So, when my turn came to pick a recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie, I chose the Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins. Because the group had never baked any of the book’s savory recipes. And because people have very strong opinions about cornbread. When you have a group of 300+ members all baking the same thing, you need a little controversy. Otherwise, you’ll be ready to lobotomize yourself with a soup spoon after No. 89.
At the risk of sounding like a cross between Foghorn Leghorn and Scarlett O’Hara, I’ll say that I’m a Southerner, and we tend to be territorial about cornbread. I fully expect the Southern delegation of TWD to either a.) politely decline to make these corn muffins on the grounds that they contain sugar or b.) politely make the muffins but mention how they cut the sugar. I know, we put sugar in everything else, but when it comes to cornbread, most Southerners don’t like it sweet. We go with cast-iron, high heat and bacon grease. Judge the bacon grease if you must, but my 89-year-old mommaw swears by it, and she could give you the family trees of every character on “Days of Our Lives” while single-handedly plowing a field right now.
I picked Dorie’s Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins, because I wanted to try a Southwestern cornbread. In the South, everyone’s grandmother makes “Mexican Cornbread” with cream-style corn, canned green chiles and at least a cup of cheese. Dorie’s recipe offered an authentically Southwestern cornbread with fresh corn, jalapeño, red bell pepper and cilantro. I was curious.
Dorie’s muffins were a nice surprise. Sweet, spicy and really fresh-tasting. The corn and peppers aren’t cooked before they go into the batter, so they give plenty of color and bite. I buttered my first one out of habit, but it definitely didn’t need it.
The thing about these muffins is that they inspire chili-making. So, if you’re following the Great Corn Muffin Debate of ’09 or looking for a few good chili recipes, visit the rest of the TWD clan.
Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins
From Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking: From My Home to Yours”
Makes 12 muffins
South-of-the-Border-style muffins have the spunk, spice and potential to be as good a partner to soup and salad as to huevos rancheros or a mild-mannered four-minute egg. Think of them as mini corn breads–they’ve got that kind of tight crumb and light crumbliness–and enjoy the cilantro and chiles that give them such a distinctive Southwestern twang. (For a more traditional version of these muffins, see Playing Around.)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or more to taste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 cup corn kernels (add up to 3 tablespoons more if you’d like)–fresh, frozen or canned (in which case they should be drained and patted dry)
- 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded, deveined and finely diced
- 1/4 red bell pepper, seeded, deveined and finely diced
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
- Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin or fit the molds with paper muffin cups. Alternatively, use a silicone muffin pan, which needs neither greasing nor paper cups. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, chili powder, salt, baking soda and black pepper. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the buttermilk, melted butter and egg yolk together until well blended. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don’t worry about being thorough–the batter will be lumpy, and that’s just way it should be. Stir in the corn kernels, jalapeño, red pepper and cilantro. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold.
Serving: These are particularly good served warm and still very good at room temperature. As a morning muffin, they’re good with butter; for lunch or supper, try them with red pepper jelly or salsa.
Storing: Best served the day they are made, these can be kept covered overnight and split and toasted the next day. They can also be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months. Rewarm in a 350-degree-F oven, if you’d like, or split and toast them.
Plain Corn Muffins: Omit the chili powder, black pepper, jalapeño, red pepper and cilantro and increase the sugar to 1/4 cup.
92 thoughts on “Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins”
Thanks for your recipe choice!!!
These are a keeper (with less sugar, of course)!
Great Choice! Yours look fantastic as well.
Whoa, my mouth is watering just thinking about these. Great photo!
Thanks for picking this recipe! I don’t usually make cornbread and now I’m wondering why. This version was great…really moist, and I loved the chili powder and red pepper flavors. I’m a Northerner and I reduced the sugar!
It was very nice to have a savory recipe this week…and an easy one…it was a good week for an easy savory recipe. You did good. Yours look very lovely…it is such fun with those little bits of color poking through, isn’t it? Okay, it doesn’t take much to thrill me these days as I have been a couple of weeks on bedrest and, well, that is definitely not all it is cracked up to be, despite my stack of books and the movies recommended from your site a few weeks back. Thanks for that, btw. I’m on the road…should be ready to tackle the next recipe soon!
