Thursday, September 1, 2011

Summer Corn Muffins

Supposedly summer is coming to a close. I know it is September first, but as I write this post, it is currently 102 degrees. Dallas is in line for a cold front this weekend...95 degrees here we come!

I ventured into the land of Central Market today. I hardly ever go there. I am honestly a bit overwhelmed by the whole idea of the store. It is an intricate and incredibly detailed maze of the most fascinating food products you could ever imagine, and many products you never knew existed, let alone, how to use them! The last time I went was on a weekend around Christmas time. Worst decision. I vowed never to return due to the ridiculous number of people, the inability to move around, the huge check out lines and just my overwhelming sense of frustration. Anyways, I went there today (a Thursday afternoon) for two reasons. One, because I am grilling salmon this evening, and wanted a wonderfully fresh piece, and goodness, Central Market is indeed a great place to go for fresh and gorgeous seafood. I also constantly hear about how people just love this place, so I decided to give it another try. What a refreshing visit! The people are beyond helpful and friendly, things are actually laid out for an easier shopping flow, they had everything (and more) on my rather intricate shopping list, and I did not have that same feeling of claustrophobia. So, I suppose the secret to Central Market is to go on a weekday (ideally in the middle of the day), and avoid it at all costs around the holidays! 

A picture of the pups from this spring...yellow flowers to match our yellow corn!

Anyways, in honor of summer coming to a close, I wanted to use my favorite summer vegetable, corn! Cornbread is a fun way to use fresh corn, and it also brings a sweet change to your dinner. I decided to purchase fresh corn on the cob, shucked it myself, and cut the kernels off the cob. This process is so easy, so when fresh corn is available you should really take advantage of it and go ahead and buy the fresh corn rather than the canned variety. This recipe is from Food and Wine. I added extra corn and salt, and omitted the jalapenos. 

So often I find cornbread to be dry and flaky and just dull. These muffins are the opposite in every way! They are fluffy, light, fresh, flavorful and overall incredibly tasty! I will always use this cornbread recipe from this point forward. I recommend eating these muffins fresh out of the oven, so that a touch of butter will melt just perfectly and serve as a complimentary salty balance to the sweet corn. Yum!

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6 tablespoons of canola oil
1 cup of fresh corn (all of the kernels off of one corn cob, be careful with your fingers when cutting!)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of cornmeal
1 cup of flour
1/4 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 cup of buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten

1. Gather all of your ingredients.

2. Use one teaspoon of the canola oil from the total 6 tablespoons to coat the bottom of a skillet.

3. Add the corn and a dash of salt and pepper to the skillet. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Remove the cooked corn from the heat and set aside.

5. Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar and salt. Stir to combine.

6. Add the buttermilk, the egg and the remaining oil to the flour mixture. Stir until just combined.

7. Gently fold the cooked corn into the batter.

8. Distribute the batter evenly to make 12 muffins. Spray the muffin tin with cooking spray before and after you put the muffin liners to help avoid the frustration of stuck muffins!

9. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 16 to 18 minutes. You want just a touch of golden brown to the edges of the muffins.
10. Enjoy this summer treat with a small bit of butter!

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