Sunday, May 4, 2008

Cheddar-Sausage Corn Muffins, Spicy or Sweet

I found this recipe for cheddar-sausage muffins a while ago. Sounds good, right? Somehow, either in reading this recipe or remembering it, I thought it was for cheddar-sausage corn muffins. So when I went to make these yesterday morning and realized that there was no form of corn anywhere to be found in the recipe, I wasn’t quite sure what to do. I’d been thinking “corn muffin” for so long that I really wasn’t in the mood for anything else, but I didn’t know off the top of my head how to make a corn muffin. Nor did I feel like cleaning my hands, going to my computer, and finding another recipe. I have some corn flour in the pantry, and I was wondering whether simply substituting that for the regular flour called for would have given me a proper corn muffin. Anyone know? I suspect probably not. See, this is why I don’t bake more often.

I happened to have some Jiffy corn muffin mix in the pantry, which I like to keep around for just such emergencies. So I got it out, made it according to package instructions, and then added my sausage and cheese. I tossed in some chopped scallions, too, for freshness and color.

But I didn’t stop there. I knew these muffins would be good, but I wanted to see if I could make them even better. Some kind of jazzed-up butter, I thought. Adam likes things spicy, and I like them sweet, so I finally settled on two different butters: a roasted poblano butter and, my favorite, honey butter. I really liked this idea, because it allowed me to take the same muffin and enjoy it two different ways. And, as an added bonus, I used some of the leftover poblano butter to cook up some home fries this morning. Fabulous.

I served these muffins for breakfast, but I think they’d also be great as a side dish to a Mexican meal. I used breakfast sausage and sharp cheddar, but these would also be good with, say, some fresh andouille or chorizo and Monterey or pepper jack cheese. Yum!

Cheddar-Sausage Corn Muffins with Spicy and Sweet Butters

Makes 8 muffins

1 8.5-oz package Jiffy corn mix (or your favorite corn muffin recipe)
1/2 pound sausage, cooked and crumbled into small pieces
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 scallion, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare corn muffin mix according to package instructions (you’ll need one egg and 1/3 cup of milk). Add sausage, cheese, and scallion, and stir until just combined.

Grease 8 cups of a standard-size muffin tin. Distribute batter among greased cups. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until muffins are cooked through and edges begin to turn golden brown.

Honey Butter

1/2 stick butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons honey

Add ingredients to food processor, and pulse until thoroughly combined.

Roasted Poblano Butter

1 small poblano pepper
1/2 stick butter, room temperature
Juice of 1/2 lime

Heat broiler. When hot, please poblano, on a pan, on top shelf beneath broiler. Roast for 5 minutes, then turn pepper and roast for 5 minutes more, until pepper is blackened on all sides.

Place pepper in a small paper bag, closed tightly, for about ten minutes or until cool enough to handle. This allows the steam to loosen the skin. When cool, remove pepper from bag and gently remove blacked skins. Remove stem and seeds.

Chop pepper roughly and place in a food processor with softened butter and lime juice. Pulse until pepper is chopped in small pieces and evenly distributed through butter.

Note: You can use the same processor that you used for the honey butter, without washing it. Just scrape as much honey butter as you can from the food processor before beginning. I wouldn’t, however, recommend using the same processor to make the honey butter after the poblano butter. The pepper flavor may linger.


Chef Erik said...

Yummy yum yum. I made muffins like this once, with bell pepper, oniond, and cheddar. They look super delish!

noble pig said...

These look scrumptious and so full of flavor! Love it...I want these for my Mother's Day so I'm forwarding this link to my hubby.

Daziano said...

They look so good and so perfect for brunch! I'm so hungry right now...

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! You can grab and go with breakfast, but it actually tastes good!

Peter M said...

Ummm, I'm thinkin' smack a poached egg in between the muffin!

Elle said...

What a great idea! Those look delicious, and I'd like one with honey butter, please.

diva@theSugarBar said...

i love that there's cheese & sausage in them. would make such a great savoury snack! x

jj said...

Wow, that was really creative of you; all from a Jiffy mix! Thanks so much, these look delicious.

kimberleyblue said...

Oh yum! The muffins and the butter look and sound incredible! I love savoury muffins...

Anonymous said...

those look really good. i've never really made or eaten savory muffins. i'll have to give this one a try.

giz said...

Gotta love that sense of adventure. What looked like it could have been doomed got a quick turn around and became something really special. Good job!

My Sweet & Saucy said...

You are making me crave one right now...and it's only 9:30 in the morning!!! These look fantastic and the butters to go with them just put me over the top!

Deborah said...

These sound fantastic! And I love that they are so versatile. I'm gonna remember this one!

Elle said...

I've passed along an award to you! See my blog, please. :)

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) said...

I have a tummy bug and yet I am graving this..a great compliment to you.....I love the butter idea too.

Anonymous said...

I love to bake, so I don't really understand your aversion to it! It's one of the best ways I know to make friends! ; )

To answer your question about corn flour, it probably would give you the same (or similar) flavor, but it definitely wouldn't give you the same mouth feel as a "normal" corn muffin. Because corn flour is just more finely ground than cornmeal, you wouldn't get that lovely crunch. Corn flour would, however, keep things from crumbling a little better. Most cornbread recipes do call for a touch of regular flour, so it would probably be alright to substitute, but you may want to be careful of moisture proportions.

Kevin said...

Muffins with cheese and sausage sound great!

Neen said...

Completely unrelated to this post: I noticed on someone else's blog that you're going to Shenandoah Valley this coming weekend on a wine tour?! Oh My Gosh, so are We! We went wine tasting in the Shenandoah last fall, and had an absolute blast. Absolutely do not miss Barboursville. I didn't care for their reds (very Super Bowl husky male, if you ask me), but their whites were absoutely superb. The Sauvignon Blanc? To die for. Oh, I really hope you enjoy it, do let us know how it goes!!

Vicarious Foodie said...

Anonymous: Thanks so much for the helpful advice! If I knew as much as you clearly do about baking I think I'd enjoy it more, but I have a lot to learn.

Rusty said...

Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix - Copy Cat recipe

Makes: 6 muffins.

When a recipe calls for a box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix, here’s a copycat recipe you can make at home.

This recipe is equal to one 8.5 ounce box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix.

Makes 8.5 ounces (equal to 1-box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix) Makes 1-1/2 cups of mix. Makes 6 corn muffins.


2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow corn meal
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk


1. Combine flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix well with whisk. Whisk in vegetable oil and mix until dry mixture is smooth and lumps are gone.

2. If another recipe is calling for a box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix, add the above mixed ingredients to that recipe.

3. If you wish to make Corn Muffins, continue with instructions below.

4. Preheat oven to 400F.Combine above mixture with egg and milk. Mix well.

Fill muffin tins 1/2 full. Bake 15-20 minutes. Makes 6 muffins.

Anonymous said...

Just what I was looking for to make for a birthday brunch tomorrow! There was a similar recipe in our newspaper last fall, but I had lost it already, and this one looks even better to me.



Annah Syta said...

These look great! I just made some bacon, cheddar and scallion ones that are also pretty good (recipe is on my blog!). Will have to try these soon!