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Monday, January 17, 2011

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread Muffins

Photo Source:  Google Images (because my people
would not let me put jalapenos in ours)
There's a little restaurant in Austin (no, not South Padre this time), called Eastside Cafe.  It is in an old house East of IH 35, converted to a most excellent restaurant, where I have eaten some mighty fine meals during the years when I lived in Austin.  I received a little cookbook, as a gift, that gave me the secrets to some of their delicious dishes a few years back.  The other morning, I was flipping through it...talking to the family about what to have for dinner.  I tried to push them to accept my suggestion of the Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread Muffins I have enjoyed at every single meal at this restaurant.  Both "men" shook their heads...they don't like jalapenos in their cornbread. <sigh>

However, I bet there are plenty of folks in the Rio Grande Valley who would like this recipe and embrace the jalapenos (perhaps adding more than is called for)!  I liked them, particularly, because they were not overwhelming in the heat department...just a small nip on the tongue, if even that :-)  The key is in getting the jalapenos minced very small - there are only 2 tablespoons in 24 muffins - how hot could they be???

I'm going to share the recipe with you - and I did make it for the guys without the jalapenos...but I just don't think they are as delicious as the ones that prompt my memories of lovely lunches under the blooming pomegranate tree, walks in their beautiful organic gardens, and the memories of the friends I enjoyed those lunches and walks with! (although my cornbread muffins were damn good, even without the jalapeno!)

My cheddar cornbread muffins - hot,
with butter - simply delicious!
Make these - they are really delicious...a moist crumb, big on flavor.  Make sure you have lots of softened butter to slather on as soon as they come out of the oven.  Delicious. (yep, I'm being redundant...but it's true.)

Eastside Cafe's Jalapeno Cheddar
Cornbread Muffins
From: Eastside's Inside Secrets

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
5 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
6 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons canned/jar jalapenos, minced
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Set aside.  In another large mixing bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk, canola oil, cheddar cheese, and jalapenos and whisk together.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and whisk to combine.  Add melted butter and mix well. 

To bake:  Spray 3-inch muffin pan with cooking spray.  Fill muffin pans half full (about 1/4 cup per muffin).  Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.  Yield 24 muffins.

Now, I halved the recipe today - 12 muffins - and it turned out fine...not always the case when baking halved recipes...but feel confident that you CAN halve this recipe with no problem whatsoever.  I even went so far as to make 6 without cheese (the picky teen didn't understand why I had to mess with a "perfectly good cornbread muffin by adding cheese" <sigh...again>).  Everyone was happy.  The teen was so happy he ate ALL SIX of them.  His dad ate FOUR.  Holy smokes!  We served them with chili...and it was a most excellent dinner!  (Did I say most excellent more than once?  I must be channeling Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure... I don't know why.)

The muffins are ready!

Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!

Eastside Cafe Gardens, Austin, Texas
http://www.eastsidecafeaustin.com/garden/garden.html
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