Southern Californians are a funny lot. No matter how cold it gets, and for the past two weeks it has been very cold, Southern Californians will wear shorts and flip-flops no matter what. I noticed this strange phenomenon yesterday as I was shopping at an outdoor mall. Me, bundled in a winter coat and scarf, and everyone else lollygagging about in their Tommy Bahama Hawaiian shirts and sundresses. I really admire their spirit, and for some folks it really is an endless summer. And why not. Maybe it’s the thin, east-coast blood that runs through my veins, but I was headed home to have a big bowl of chili and these homemade corn muffins. I was embracing the brisk winter weather with some down-home comfort food.
Anyway, son #1 had given me the Bouchon Bakery cookbook for a gift and I was anxious to try out some of the recipes. What I like most about the book is that it’s recipes are written in both cups and grams. As a gal whose obsession is baking, naturally I prefer gram measurements. Why, because baking is a science and grams are a precise measurement. When you weigh your ingredients your chances of a successful end product are almost guaranteed. Even if you’re just an occasional baker, I highly recommend you get yourself a digital food scale. You know I would never steer you wrong.
Thomas Keller explains in the book that the reason for allowing your batter to sit overnight is for the purpose of hydrating the flour. When the mixture absorbs the liquid ingredients, the result is a very moist corn muffin.
From Thomas Keller Bouchon Bakery
- 1 1/4 cups + 3 tablespoons (201 grams) all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup (51 grams) cornmeal
- 2 1/2 teaspoons (12 grams) baking powder
- 1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons (135 grams) sugar
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 2/3 cup (168 grams) whole milk
- 2 large eggs (90 grams)
- 1/4 cup + 2 1/2 tablespoons (90 grams) canola oil
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (72 grams) frozen corn kernels
* If you do not have a scale to weigh out the eggs, take your 2 large eggs and lightly beat them in a bowl and then remove about 1 teaspoon and that will be about 90 grams.
- Place the flour in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Sift in the cornmeal and baking powder. Add the sugar and salt and mix on the lowest setting for about 15 seconds to combine. Add the milk and eggs and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds, just until combined. With the mixer running, slowly pour in the oil, then increase the speed to medium-low and mix for about 30 seconds to combine.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and scrape the bottom of the bowl to incorporate all the dry ingredients that may be stuck to the bottom. Fold in the corn. For best results, transfer the batter to a covered container and refrigerate overnight.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, and line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with liners. Lightly spray the liners with nonstick spray. Spoon the batter into the cups about 3/4 full.
- Place the pan in the oven, lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F, and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until muffins are lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. When done, place the pan on a cooling rack and cool muffins completely.
Makes 12 standard size muffins
I’ve got a high school reunion coming up, a big one mind you, and I’d really like to lose 10 pounds, stat! Is that shallow of me. Okay, don’t answer. At this point in my life, shouldn’t I be comfortable in my own skin? After all, time and gravity has taken it’s toll on all of us. I’m not the only one who’s enjoyed her chocolate chip cookies and Snicker’s bars for the last 40 years, am I? My passion in life has been food and cooking, so what did I think was going to happen. Oh, and did I mention I’m not a big fan of exercise either. Shame on me!
My girlfriend Carol told me she lost 17 pounds doing Weight Watcher’s online. She calls me everyday and cheers me on, telling me, “you can do it”. So I joined, and each day I log on tracking each minute morsel I eat. I bought all their frozen, packaged meals that only require me popping them into the microwave. Do you know how horrific this is for a person who lives to bake bread. I thought carbs were my friend, but I was so wrong.
I’ve spent a lot of time at my local farmer’s market buying tons of fruit and vegetables because they’re “zero” points on this diet. Geez, I even dislike the word diet. Anyway, today they had bins filled with the most amazing summer corn. It was screaming out to me, “grill me”! Sure, I know I should have gone for the green vegetables, but I broke down and bought the corn. And it was good.
If you don’t have a high school reunion coming up, then please, indulge yourself in sweet, summer corn on the grill. It’s easy, inexpensive, and oh-so-good.
Spicy Grilled Corn
- 6 ears fresh corn with husk on
- 1 stick of salted butter, room temperature
- zest of 1 lime
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/3 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon finely minced cilantro
- 1/4 cup cotija cheese or queso fresco
- Preheat your grill on medium-high.
- Take your corn with the husk on and place them in a sink of cold water to soak for about 20 minutes. Place something heavy on top of them to keep them submerged.
- While your corn is soaking, place your room temperature butter in a medium bowl. Add all the other ingredients, except the cheese, and combine with a spatula.
- After 20 minutes remove your corn from the sink and pull back the husks and remove the silk. Remove some of the outer layers of the husks, but leave some on because you will be covering the corn back up.
- With a brush, brush a layer of the compound butter mixture onto the corn, cover back up with the husk, and wrap it in aluminum foil.
- Place the wrapped corn on the grill for about 12-15 minutes, turning every 3 minutes to evenly cook the corn.
- When you remove the foil and husk from the corn, brush again with the butter mixture, and sprinkle with cotija cheese.
Plan in advance. You can leave your butter out overnight, and by the next day it will be the perfect consistency.
You can make your butter mixture 2 days in advance. Just cover and refrigerate it. When you are ready to use it, just bring it to room temperature.
For a party appetizer, cut corn into 1 1/2″ pieces and just insert a toothpick.