Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Green Chile & Bacon Cheddar Cornbread Muffins

Nearly a year ago, I met one of the sweetest people I know... And it's no surprise because she's known to make some sweet desserts on her blog, My Baking Heart. Jessica is such a beautiful person inside and out that today, fellow foodie friends and I are celebrating in her honor. She has met the love of her life and soon, Jessica and Chris will be getting married. That calls for a celebration and a virtual one at that! Nikki of Pennies on a Platter is graciously hosting today's Virtual Bridal Shower for Jessica of My Baking Heart. Please visit Nikki's blog for a delicious round up of eats that's perfect for any special occasion.

For this bridal shower, a southern staple seems most fitting. Jessica hails from Texas so I made these Green Chile & Bacon Cheddar Cornbread Muffins for the virtual bridal shower. These muffins capture the south by incorporating chopped green chiles, crisp bacon and sharp cheddar cheese in a cornbread batter. The best part? These are completely gluten free!...

The original recipe calls for baking this in a cast iron pan, however for the sake of easy portion control, I baked these in a muffin tin. They freeze great however if you have leftovers, I would suggest using them for a cornbread stuffing. These are best the same day and warm, if not fresh out of the oven!

Green Chile & Bacon Cheddar Cornbread
recipe adapted from Sunny Anderson

2 strips bacon, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
4 tablespoons butter
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles

Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.

In a 10-inch cast iron pan on medium-high heat add the bacon and saute until almost crisp then add the onions and season with a pinch of salt and a couple of grinds of pepper. Saute until the onions are tender, then add the garlic and stir. When the garlic is tender use a slotted spoon to remove the mixture and drippings to a medium bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl combine the cornmeal, cheese, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir the buttermilk, eggs, butter, and chiles into the bowl with the bacon mixture. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and gently pour in the egg mixture. Fold until all the ingredients are combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the lined muffin pan and bake in the preheated oven. Bake until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 17-20 minutes.

Glaze: Melt the butter, sugar and a pinch of salt together in a small pan over low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once the cornbread is done, remove it from the oven and immediately brush the glaze over the tops. Serve warm.

For a great quick tip recipe, I definitely recommend Glory Foods cornbread mix! This is a great alternative to save some time in the kitchen without sacrificing flavor. To use, stir in the onions, bacon, cheese and chiles to the package directions and bake up!