Tuesday, January 13, 2009

{TWD} Extra Spicy Corn Muffins

After lots (and lots) of sweet food - homemade and otherwise - over the Christmas holidays, it was very refreshing to have a savory pick for this week's Tuesdays With Dorie assignment. Thanks so much to Rebecca of Ezra Pound Cake (her corn muffin post here) for choosing Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins!

cook's notes:

We're big fans of spicy food, so I amped up the heat for these muffins. I also made some changes to improve their nutritional profile:

- I used 6 T butter and substituted 2 T fat free Greek yogurt for the rest of the butter. This cut the fat content and provided a great moistness to the muffins.

- My flour was a white/whole wheat blend. I figured the extra heartiness of the whole wheat would match the savory ingredients of these muffins.

- Dorie says to add chili powder to taste - in my case 2 tsp. Of the stash of chili powder in my spice cupboard, the stuff I bought at Fresh Market tasted like it would be the best for adding to muffins - it was the mellowest. Since jarred chili powder is a mixture of spices and chile peppers, its flavor can vary quite substantially.

- There was no bell pepper in my fridge, so I used 1/8 c. canned green chiles and 1/4 c. chopped scallions (the light green parts).

- I used a red finger hot pepper instead of a jalapeno.

[edit: I chopped my frozen corn kernels because I don't like whole corn in my muffins.]

- It was extremely tempting to add some cheese, but I figured I'd better leave well enough alone!

- I tasted the dry ingredients after I whisked them and I could tell the muffins would be too sweet for us. Without getting too mathematical (!) here's what I did: I added another round of all the dry ingredients (except the sugar), divided the mixture in half (thank goodness for digital scales), and baked one recipe’s worth. I found that with half the sugar, they still have a hint of sweetness but it didn’t ruin the muffins for me. I actually like sweet cornbread just fine (and also un-sweet cornbread), but I figured less sweet would fit with all of the savory and hot ingredients I had stirred into the batter.

the verdict:

I served these muffins straight from the oven with some chili (two chili recipes will be posted on Wednesday, I hope). They were moist (I think the yogurt helped), not too sweet, and packed quite a flavor kick with the hot peppers, scallions, and extra chili powder. The whole wheat paired quite well with all of the savory and hot ingredients I'd stirred in. We thought the muffins were perfect!

By the day after I baked these, the chili powder had "bled" at bit. I thought the muffins looked like they had the chicken pox.
I popped the leftover muffins in the freezer and pulled them out a few days later for Sunday brunch, accompanying my version of Huevos Rancheros - essentially eggs scrambled with onions, hot peppers, salsa and cheese (my secret ingredient is Asiago cheese, which gives a great sharp edge to the eggs). I re-warmed the muffins and they were great with the eggs. This recipe is a winner in our book!

I'm excited to have a bag of the dry ingredients all ready to whip up another batch of these yummy muffins.
You can find the recipe for these treasures on page 6 of of Dorie Greenspan's wonderful book Baking From My Home to Yours., or on Rebecca's post for these muffins. To see a bunch more corn muffin posts, check out the blogs of TWD blogroll. We're up to 388 members now (!) and there are sure to be lots of muffins out there.

54 comments:

pinkstripes said...

I like the additions/changes you made to the recipe. I would have never thought to taste the dry ingredients before adding the wet. That's a good suggestion for something like this.

Karen said...

whoo. Your muffins would kill me!! Spicy foods are not my friend! I am glad yours came out so well! :)

Cathy said...

When you get right down to it, chili is just not really a pretty meal, so I bet that muffins with chicken pox went along just fine with it! We had ours with chili as well -- loved them! They would be GREAT with huevos rancheros -- wish I thought of that. Love your sub of some Greek yogurt and the white/whole wheat flour. And I hope that you don't stop sharing your math calculations with us entirely, Nancy -- I feel like I can skip soduko on those days and still keep my brain sharp.

Em said...

Your muffins sound great - your pics are wonderful :)

Audrey said...

I had a feeling your muffins would be extra spicy...and I'm looking forward to your (other!) chili recipes, too. It's a great idea to mix and freeze the dry stuff...one step closer to muffins!
Audrey

Andrea said...

