Cornmeal week is bringing out the Southern cook in me, so be on the lookout for different versions of Southern classics this week.
One of the most classic Southern staples is cornbread. You can make it in an iron skillet and slice it, or you can bake it in a muffin tin for corn muffins. I decided to make corn muffins, but knew that I didn’t want to just do plain ones.
I thought of a fantastic loaf of artisanal bread I bought once from my local farmer’s market that had roasted red peppers in it, and decided to add roasted bell pepper to my corn muffins. I also decided to add a little fresh goat cheese as well, because I thought it would go nicely with the bell pepper. I also played around with the ingredients in a typical corn muffin.
Instead of shortening, I added some melted butter; instead of buttermilk or sour cream, I used plain Greek yogurt and a splash of milk; instead of sugar, I used honey. Overall, I was happy with the way they turned out. It’s not a sweet cornbread/corn muffin recipe, so if you prefer your corn muffins on the sweet side, you may want to add more honey. Serve them warm and slathered with butter. Enjoy!
CORN MUFFINS WITH ROASTED BELL PEPPERS AND GOAT CHEESE
1 cup corn meal (I used white, you can use yellow as well)
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 Tablespoons honey
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup (8 oz) plain Greek yogurt
Splash of milk
1 bell pepper, any color, roasted and cut into a large dice
2 oz. plain goat cheese, crumbled
First, roast your bell pepper by either charring it over the flames of a gas burner, or rubbing it with olive oil and putting it on a cookie sheet in a 450 degree oven and turning occasionally until blackened. Once the pepper is blackened, put it in a Ziploc bag and seal it, so that the pepper can cool and steam. Once the pepper is cool, remove the skin and seeds (the skin will rub right off) and cut into a large dice; set aside.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter, honey, egg, yogurt, and milk, and stir until well combined. Stir in the pepper and goat cheese. Spoon the batter into a greased muffin tin, filling the cups about 2/3 of the way. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, until the muffins are lightly browned, and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
"Food is never just food. It's also a way of getting at something else: who we are, who we have been, & who we want to be." -- Molly Wizenberg