You should have been here for dinner on Sunday. Ciara, KP and I made a roasted eggplant soup & a caramelized garlic tart that called for two different kinds of goat cheese – I didn’t even know that goat gouda was out there for me to love. It was a decadent, delicious feast, but it would have been labour-intensive even without the culinary misadventures, like forgetting to defrost the puff pastry, or using rice to blind-bake the tart without laying down parchment paper first. That tart was a labour of love, squinty-eyed determination, and delayed dinner time – good thing we had the foresight to eat dessert first. It’s perhaps not surprising that the next day, an overcast, rainy Monday, I wanted food that would look after itself. I made a slow-cooked chili with cornmeal muffins.
This muffin recipe came to my family via my mum’s good friend Marcia, and it’s my perfect cornbread. I grew up with its crispy exterior & soft gentle crumb, and I take for granted its ability to elevate a standard chili into something really fabulous. Most important on this occasion, however, was its quick, no-fuss batter. It even brought the sun out.
Notes: Let’s say you’re tired of muffins or really hate cleaning out a muffin tray. Pour the batter into a loaf pan instead – it’ll take longer to bake, but the end product is the very same.
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup milk or soy milk
1 1/2 cup flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine or butter
1. In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal with milk; set aside.
2. In a separate medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder & salt; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat margarine with sugar & egg. Add the following, mixing after each addition: 1/2 the cornmeal mixture; 1/2 the flour mixture; 1/2 the cornmeal mixture; 1/2 the flour mixture. Scoop into a greased muffin tin or loaf pan. If making muffins, bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. If making a loaf, bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.