Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesdays with Dorie: Spicy Cornbread Muffins

This post could be subtitled: In Which The Author Suffers A Case of Blog-Writer's Block.

I've put off writing this entry most of today because I can't think of any clever or interesting ways of approaching it. People, I am on a strict New Year's-inspired diet and exercise plan. All of my mental energy is going toward forcing myself not to eat fudge for lunch and convincing myself that plain yogurt with splenda is a delightful "dessert." How can I be expected to write amusingly about food at a time like this? What is wrong with you?!

Also, I think the diet is making me cranky.

But back to real food...
We made Savory Cornbread Muffins this week for TWD, and I was kind of psyched about the choice, simply because it came after much holiday overindulging, and it was a relief to not have to make a five-layered cake or something. Like just about everyone else, I served it with a hearty soup (my famous smoky black-bean soup) and the muffins were a nice complement to the soup.

Being a lifelong Californian, I can claim ignorance as to the intricacies of the Great Cornbread Debate between the North and the South (sugar? bacon grease? cheese? cast iron? who knows?) so I came to this recipe baggage-free. I thought it was a fine recipe, in that it tasted good but not extraordinary, and probably wouldn't supplant my favorite corn bread recipe any time in the near future. To be fair, I usually bake my cornbread in a preheated cast iron skillet so it has those great crunchy edges, and that may have been part of what I was missing.

There were lots of good add-ins in this recipe: green onions, cilantro, jalapeno, yellow bell peppers, and roasted corn kernels. I added a little pepper jack cheese, and increased the amount of spices for an extra kick. I liked the flavor just fine, but thought the bread was a little crumbly and dry for my taste. It was great crumbled over the soup, but a little less exciting when eaten on its own.

Any 30 Rock fans in the house? I think I'll sum up by saying, this was a good cornbread, but not one I'd like to take behind the middle school and get pregnant.

(Hee hee, pregnant cornbread.)

14 comments:

  1. I totally hear you.. I really have to get on a diet.. but I've been putting it off because of those same side effects :)
    Your muffins look really good though.. keep up the great work!! :)

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  2. LOL diets do make a person cranky!
    Your muffins came out great.

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  3. I can relate to not understanding the cornbread debate. The muffins look good!

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  4. Liz, great minds think alike...I also went with a black bean soup ...I hope you'll share the recipe)! :P

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  5. I hear you on the diet front. It's making it so hard to find good things to post about! Would love your black bean soup recipe, I've been looking for a great one!

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  6. Ha! I came to these muffins baggage-free as well. Although after reading other blogs and getting educated in the intricacies of the Great North/South Corn Muffin Divide (which is apparently as intense as the Great East Coast/West Coast Rapper Divide of the early 1990s) I have to wonder what kind of rock I've been living under to have missed all of the controversy. Oh well. Your muffins look great! I guess they can't all be our all-time favorites. I am now off to see if that smoky black bean soup recipe is on your blog (and if it's not, I'd love if you would post it sometime!)

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  7. I made these awhile ago, they were good with our black bean soup. I liked the color and spice. Yours look great!

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  8. Love your 30 Rock reference!! Your black bean soup looks great. I'm a native Californian too and was for the most part blissfully ignorant of the cornbread debate.

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  9. I had to laugh about writer's block. There just isn't much to say about cornbread muffins. Pepper jack cheese would be a great addition.

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  10. The muffins were great with chili and for breakfast, imo. We liked them a lot, but I don't cook much cornbread. And I think I may have stirred up that controversy, although really, I like most cornbread. Sorry about the crankiness!
    Nancy

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  11. Diets'll do that to ya. That's why I avoid them at all costs and just try to scale back from 6 cookies a day to 2 :) Those muffins look awesome though, and I had mine with a thick soup too.

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  12. Looooooove me some 30 Rock.

    I picked the muffins, because I'm trying to eat healthier, and I just wasn't ready to crumb coat, glaze or frost anything. And, yes, dieting makes me CRANKY. The dog is hiding from me right now.

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  13. These look great! I'm putting off my new years resolutions until Chinese New Year... :) And then I might put them off til Jewish New Year...and then the next one...

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  14. I love 30 Rock, but I hate diets. Tina Fey? Awesome. Plain yogurt with Splenda? Sucks. (As does writer's block.) Your smoky black bean soup is making me really hungry!

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