Ooh these look tasty! I could eat cornbread daily.
Thanks for this week’s recipe! Yours look like they turned out so much better than mine; I’m going to have to have another go at this recipe, I think.
Great recipe choice! I loved it. Looks like some people avoided controversy by changing or skipping the recipe, which is a shame, but it’s their loss anyway.
Yum yum yum! Bravo on the muffins and the recipe choice! I think I’m the only Southerner who likes sweet cornbread, hence my dependency on Jiffy cornbread. I passed this week for various reason, but will not let this recipe pass me up and will try soon. THanks!
Great choice… I loved them! I do love the iron cast way as well, but this was a lovely choice and a good one to keep in the rotation. Thanks Rebecca!
Thanks for the pick! Yours looks great.
It was a great pick, Rebecca! I love the picture of the butter melting on the muffin. LOL about your Mommaw, plowing the field, etc.
And you’re right, there were tons of chili makers out there this past week as well. Thanks again!
These were FABULOUS.
This Northerner added some sugar.
[…] of this is to say I was happy to try Dorie’s recipe for savory corn muffins because they looked like they could be light and tender, but not at all sweet. They’re […]
Thanks for picking a savory recipe! I’m a northerner and I love a little sugar in my cornbread!
Great pick this week as we try to recoup from the holidays! I liked ’em. Thanks, Rebecca!
I can’t really say I am a Southerner, but I married one, so I know the whole cornbread issue!
These were great. Thanks for a wonderful pick and your pictures are gorgeous as always!
Beautiful! Thanks for choosing a savory recipe! I was ready for one! Yours look like they turned out great!
thanks for picking a savory. I am ‘sweeted’ out for a while. Yours look great.
As for the Great Cornbread debate. I am a southerner, but I like my cornbread sweet, baked in a skillet with butter.
Thanks for choosing a savoury recipe. We liked it all. You picture makes me wanting more
Good grief, what a gorgeous picture! What a great pick! I loved it!!
these look fab! thanks for a great pick–i really enjoy getting a good savory recipe once and awhile!
your muffins look great – thanks for chosing. i would like to try the Mexican cornbread recipe with the creamed corn and cheese – that sounds like more my thing :0)
It was a neat recipe. I added butter, too. I mean why not add more yummy goodness! Creamed corned sounds awesome. I will try it next time. Have a good day!
I think these muffins bridge the North/South divide nicely. Just enough sugar to keep the Yankees happy, but hardly a sweet muffin, so the Southerners really should not complain. These muffins satisfied both the native New Englander and the Southern transplant in me. Great pick!
Thank you for selecting this recipe. It was a good break from our usual sweets. We loved the muffins (both at home and at work). Once again, great choice!
Thanks for a great pick! I loved them and the recipe was super easy to make! I love your and they look quite tasty! See you next week.
I loved these muffins and will be making them regularly! Great pick for me.
Despite being a Southern and being brought up in the grand tradition of saving your bacon grease for cornbread – I thought these were a great selection. Different and tasty! Thanks!
Although I skipped this week in deference to my picky (for cornbread, anyway) husband and daughter, thanks for picking something savory! My West Texan grandmother would have made these in her Lodge skillet with bacon grease, too. I do plan to make them when I have a more adventurous panel of taste-testers. Yours look delicious.
Thanks for choosing a savory recipe, Rebecca! The muffins were a lovely change from the usual sweets. I love your comment about the sugar–it did seem a little blasphemous to add 3 entire TBS to the batter, but I followed Dorie and was glad I did. A lovely melange of flavors and sensations:)
I grew up in the south with the no sugar cornbread, too. My mother-in-law (also a southerner) used to make hers that way but has started using Jiffy mix!! Now my kids think cornbread should taste like a muffin! I have to break them of the white bread habit when they come back from her house, too.
Thank you so much Rebecca for picking that recipe this week!
We all enjoyed it very much… perfect, for Siberian weather like ours! LOL
Yours are pretty darn good looking too!
Nice pick – your photos are superb.
