chile? chili? what's the difference? chile cheese corn muffins

saturday special
notes from maggie's farm

These moist little jewels of a muffin are plump with corn, and chock full of cheesy-peppery flavor. They are fantastic with any beans or peas, hearty soups and stews, sopping up the pot liquor of smoky pork-flecked greens, or even a quick lunch on their own, perhaps with a slice of tomato tucked between two halves.  


(see notes below)
¼ cup grapeseed oil
½ cup fine ground white cornmeal
½ cup stone ground yellow cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1t chili powder
1t garlic powder
2tsp sugar (this is optional. but it's goooood.)
½ tsp salt

1 cup frozen white 'shoepeg' corn
2 whole eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup diced chiles

½ cup chopped green onion


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Grease muffin tin or cornbread pan and preheat with oven.

Gently fold together all ingredients, above, until just moist.  Let rest for 10 minutes.

Fill preheated muffin tin with a little over a 1/2 cup of batter.  Bake until golden brown on top, roughly 25-30 minutes.  (If using cornstick pans or a skillet, adjust times accordingly)

notes on ingredients:
cornmeal—I use a combination of white and yellow cornmeal. I love the flavor and delicacy of white cornmeal, and I also enjoy a little rustic corn texture that the stone ground yellow meal gives. Measure for measure, you may use one or the other exclusively, if you prefer.  

flour—For this recipe, I use the delicate White Lily flour that many southern cooks use for biscuits, exclusively. Any all purpose flour may be used. If using self-rising flour, reduce the baking powder by

cheese—You may use alternate cheeses such as monterrey jack or Colby. You may also use a reduced fat cheese, however I choose to reduce the amount of cheese before I use a reduced fat cheese, which doesn't behave, in baking, like it's full fat cousin.

corn—I love shoepeg corn. I prefer to use the frozen variety to the canned, but if canned is used, drain well and rinse. If fresh white corn is available, a quick steam and a shuck is all that's necessary. If none of those options are available, standard yellow corn will be alright. But only alright. Nothing more.
Did I mention I love shoepeg corn?

oil—any neutral flavored cooking oil will do here. Olive oil is not a good option because of it's strong flavor. Butter is not a good substitute because of it's lower smoke point (however you could substitute ½ of the oil with equal amount of butter if you are a butter fiend.) If you really want to get traditional, lard, heated gently until liquefied, cooled for a few minutes, and then added to the mix, makes a delicious muffin. A delicious muffin loaded with saturated fat. I'm going to let you decide.  

chiles—canned or fresh green chiles, hot or mild, as well as fresh chiles, roasted chiles, or pimento chiles, diced, are all good candidates. I like to mix it up. If you prefer very mild, you will want to seed any chiles you chop, or even opt for bell, pimento, or sweet peppers—all without the heat.

and while we're on that subject, I'm going to get all teachery on you, here for a second.  (i think teachery is a word and if it isn't, it ought to be.)

chili—a stew-like dish common to the southwest, often with beans, meat, and seasonings, including chili powder

chili powder— Chili powder with an "i" is a mixed blend of spices, often used to season the dish called chili. Chile powder with an "e" is solely ground up chile peppers and nothing else.

chile, spanish in origin,  refers to the variety of hot peppers ranging from mild to hot. The plural of chile is chiles. .  

chillies—I guess are something you might use to chill something. Okay, no. This is just wrong.  

We'll see you tomorrow for more about that San Benito road trip, the Good Samaritan Ministry, and the crown jewel….

Cider-Stewed Beans with Apple and Chorizo

Now, I've got a game to watch.  


  1. Looks delicious. Great variation on cornbread muffin. Where do you get your white cornmeal from? I've been having problems finding it recently. Teachery...should be a word:)

  2. from maggie's farm06 November, 2011

    I get white corn meal from the bulk sections at Central Market or Whole Foods, most often. I found this link for mail order: I also stock up on cornflour, which must be more popular to use in Louisiana than here, in Texas, when I make a pilgramage back there, seal it all in ziplocs, and store it in the freezer to avoid "bugginess", which surely is a word, just like 'teachery'


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