Jalapeno Corn Muffins

This was the very first thing I made in Culinary school. These muffins are considered a quick bread because there is no kneading involved and are mixed using the well method which involves adding the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mixing only until combined. Another characteristic of quick breads is the addition of baking powder or baking soda as is the leavening agent as opposed to yeast .

Side note: Did you know baking powder is essentially baking soda with cream of tartar added? The cream of tartar is the acid that activates the baking soda. Notice this recipe does not use buttermilk, which typically acts as an acid, but rather heavy cream. There is no need for the acid when using baking powder.

Mise en place
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2 c. cornmeal
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. sugar
2 t. salt
1 T. baking powder
1 c. frozen corn
1 c. chopped red/green pepper
1/4 c. chopped jalapeno pepper
3 oz. grated cheddar
3 eggs
2 c. heavy cream
2 oz. melted unsalted butter (1/2 stick)

  • In a large bowl mix all of the dry ingredients (cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, bk. powder)
  • Add the corn, peppers and cheese – mix to combine
  • In a separate bowl mix the eggs and cream, then add to the bowl of dry ingredients.
  • Mix only until barely combine, add the melted butter and mix only until just combined*
  • Fill muffin tins 3/4 of the way full and bake at 375 degrees F. until golden.

*anytime you add liquid to flour you activate the gluten which is the protein in the flour. The more you “work” or stir/knead flour, the more you activate the gluten. In the case of theses muffins you want a tender texture. In the case of french bread you want a more chewy texture and will knead the dough to activate the gluten. You can control the gluten not only by working it but also based on the type of flour you use or the amount of fat in the recipe, but I won’t get into that right now.

Ranch + Dill Pub Crackers

Pub Crackers

With football season starting I thought I’d post this recipe. The salty and crunchy texture paired with the dill flavor are a perfect accompaniment to a cold beer. This is great to travel with, bring to a party or simply snack on at home while watching football.

The measurement will depend on the size of the bag of oyster crackers you buy.  If it is a smaller bag, use the smaller measurement but much of this is also to taste so use your judgment. I almost always end up adding more salt and dill but it’s up to you.

Ingredients:
12 oz to 16 oz bag of oyster crackers
¾ c. – 1 c. Vegetable Oil
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Powder Ranch Dressing mix
½ to 1 teaspoon Dill Weed
Kosher Salt to taste
Fresh Ground Pepper to taste

  • Pre-heat the oven to 250° F
  • Whisk the oil, ranch powder, and dill weed together in a bowl.
  • Dump the oyster crackers onto a large pan.
  • Drizzle the oil mix over the crackers and season with salt and pepper and mix to combine.
  • Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the crackers a golden brown and have dried out.  Turn them in the oven every 5 minutes or so. 
  • Don’t be afraid to taste them to adjust the salt/pepper and check if you need more dill weed.