Great choice! Up until I made these I’ve only liked one cornbread recipe (ala Martha). I’m glad to have another good cornbread.
Such a great pick Rebecca! I was so glad to have a savory recipe after all of the sweets of the last couple of months. Thank you!!
Thanks for picking these! They were fun to make. Like others, I don’t usually make Mexican cornbread because of my picky family, lol, but these muffins were really good! I thought the spices and peppers offset the sugar and didn’t think they were too sweet. :)
Your muffins look perfect!
You are so right about us southerners and cornbread recipes. Mine was handed down through the generations with bacon grease and cast iron too, but I have to say these were good too. I didn’t cut the sugar or alter the recipe and hubby gobbled them up no questions asked.
I was SO happy to see a savory recipe this week! Thanks so much, I loved these! :)
thanks for picking these…they were great. And your mommaw reminds me of my grandma, metaphorically speaking. We come from good roots!
Thanks for the savory diversion — it came at the perfect time for us!
It was a wonderful choice. I think many, many pots of chili were made around the world because of you. Yours look tasty and adorable.
I just loved the combination of the sweetness of the sugar and that kick in the butt by the jalapeno pepper!! Great pick, thank you sooo much!
Seriously, awesome pick. As a northern cornbread kind of gal, I still loved these. Fabulous.
We really enjoyed them! Thanks for such a yummy, easy to make choice!!
I, too, have been craving a savory pick! I love how the littlespecks of green and red are so perfect in yours. They really look delicious! Thanks for stirring the pot of controversy!
Love your picture! I thank you for choosing these little gems, like many of us I just made chili and called it a day. Perfect. I did make a slight error. I made the muffins on the previous page! Oops! Guess thats what I get for scanning the pages! Still very good!
I’m a born New Englander, but transplanted to the South for over 30 years. I actually like my cornbread all different ways (and so does my deep-Southern husband). BUT we don’t really like sugar in our savory foods. So, yes, I cut the sugar. And I only added canned chiles because I was surprised there was no bell pepper in the produce drawer. Oh well, guilty as charged!
Ezra’s iron skillet came straight from EBay. Only place I could find (1)old (2)used and (3) perfectedly seasoned skillet. Cost me as much to ship it as to buy it! BUT I wasn’t about to part with MINE.
Whoa. I love the green and red contrast in the muffins.
Hmmm… I live in CA. Does that make me northern or southern? I don’t like cornbread so maybe I am out west of the border huh? HAHA. Even though I am not a fan of cornbread I had alot of fun making these. Nice switch from sweet to savory. Great pic Rebecca. Props to my homie.
Clara @ iheartfood4thought
Muffins, the perfect solution for the family split about adding “things” into cornbread. I loved these, and loved a quick recipe this week. I got home from a trip late last night, but managed to get them made today and managed to not eat them all, so I can serve them for dinner tonight.
Loved this recipe and am glad you chose it in honor of my first TWD. OK, j/k obviously, but we really did like this. Yours have a beautiful dome to them that mine did not manage to achieve. Kudos!
This is one of the few recipes I haven’t yet made from Dorie’s book but now I want to make some chili and give it a try!
Thanks for this choice – it was nice to try something different. Being Canadian, I have no opinion one way or another about corn bread, but I did enjoy these.
I like how you shook things up a bit with a savory TWD! I’ve enjoyed seeing these throughout the blogosphere today. Yours look fantastic :)
thanks for a great choice this week. and all the different opinions have made for some interesting reading this week. :) your muffins look really good.
[…] so I’m going to keep this short. This week’s TWD challenge was selected by Rebecca of Ezra Pound Cake; she chose Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins on page 6 of Dorie’s Baking:From My Home to […]
Excellent choice! We needed a little savory. Nice looking muffins! And yes, I used the full amount of sugar. ;-)
A great pick this week Rebecca!
Yes, I’m in the non-Southern camp as I’m partial to adding sugar to any cornbread recipe, but twist my arm at the suggestion of bacon grease…YUM!!!!
Your photography is stunning and the muffins look fantastic! Thanks for a great pick this week! I loved these corn muffins and so did my iron skillet, bacon grease lovin’ boyfriend! He loved them after I tricked him into trying them, that is!
