Last week all staff went back to school. It was great to walk the halls again and see my co-workers. Even though their smiles are hidden behind the masks I can still see their eyes light up and imagine their smiles.
Can I take this moment to tell you how much I'm going to miss eating lunch with my co-workers in the teacher's lounge? We have built strong bonds over the years and are a very close and passionate group of people. We had the best time at lunch, our laughter exploding out of the door, and into the hallways. That time was like magic. It would cure whatever ailed you. It would put your broken pieces back together. We could all use a dose of that right now.
Due to the virus, we cannot eat together or do any congregating. Eating lunch alone at my desk makes me sad, so I need to pack things I look forward to. I have been craving salad something fierce, so this week I'm taking salad with mixed greens, hard-boiled egg, chopped bacon, cheese, tomato, and cucumber. I need a little tasty morsel to go along with it and I've been craving some kind of savory corn muffin.
Curtis Stone's Corn and Bacon Muffins that I made a while back are one of my all-time favorites, but I can't eat a full-sized muffin with my salad so I opted to make a bite-sized version. No guilt here, they are simply my croutons, right?
I had to change up the recipe a bit because I didn't have enough chives or green onion, so I opted to use a variety of green things: a few chives, a handful of basil (I love basil with corn), and a few of my jalapenos that are growing like crazy in my bourbon barrel.
It's worth noting that these are not corn muffins. There is no cornflour. They are simply muffins with corn in them, as well as a bunch of other tasty things, like bacon, bacon fat, cheese, and herbs. You simply cannot go wrong here. They are so delicious!
If you're in the mood for something bready, this recipe is a total gem! It's the second time I've shared it on my blog (hey, I'm allowed to share twice if I make it in different sizes).
Do yourself a favor and give these a try! Be good to yourselves.
Lozza's Corn and Bacon Muffins
Adapted from Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone
by Curtis Stone
Makes 12 full-sized or 24 mini muffins
12 ounces bacon, coarsely chopped
1 ear yellow corn, or 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1-1/4 cups whole milk
3 large eggs
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh chives (or other green herbs or veggies)*
salted butter, for serving
Note: I didn't have enough chives so I used a combination of chives, basil, and chopped jalapenos. These really are best with chives or chopped green onion, but you can really use any combination here.
Preheat the oven to 400F. Cook the bacon in a large heavy saute pan over medium heat for about 8 minutes, or until it is browned and crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels. Brush 12 standard size or bite-size mini muffin pans generously with some of the bacon drippings from the pan and set aside 1/2 cup of the remaining bacon drippings to cool slightly. Curtis says to discard any remaining bacon fat. I say that's ludicrous. Save that bacon fat and use it to fry up some breakfast potatoes!
Use a sharp knife to slice the corn kernels off the cob or use thawed frozen corn. You need about 1 cup.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and cayenne pepper in a large bowl to blend. Whisk the milk, eggs, and reserved bacon drippings in another large bowl to blend; then stir in the bacon, 1-1/2 cups of the cheese, the corn kernels, and the chives (or other green things). Stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture just until blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pans, dividing it equally and mounding it generously. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake for about 18 minutes if full-sized or about 10 minutes if bite-sized. The muffins should be golden and a tester inserted into the center should come out clean. Let the muffins cool slightly in the cups. Then run a small sharp knife around the muffins to loosen them from the cups, remove them, and serve them warm with salted butter.