Thursday, January 28, 2010

Savory Cornbread Muffins

Because a girl needs more than one pair of black shoes cornbread recipe, here's my latest favorite, a cornmeal muffin recipe spiked with chili powder, a little jalapeño and red pepper and very decidedly savory. (Stick with me here, okay? I really AM comparing cornbread to, yes, well, shoes ...)

Savory Cornmeal Muffins ♥ KitchenParade.com, spiked with chili powder, a little jalapeno and red pepper, very decidedly savory.

COMPLIMENTS!

"They came out beautiful ..." ~ Eloisa


Corn bread is the black shoes of baking. One recipe just isn’t enough, even when your favorite pair – I mean, recipe – has been with you for years and years and is soo comfortable, and still strikes just the right note for so many meals.

My favorite pair of black shoes – oops, I mean, my favorite cornbread recipe – is Skillet Cornbread, think stone-ground cornmeal nuttiness that slices into big wedges that stay moist, even on the second and third day. Then I discovered my go-to recipe for Sweet Cornbread, think extra-dreamy drizzled with butter and honey. Pumpkin Corn Bread, think "practical" because it uses up leftover canned pumpkin.

But here I am again, expanding my cornbread black-shoe wardrobe one more time, this time for a decidedly savory cornbread muffin, this time spiked with chili powder and jalapeño, this time, lawdy-lawdy, injected with kernels of fresh corn too.

I first made Savory Cornbread Muffins as part of an all-savory brunch menu served for friends just before Christmas. The muffins were so good, I turned around and made a second batch that afternoon to go with supper’s chili!

So check your closet: if like mine, black shoes (do boots count?) still outnumber cornmeal recipes. Maybe all our cornbread wardrobes need a little updating?

The "shoe lady" of cornbread goes by the unlikely name of Crescent Dragonwagon, author of The Cornbread Gospels, a collection of 200 cornbread recipes with familiar but old-fashioned names like johnnycakes, hoecakes and spoonbread. As if another reason were needed to fall in love with cornbread, consider that cornbread is so very American, crafted from the grain first a staple to Native Americans, later to this country's early settlers, and then again, for families in the southern states, especially, of the U.S..

ALANNA's TIPS If you're always scrambling for a bit of chili pepper, keep a jar of homemade Pickled Jalapeño Rings in the fridge. Now there's no running out!

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

Recipe for
SAVORY CORNBREAD MUFFINS

Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 45 minutes
Makes 12 muffins
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick/114g) butter
  • 1 cup (250g) buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
    DRY INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 125 grams
  • 1 cup cornmeal, preferably fine- or medium-grind stone-ground, fluffed to aerate or 160 grams
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (yes, a whole tablespoon!) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded, deveined and finely diced (see TIPS)
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, seeded, deveined and finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped fine
  • 12 cilantro leaves for muffin tops, optional but pretty!

Heat oven to 400F/200C. Butter or spray a regular-size muffin tray.

In a medium bowl, melt the butter in the microwave in ten-second increments, let cool for a few minutes. Slowly whisk in the buttermilk (it might look a little curdled, don’t worry), then the egg.

In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Pour the butter mixture into the flour mixture and with a wooden spoon, barely combine. Stir in the remaining ingredients but just until combined, otherwise the muffins will end up tough and full of holes.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Arrange a cilantro leaf on top, gently pressing into the batter.

Bake for 20 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from the muffin pan.

Best straight out of the oven or within a couple of hours of baking but surprisingly good a second and third day. Very good cut into slices and "toasted" in a hot skillet with a little butter as in Fried Bread.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Muffin: 192 Calories; 8g Tot Fat; 5g Sat Fat; 39mg Cholesterol; 456mg Sodium; 25g Carb; 2g Fiber; 5g Sugar; 4g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 4 & PointsPlus 5 & SmartPoints 7


Savory Muffins: Not Just for Breakfast


Savory Cornmeal Muffins ♥ KitchenParade.com, spiked with chili powder, a little jalapeno and red pepper, very decidedly savory.

While I do mix up a quick batch of Savory Cornmeal Muffins for breakfast – they go especially well with Easy Green Chile Egg Casserole – mostly, I make these when supper calls for a bread. Here, I've paired the muffins with a lunch salad. So good!


Soup 'n' Cornbread for Supper?