I like my savory cornbread in a cast iron skillet with that outer crunchy layer. Yumm yumm. I saute jalepeno and onion and add a can of creamed corn with a cup of pepper jack or monterrey jack cheese. Buttermilk of course. So delish. So that is this Oklahoma girl’s version. Just reminded myself these were corn muffins and maybe this was a different category. Not a pan of cornbread, ya know Thanks for something savory this week.
Thank you for choosing this recipe. It was wonderful and I have made them twice now.
Thanks for hosting this week Rebecca. Unlike most Southerners, I didn’t actually really know what cornbread is, so I came to this with no firm views, and I was surprised how much I liked them (given that I thought I wouldn’t). Great choice.
Your muffins look so delicious! Thanks for choosing this recipe. I don’t know much about cornbread, but these muffins (I made them plain) were delicious!
I am pro sugar in the cornbread.. but then again I am Canadian and can sidestep the debate. Great pick – they lent themselves well to playing with the flavours.
We use white cornmeal in the south. The only time a southern child gets yellow cornmeal is when when he eats school lunches
Good pick! It was a learning experience and I can now add “cornbread maker” to my list of accomplishments, LOL. Yours look wonderful.
Great looking muffins, Rebecca! I think it’s terrific that you picked a savory recipe. I’m just sorry that I haven’t gotten around to making them yet.
This recipe (er, I should say the variation that I made) was a welcome relief from all the sweet junk we’ve been eating. Thanks for the great pick, and the great stories!
Fun pick! They certainly were quite a colorful cornbread!
Though this was not my favorite Dorie recipe I’m glad I tried them. Your photography looks awesome as always, as I said in my email last week.
Thank you so much for the awesome pic this week! I think everyone breathed a sigh of relief at the fact that it was a cookie or a cake or something fatty fatty fatty! Thanks, Rebecca!
This was a fun choice and yours look fabulous!
Great pick this week – perfect timing for not only a savory recipe but a savory recipe paired with soup or chili.
Thanks for chosing a savory item! I was getting a major tooth ache :-)
The Shepherds pie is always delicious. I use ground turkey instead of lamb or meat for lower fat, and tofu sour cream to keep it Kosher.
Thanks for choosing these. They were a perfect savory, mid-winter treat.
Thanks so much for choosing these…I really enjoyed them!!!!
I had to change them – couldn’t handle the add ins, probably would have done it if the boys would eat them. Maybe another time for friends. hmmmmmm
And had to do it in the skillet!
Your pics are great!!
Thank you SO MUCH for picking this recipe! I was so glad to have a post-holiday break from sweet stuff. Oh – and I’m a Northerner, but I definitely made my cornbread (I didn’t make it as muffins) in a cast iron skillet.
This was such a great choice. I loved these muffins!
Your muffins looks so tasty and festive! Great job! Thanks for choosing such an interesting recipe too!
Thank you for choosing these. They were absolutely perfect for my weekend. Easy to make and easy to eat. It was a great choice!! Yours look fabulous.
Thanks for choosing this recipe! It was quick, easy and quite delicious. Perfect for a cold winter night.
(Oh, and I thought the amount of sugar was perfect!)
Very awesome sounding muffins! These would be great to serve at a Super Bowl party!
Thanks for choosing these! While they were not my favorites, I did have fun with my many variations.
Ha ha! I fell into group ‘B’. Your muffins look delicious! Thanks for choosing these. I really liked them!
[…] pick! You can get Dorie’s recipe for Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins at Rebecca’s blog, Ezra Pound Cake. And check out the other TWD members’s takes on Dorie’s corn […]
I love that you can see all the flecks of color..gorgeous.
[…] Savory Corn & Pepper Muffins recipe can be found on Ezra Pound Cake. Rebecca from Ezra Pound Cake selected this recipe. To see what other TWD bakers have made lately, […]
[…] so sharp and professionally styled, you could almost lick them off the screen! Rebecca chose the Savory Corn & Pepper Muffins for the January 13th recipe. These were awesome muffins full of flavor and color. Thanks so much […]
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