Corn Muffins with Corn, Hot Peppers & Scallions
We’re moving to a new apartment. Since we signed the lease last month, I’ve tried to minimize trips to the market and make do instead with the contents of our freezer, shelves, and pantry, a clear-out-the-clutter challenge that would not have been all that hard or even that blog-worthy, to be honest, because our freezer, shelves, and pantry are stocked. There are a dozen kinds of beans back there, still a few jars of last summer’s canned tomatoes, and a lot of some little ring-shaped noodles that I once took home from a shoot.
Still, I had visions of us subsisting for at least a few weeks on progressively humbler stews of beans and tomatoes, served over a finally dwindling supply of petite pasta.
What I didn’t account for was the continuing abundance. In the weeks that followed the signing, a recipe development project magicked a box of brie onto my doorstep, I tested eggplant and chicken parm recipes, and upstate New York’s bumper crops kept ripening, so the CSA shares kept overflowing, and we had more corn, tomatoes, and peppers on the counter than ever before.
But at least I could finish my cornmeal. Both kinds.
These coarse- and fine-ground corn muffins were inspired by my search for a corn muffin that was cupcake rich but not cupcake sweet. I like to make dense, buttery muffins that don’t have a half-life of 20 minutes. Sour cream became my ally, in part because I had a container already that certainly wasn’t making the move with us. From the CSA side of things, we have corn cut off the late-season cobs, minced hot pepper, and slices of green onion. If I made these again, I’d consider adding cheese, and probably more minced pepper, but I wasn’t sure how spicy the peppers would turn out to be.
About that move: we are only going two blocks, but as it turns out, that doesn’t really minimize the annoyance of putting an entire apartment into cardboard boxes. Even a small kitchen can have a lot of things in it! I’ll be posting fewer recipes and more tips over the next few weeks, to make up for the upcoming disorganization, but when all this is done and our dishes are in our new cabinets, I’ll be back with some wisdom (I hope) about what it means for small kitchen living to be confronted, during a move, with all one’s culinary possessions and to pack them up and unpack them again.
- About 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- A little coarse cornmeal like polenta (optional)
- ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1¼ cups corn kernels, cut off 2 to 3 cobs (you can also used thawed frozen kernels)
- 3 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced hot red pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line twelve ⅓-cup muffin cups with paper liners. Dole out the cornmeal into a 1 cup measure, leaving a little bit of space (let's call it a scant cup). Top off the cup with the coarse cornmeal.
- Now combine the cornmeals, flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the sour cream, eggs and melted butter. Add the sour cream mixture to the dry ingredients and fold to combine, stirring just until moistened (overmixing will create tough muffins). Fold in the corn kernels, scallions, and pepper.
- Divide the batter equally among your muffin cups. Bake the muffins about 20 minutes, until puffed, craggy, and golden (if you stick a thin knife or toothpick into the center of a muffin, it should come out clean). Give them muffins about a minute in the pan, then lift each one onto a rack to cool slightly. Eat warm or room temperature, with butter.