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
White Chicken Chili Homemade Lentil Soup Hamburger Soup

More Weeknight-Easy Supper Breads


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(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recipe for
Spaghetti Aglio e Olio (Garlic & Olive Oil)

Here's the recipe for the classic Italian spaghetti side dish, Spaghetti e Aglio e Olio, Spaghetti with Garlic & Olive Oil. It's a new recipe for me but is ever-so-useful because it can be cooked ahead of time and then served later, still perfectly fresh and moist. Oh yes. And garlicky, a very very garlicky good thing.

Say ‘ciao’ to a simple Italian pasta side dish that meal-wise is handy to have in your back pocket but taste-wise is so unforgettable it just might take up residence in a front pocket.

Why handy? Just make the pasta and then think time shift. While waiting on the rest of supper, say, keep the pasta warm on the stove to serve only minutes later. For a make-ahead meal, refrigerate to serve hours later, then just rewarm in a skillet. Either way, the pasta tastes fresh-from-the-pot good.

Why unforgettable? Think garlick-y salty pasta, cloaked in just enough olive oil to make it soft and drapey. Delizioso!

The recipe isn’t really a recipe, it’s all technique. But don’t worry, the technique is new-cook simple. Here’s how it goes:

Cook some pasta. Sizzle some garlic in oil. Toss ‘em together with some hot pasta water, just enough to keep it all moist. If you’re in the mood, stir in some red pepper flakes and fresh herbs. Serve and savor! Buon Appetito!

ALANNA’s TIPS Quality ingredients are important when a recipe is this simple. My favorite brand of dried Italian pasta is De Cecco. If it’s not available nearby, De Cecco is sold on Amazon. (Please note: Product Disclosure) If you find a little green ‘germ’ inside the garlic cloves, cut it away and discard. We don’t need bitter garlic! This pasta begs for a little adaptation. At the last minute, maybe stir in some frozen peas or strips of fresh spinach or a few tiny slices of tomato or maybe tiny bits of goat cheese or some pine nuts or a few currants or dried apricots or … let your imagination guide!
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a simple side dish recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Become a Kitchen Parade fan on Facebook!

RECIPE for
SPAGHETTI AGLIO E OLIO
(Spaghetti with Garlic & Olive Oil)

Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 30 minutes
Serves 6
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon table salt
  • 6 ounces dried pasta, preferably Italian, such as spaghetti, capellini, angel hair or another thin strip (see TIPS)
  • 2 – 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed flat
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Hot pasta water
  • Red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley or other herbs, optional

In a large pot, bring water and salt to a boil. Add the pasta, cover and let cook until pasta is ‘al dente’ – not quite done.

Meanwhile, in a skillet large enough to hold the pasta once it’s cooked, heat the olive oil on medium low heat until shimmery. Add the garlic and let cook slowly, barely sizzling and just until golden brown. Remove the garlic and transfer the oil to a small bowl.

When the pasta is done, lift it out of the pot into a colander to drain briefly, then drop into the still-hot skillet. RESERVE the pasta water and keep hot. Stir in the kosher salt, then stir the pasta around, coating it with the oil left in the skillet. Add a tablespoon or two of the hot pasta water to keep the pasta moist until serving time. (If needed, you may pause here for up to an hour or so. Rewarm the pasta, adding more water if needed.) Just before serving, stir in a tablespoon of olive oil and the red pepper flakes. Taste and decide if you want to add more oil. Stir in the parsley and transfer to a serving dish. Drizzle with more garlic oil if desired.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE How many calories in Spaghetti Anglio e Olio? How many Weight Watchers points in Spaghetti Anglio e Olio?) Per Serving, when made with 2/3/4 tablespoons garlic oil: 143/163/183 Calories; 5/7/9g Tot Fat; 0/1/1g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 397mg Sodium; 21g Carb; 1g Fiber; 1g Sugar; 4g Protein; Weight Watchers 2/3/3 points This recipe has been 'Alanna-sized' with reductions in portion size and fat.

Time to Feast: An Italian Menu

Red Pepper Crostini

Italian Lemon Chicken
~ Spaghetti Aglio e Olio ~
(recipe above) or
Leek Sauce for Pasta
Seared Radicchio
~ Greens with a Light Vinaigrette and Slivers of Parmesan ~

Homemade Poppy Seed Cake
(okay so the cake recipe isn't Italian, but it is very good!)

More Italian Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Chicken Cacciatore Tiapinno (Ciopinno) - Italian Fish Stew Panzanella
~ more Italian recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade
Caponata - Sicilian Eggplant
Peperonata with Potatoes
Insalata di Finocchio aka Fennel Salad
from A Veggie Venture, my food blog about vegetables

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(helping home cooks save money on groceries)





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