn Muffins, just out of the oven

Makes about 36 mini muffins. This mini corn muffin recipe has three kinds of chili flavorings – fresh jalapeños, chili pepper sauce, and ancho chile powder – but is surprisingly mild, not too spicy for even the most sensitive palate, since the cheese balances the heat. These need no butter, but a little kumquat jam or orange marmalade is tasty.

You’ll need mini muffin tins for 36: the dark, heavy, non-stick tins work the best. You might also want to use mini muffins paper cups within them, although I find greasing the individual cups in the tins works fine. Using a 1-Tablespoon scoop ensures consistent sizing of muffins and fewer drips.

This recipe has three kinds of chili flavorings – fresh jalapeños, chili pepper sauce, and ancho chile powder – but is surprisingly mild, not too spicy for even the most sensitive, since the cheese balances the heat.

Ingredients

  • Canola or coconut oil spray for greasing the tins, if not using paper cups

Dry ingredients

  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend (sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, Asadero, and Queso Blanco cheeses) Plus more for topping – see below
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup corn meal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 jalapeño, deveined and deseeded, finely chopped (brunoise)

Wet ingredients

  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons chili pepper sauce (e.g., Trader Joe’s or other hot taco sauce)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil

Topping ingredients

  • 1/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend (sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, Asadero, and Queso Blanco cheeses)
  • 1/2 teaspoon  Ancho Chile Pepper

Preparation 

Chili Cheesy Mini Corn Muffins, ready to bake
Chili Cheesy Mini Corn Muffins, ready to bake

1 – Preheat the over to 350˚F. Prepare mini muffin tins by spraying each cup with oil or lining them with mini muffin papers.

2 – In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: cheese, flour, corn meal, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, and jalapeño.

3 – In a medium bowl or 4-cup measuring cup (for easy pouring), whisk together the wet ingredients: buttermilk, chili sauce, eggs, and oil.

4 – Stir in wet ingredients to dry ingredieints, mixing just enough to combine, but do not beat or over mix.

5 – Using a 1-Tablespoon scoop, or two spoons, fill muffin cups just to top. Sprinkle on cheese and chili powder.

6 – Bake in a 350˚F oven for 14 – 16 minutes (rotating tins half-way through) or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in center.

7 – Let muffins stand in tins for 5 minutes to firm up further, then remove and either serve immediately or cool completely.

First published Feb. 16, 2016 by Barbara Newton-Holmes on www.CulinaryOracle.com

Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com
©2017 Barbara Newton-Holmes
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Corny, but True (Polenta)

“Sister. She is your mirror, shining back at you with a world of possibilities. She is your witness, who sees you at your worst and best, and loves you anyway. She is your partner in crime, your midnight companion, someone who knows when you are smiling, even in the dark. She is your teacher, your defense attorney, your personal press agent, even your shrink. Some days, she’s the reason you wish you were an only child.”  – Barbara Alpert

“Big sisters are the crab grass in the lawn of life.” – Charles M. Schultz

Culinary Oracle Bamboo Cutting Board - from Cyn!
Culinary Oracle Bamboo Cutting Board – from Cyn!

 

 

My sister Cynthia is amazing…

 

 

 

…and because I was 4 when she was born, I got a good chance to observe her for a couple of years before I went off to school, living too far to get to the nearest kindergarten.

I saw her as a baby pretend to cry when she was bored in her playpen. Later, when she was walking, I watched her routinely drain the dregs from morning coffee cups (which I couldn’t stand the taste of — she is still an avid coffee drinker today, and I am not). Later, I was so amazed when she started a sentence with “When I was a man…” that I completely lost what it was that had happened to her as a man.

So, why I should be surprised by anything this magical lady does, I don’t know. But, I was on Monday. Less than 24 hours after announcing my website was up, a beautiful bamboo cutting board with the Culinary Oracle logo burnt into it gets delivered. Not for my birthday, not for any special occasion. Just for the perfectly timed and elegant generosity of a sweet sister. Thanks, Cyn!

Speckled Creamy Polenta

Last week, one of the small plates at the Monello Happy Hour was a wonderfully rich and savory mushroom gravy on a perfectly white triangle of polenta, kissed with rosemary. It got me thinking of the Bob’s Red Mill stone ground, medium coarse, organic yellow cornmeal I have in my cupboard. I hadn’t made polenta since I was in culinary school. Now, I had a renewed taste for it.