I love your addition of yogurt for the extra moistness, and the whole wheat sounds like it would work well in this recipe. Your muffins look delicious! I also enjoy both the sweet and savory versions of cornbread :)

Amanda said...

I am so glad these turned out well for almost everyone! They sure were pretty muffins I'll give them that. We just didn't like them :(

Jamie said...

Love the additions and substitutions! Your muffins certainly look extra spicy! :)

Pamela said...

THey look wonderful. I have some in my freezer too, so it's nice to know yours were good after that. Cheese would have been a great addition. I need to remember that for next time!

Steph said...

I like your changes and additions, but I'm sure these would be way too spicy for me! I thought these were too sweet my taste too, but didn't know until after they were done. Tasting the dry..now that's smart!

Jessica said...

Green chilis and green onions = yum! I am going to write these down for possible add-ins next time. They look great.

Peggy said...

I like all the additions and changes you made to yours. And the chili looks fabulous. I wish I had thought to serve these with some chili. It's so cold here today that sounds so good. I added cream corn to mine to make them a bit more moist.

Liz said...

Yous look great! I was also tempted to add some cheese!

spike. said...

Glad to know the yogurt worked well, I'll have to try it out!

Maria said...

I love the kick in these muffins! Yours look great!

My Famous Recipe said...

I had the same thought about adding cheese to these corn muffins. Next time. And I love your idea of serving this with huevos rancheros. What a great way to kickstart the morning!

Kayte said...

I learn so much from you about how to boost nutritional values in foods...thanks so much for sharing that each week. Your additions are always fun and right on...I can so see those working well here. Like the idea of serving these with eggs also. Great post...thanks!

ostwestwind said...

For mixing the dry ingredients I always use a box I got as a gift for baby food ;-), after 15 years it's still in use.

Your muffins look so delicious!

Ulrike from K├╝chenlatein

Megan said...

I wish I could keep up with your razor sharp brain - but your calculations throw me every time!

jillbert said...

Great idea to sub yogurt for some of the butter - I'll do that next time! There's quite a sugar debate out there, but I liked these with half the sugar!

chocolatechic said...

I made a bag to whip up another batch too.

TeaLady said...

Sounds a lot healthier with some of your 'changes'. And they look fantastic. Love spicy food.

Mary Ann said...

Thanks for the leak on your secret ingredient to Huevos Rancheros- I love asiago and I bet these muffins would go great alongside. Also, thanks for commenting about the sugar on p&q- I reduced it because of your heads up.
They look delish!

kim said...

they look great, but lethal for me ;) i'm sure my husband would love your version, though! love your ideas to make them a bit healthier.

Danielle said...

Trned up the heat, my mouths on fire thinking about it. I am a wussy when it comes to spicey foods lol, your muffins came out great good job!

dharmagirl said...

Nice! I love the idea of using yogurt for part of the butter--thanks for sharing. And after I made mine I wished I had used either my whole wheat or white whole wheat flour--I'm so glad to know that these substitutions work so well:)

Tammy said...

yoghurt is a good idea. I often use it to substitute milk or buttermilk but hadnt thought of using it as a sub for butter

Kristin said...

Beautiful muffins! I knew I'd find someone with a nice picture of chili!!

Cooking for Comfort by Jennifer said...

I'm sorry...I had to laugh that you put a POX on your muffins! However, they looked beautiful, pox and all!

Oh Fresh Market...how I MISS The Fresh Market. They were always my "spice and coffee place." (We won't mention their ultimate cinnamon rolls!)...luckily, the folks in Massachusetts are building a Fresh Market in Hingham and we'll have one by next Christmas! YAY!

Matt said...

I kind of like the look of those red flecked chicken pox muffins. As always, you amaze me with your ability to tweak a recipe. You have that intuitive baking sense that I wish I had. In addition you have the foresight to have made and saved the pre-made dry ingredients for your future convenience. Lately, I'm thankful that I can get my weekly posts completed!

Carla said...

You are always adjusting the recipes, a sign of a good baker.
They look great!

rainbowbrown said...

That's great that it all worked out to your liking. Your version sounds wonderful and having another bag of dry mix waiting seems like a smart idea.

Nancy said...

