Some people really don't get the point of savory muffins. After all, most of the time, something shaped like a muffin is sweet, but savory muffins make a nice change from something more loaf-like: an attractive presentation, and built-in portion control. Unless, of course, you have more than one, which you just might be tempted to do when you taste these white corn and green chile cheese muffins. It took me a couple of tries to get the recipe just right. I wanted to use Rhode Island jonnycake meal, a fluffy, fine-ground white cornmeal that we use to make our local specialty, but you can substitute yellow cornmeal if that's easier to find in your part of the world. These muffins paired perfectly with grilled skirt steak marinated in chipotle barbecue sauce made by fellow Rhode Island blogger Just One Donna.
Rhode Island white corn and green chile cheese muffins
Adapted from a recipe in Cooking Light Quick Baking. Makes 12 muffins.
1-3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white jonnycake meal or fine-ground yellow or white cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese or store-bought 4-cheese Mexican reduced-fat cheese, divided
3 Tbsp chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1-1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
4 tsp canned chopped green chiles
1 large egg
Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a muffin pan with baking spray and set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine all-purpose flour, jonnycake meal, baking powder, salt, baking soda and black pepper. Pulse 3-4 times. Add 3/4 of the cheese, and all of the butter, and pulse 5-6 times, just until the butter is the size of peas and the mixture looks like coarse meal. Do not overprocess.
Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl. In a 2-cup glass measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, chiles and egg, until the egg is incorporated into the buttermilk. Make a well in the center of the flour in the bowl, and pour the liquid into the flour. With a rubber spatula, stir together just until the flour is moistened. Again, do not overbeat.
Use an ice cream scoop with a release (called a "disher") to divide the batter evenly in the muffin tin. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the muffins. Bake on the upper middle rack in the oven for 19 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins to a cooling rack. Serve warm, or cool them completely and wrap in aluminum foil to reheat later.
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Portuguese white cornmeal bread, from One Perfect Bite
Pecan cornmeal butter cake, from Smitten Kitchen
Honey cranberry cornmeal quick bread, from Joy the Baker
Cheesy chili cornbread, from Never Enough Thyme
Sour milk cornbread, from Ezra Pound Cake
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