A more dietary version would use Earth Balance or just olive oil instead of butter, leave out the cheese — and that would make a good version to chill overnight, then cut and lightly fry the next day. But, I had a taste for a creamy, rich version for dinner.  A more Spartan version would use water, instead of the homemade chicken stock I used.

And, I had fresh chives to dress it up, cut on my new cutting board.

For details, see Speckled Creamy Polenta.

Have a beautiful and delicious day! - Barbara
Have a beautiful and delicious day! – Barbara
Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com
©2017 Barbara Newton-Holmes
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Creamy Speckled Polenta

Creamy Speckled Polenta
Creamy Speckled Polenta

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3/4 cup sweet onion, small dice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups homemade or organic chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup coarse ground organic cornmeal
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 8 – 10 grinds black pepper
  • 3/4 cup ground Parmesan cheese

Chef's hat iconPreparation

1 – Heat olive oil in a heavy sauce pan over medium high heat until shimmering. Add onions and salt, sauté and stir about 3 minutes or until soft and translucent.
2 – Add garlic and sauté for another minute, taking care not to burn it.
3 – Add broth and bring to a simmer. Whisk in cornmeal. Lower heat to medium low, cover, and set simmer for 30 minutes, or until thickened, giving it a good whisking, then stirring (when it is too thick to whisk) every 5 minutes or so.
4 – When thickened and creamy, add butter and pepper. Then, stir in cheese and chives.
5 – Serve immediately hot, or spread in a 13″ x 9″ baking dish and refrigerate overnight to set for cutting into pieces.

Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com
©2017 Barbara Newton-Holmes
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‘Queued – 2

“We must be willing to get rid of the life that we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.” Joseph Campbell

Corn Muffins, Gluten-Free
Corn Muffins, Gluten-Free

Corn Muffins and Cole Slaw

I really am looking to bring bright and fun flavors into more healthy and natural dishes. While our St. Louis ribs were slow-smoking (OK, not exactly on the top of the list of lean cuisine…), David and I made gluten-free corn muffins and vegan cole slaw.

Of course, we didn’t advertise the health benefits to David and Angela’s two boys, but they scarfed up the corn muffins, especially when they discovered some natural honey in the cupboard. And, they even ate the cole slaw, with a bit of parental coaching.

Avoiding those things that might be allergenic or toxic reduces the inflammation throughout the body. Although part of the body’s immune response, inflammation out of control can damage the body and is thought to be related to auto-immune disease, obesity, and cancer.

An aspect of the regimen that started my husband Mark and me on our rejuvenating weight-loss included limited gluten and dairy, as well as avoiding artificial ingredients.

So, the corn muffins were made with organic corn meal and gluten-free all-purpose flour. Although they do have dairy in them, we used organic ingredients. Because the brown rice flour and the potato starch in the gluten-free flour are not as absorbent as wheat flour, I recommend you make the corn muffins just before serving, so that that are not dry. Adding dried blueberries or cranberries keeps them more moist and soft, too. They aren’t as good the day after baking.

The cole slaw has a vegan dressing (because of that delicious Earth Balance mayo), over lots of super veg.

Have a beautiful and delicious day! - Barbara
Have a beautiful and delicious day! – Barbara
Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com
©2017 Barbara Newton-Holmes
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Corn Muffins (Gluten-Free)

Corn Muffins, Gluten-Free
Corn Muffins, Gluten-Free

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour

1 cup organic corn meal

1/4 cup raw or palm sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cup Straus Family Creamery (or homemade) Greek Yoghurt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 large egg

Optional: freeze dried blueberries or cranberries, minced fresh jalapeños

Chef's hat icon smallerPreparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F. Set up 12 muffin papers or spray oil into a 12-cup muffin tin.
  2. Mix together in a medium bowl: flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Stir in blueberries, cranberries, or jalapeños, if adding.
  4. Whisk together the wet ingredients in another bowl or large measuring cup: yoghurt, melted butter, and egg.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring quickly, just to mix.
  6. Using a 3 oz scoop or two tablespoons, divided batter among the 12 muffin cups.
  7. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and the tops are turning golden. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan. Serve warm, with honey, if desired.
Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com
©2017 Barbara Newton-Holmes
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