Tuesday, January 13, 2009

TWD: Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins


I’m not sure why my childhood and adolescence were completely void of cornbread.



Was it that we westerners fed the corn to the cows and sheep, saving none for human consumption?

Was it meat-and-potatoes all the way in the small, farm towns of my childhood?




Maybe German folks don’t “do” cornbread. Maybe Lutherans and Catholics don’t either? I dunno.




What about the American Indians and Latinos I grew up with? Were my friend’s families secretly eating cornbread without my knowing?

I pondered these questions as I ate my chili and cornbread muffin, this week’s Tuesday’s with Dorie pick, (actually, they were Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins). Many thanks to Rebecca of Ezra Pound Cake for choosing.


Too bad we didn’t have Paula Deen on Food TV whipping up good ole' Southern home cooking back then. Maybe then I'd have known about and maybe even tried them.

Suffice it to say I didn’t know what to expect this week. I’ve never made cornbread. I was a little perplexed by the stiff, dry batter. Was I supposed to mush it down, or leave it like this?


I ended up mushing it down a bit and it seemed to turn out OK. I opted for the standard cornbread rather than the savory version which included red bell peppers, cilantro, and black pepper.

The verdict? I thought they tasted good. However, they were very crumbly and literally fell apart in my hands as I ate them. That's kind of a deal-breaker for me. I like food that stays together. I doubt I'll make these again.

But as always, it was a learning experience.


By the way, I asked my mom if we ever ate cornbread when I was young. She said she made cornbread occasionally, but when pressed, she couldn’t remember what she made it with. Or where we lived at the time. I think she’s making it up, LOL.

32 comments:

Heather said...

Jacque, it's a much eaten thing here in our house, and we know you like to eat food from here. My cornbread batter is very runny, and we pour it into a 500 degree cast iron skillet to cook it in a 450 oven, giving it a crunchy exterior and a very yummy interior that does not crumble.
Come on over, I'll make you up a pan!

pinkstripes said...

I can't believe you've never had cornbread.

Jules Someone said...

Mmmmm. The savory version was wonderful. Corn bread does tend to crumble. Ah well.

Pamela said...

Mine was crumbly, too. I just added it to my bowl of chili and called it dinner. I do love corn breads that have the texture you described, though.

chocolatechic said...

I never had corn bread growing up either.

My batter wasn't stiff.

I wonder why yours was.

Bunny said...

We love cornbread, it's not all like that recipe though. I hope you try another recipe Jacque cause cornbread when you find one you like is wonderful!!

LyB said...

I had never had cornbread before a few years ago either. I like it though, I don't mind crumbly. :) Yours look great.

Teanna said...

Wow! I'm glad that you were happy with your first cornbread experience! They look delicious!

Megan said...

You poor cornbread-deprived child!

BTW - cornbread should not fall apart like that when you eat it.It seems to be a common theme from what I've seen and heard so far.

This is why I made a chocolate tart instead.

Grace said...

my grandpa eats cornbread with his lunch every single day. then, sometimes as a snack before bed, he crumbles some up into a glass of milk. methinks he likes cornbread and would be devastated to learn that some people have never eaten it. :)

spike. said...

I'm glad you finally got to try cornbread!

Kimberly Johnson said...

Your muffins look great!

Tammy said...

mine were a bit crumbly too - I'm with you. the flavour was nice but I wont be making again

Danielle said...

Your muffins look great!

kim said...

glad you finally got to try it! :) i didn't have it very much growing up... i am Italian, so it was mostly crusty bread :) mine were very crumbly too, but i thought they were still tasty.

April said...

You were deprived! Cornbread is best crumbled up in soup/chili or used as 'dressing' AKA stuffing. Your corn muffins look tasty!

Kristin said...

Your pictures are so amazing!

HappyTummy said...

Ack! So sorry your first (?) experience with cornbread was just meh. Your pictures look great though! And the chili looks yummy too :)

Engineer Baker said...

Oh wow, I definitely grew up with cornbread - my great grandma's recipe, no less. Now your quest is clear - find a cornbread recipe you really love :)

Marthe said...

Your muffins look amazing! I loved the spicy version!!

Y said...

Haha.. I loved this post. I didn't eat my first piece of cornbread until only fairly recently too - and I had to make it myself! It was actually quite tasty though.

n.o.e said...

Funny about your mom. My girls would probably accuse me of revisionist family history too. Given all the kinds of cornbread out there, you'd be bound to taste one you liked. Sorry these didn't do it for you. Mine didn't crumble really.
Nancy

Natashya said...

I guess they would be a little alarming if you had never had them before. They do crumble, just eat them over the chili!
It is good that you tried something new... on to the berry cake!

Cathy said...

I am a half Italian, half Irish Catholic from Connecticut and we didn't have cornbread growing up either. I think that might have just been my family, though. I've read raves about Dorie's Corniest Corn Muffins (on the page before this recipe) -- I believe it is sweeter and perhaps moister, so you might like that one better. Sorry these weren't your favorite, but as you say, part of the fun of TWD is in trying new things! I think your muffins look great!

Madam Chow said...

Your story reminded me of one of my college friends. She had never seen a grapefruit, much less eaten one, until she went to college. She saw me eating a half one day, and asked me what it was. I, on the other hand, had never had grits!

Carol Peterman said...

There are endless takes on cornbread and I bet if you keep trying recipes you will find one that you love. You have a lot of cornbread consumption catching up to do!

Cooking for Comfort by Jennifer said...

I added a glob of sour cream to mine...it wasn't crumbly, but it can get that way, sometimes even a different oven will do it. Try it again and pull the muffins out at 15 minutes.

My batter was stiff until I added the sour cream...I'm wondering if adding the whole egg would help?

Nice job, though!!!!

The Food Librarian said...

I didn't grow up with corn bread either! Yours look great!

Maria said...

A first time for everything:) the muffins look great!

Katrina said...

That's funny about your mom's memory. My mom would have been the same, she can't seem to remember anything. Now as I have four boys, I can't remember anything either, not even their darn names! Yep, the taste of cornbread/muffins is good, but they ARE so crumbly. Deal breaker for my husband, too.

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

We didn't eat cornbread much either growing up. I enjoyed these savory muffins.

alexandra's kitchen said...

thanks for your honest assessment of the recipe ... that's always appreciated. i like my corn bread (and all food) to stay together, too.

That pear tart down below looks heavenly. it's bookmarked!