Whew! You do like them spicy, don't you? I would be breathing fire for a week after eating your muffins! They look great though...pox and all!

Carol Peterman said...

Your muffins look wonderful and I bet the whole wheat flour added a nice flavor. I love sweet and heat together, so I went with all the sugar and I eat them with butter and honey! I can't wait to have them at dinner tonight.

Di said...

I'm glad you enjoyed these so much. And thanks for sharing your variations. I'll have to try the yogurt for butter substitution. And if I do get around to making these, I'm definitely adding some cheese. =)

HappyTummy said...

ohhhh you made the best substitutions! i also used an all purpose flour/whole wheat flour blend, but i wish i tried subbing some of the butter too (i did use smart balance, though). and the extra heat! i wish i had added more chili powder--we like things spicy too.

your muffins look fantastic, and they sound like they tasted great too!

karen said...

looks great, chicken pox and all. haha :) you're totally right, the reactions are really all over the place. i love weeks like this, it makes for interesting reads.

Katrina said...

Love your muffins, I thought they could be a little spicier, too. And I love the whole wheat addition. Yum!

mike said...

Wow, how creative! Thanks for the nice comment! I love how you substituted -- so successfully! I'm not at that stage of confidence yet, but wish I would have chopped the corn. It was a little strange finding kernels here and there... and I love how you amped everything up. I felt they could use it too! Yours look sensational - and a little healthier too!

The Blonde Duck said...

I wish I could get my husband to eat something other than Jiffy cornbread. This would have been great!

Leslie said...

I like all your changes. Very good idea to double it to amp down the sweetness!

Cathy said...

Nancy -- you haven't made the berry cake yet by any chance, have you? I have offered to bring it to David's grandmother's 90th bday party this coming weekend. What was I thinking? The pressure is on. It looks like a fairly complicated cake, and I am not sure if the P&Q will be up before I have to make it. I am trying to find someone who has made it to see what pitfalls I should try to avoid. She is a lovely woman and I'd hate to bring her a subpar cake. Sends the wrong message. Thanks in advance! Cathy

Melissa said...

Your photos are fantastic, Nancy! We really liked these muffins too, though I'm sure my husband would have preferred yours with them being extra spicy - that's just up his alley!

n.o.e said...

Hey Cathy,

FUNNY you should ask about the berry cake. I've responded to your question in a comment on your blog, so let me know if you don't get it!

Nancy

natalia said...

I love your changes to the recipe I shoul try them your way ..and love the dry ingedients just waiting !! Thanks for being so nice to me to think I'm such a good embroiderer ! If you want check the edited post !

Natashya said...

Lady, you are a gal after my own heart. Make it hotter, ramp up the flavour!
Great muffins, so glad you enjoyed them.

Jacque said...

Sounds like yours were perfect! I'm glad you all enjoyed them.

Oh, and with regard to your comment on my blog... I loved it... "revisionist history". That is exactly what I meant.

AmyRuth said...

Wow Nancy your muffins sound delicious. I like your whole wheat mixture in these. I think it makes sense too. We like spicey as well as so I think now that I have made them I know how I will season them the next time. Those dry runs! Your first photo really looks nice. BTW the "basic" chili powder I used turned mine orange. go figure.
AmyRuth

The Food Librarian said...

Lovely! I love the extra spice and the greek yogurt sub. Yummy!!!!

What's for Supper? said...

Your muffins sure do look nice. I think that they would have been way too spicy for me though.

Teanna said...

I like the substitutions that you made... nice and healthy! And is that a blue merle Aussie on your sidebar! I have one too! They are such cute and intelligent dogs... too intelligent if you ask me! Mine is very manipulative! haha!

LyB said...

I really have to try the spicy variation at some point. Your muffins look great!

leanne said...

I should hold out on making mine until I read your healthier version! I should have cut up my corn too. I don't like whole corn in my cornbread

CB said...

LOL @ muffin chicken pox! I read that line and all the sudden started getting itchy. haha. Awesome substitutions. I'll have to try the yogurt for butter sub next time. I am curious on the moistness factor b/c I felt like mine were a little more dense that I would have liked. Glad you enjoyed the recipe!
Clara @ iheartfood4thought