Those of you who have been following this blog for a while may have noticed that I’m crazy about corn. I’m not entirely sure why, maybe it’s because I was reared on a southern Minnesota corn and soy bean farm and we depended upon that highly productive grain to put food on our table and money in the bank. In any case, today’s recipe showcases cornmeal, along with caramelized onions. True, caramelizing the onions takes a bit of time and patience, but you’ll be rewarded with an addition to the muffins which is moist, sweet and slightly smoky. You could, of course, bake this recipe in a cake pan as cornbread, but it seems to me muffins are more fun to eat, with extra crunchy, golden crust around the edges. Using cupcake papers to line your muffin pan will save you tons of grief at clean-up time and ensure that the muffins pop out easily. Cornbread in any form pairs well with soup, and especially with soup in which beans play a prominent role. Recipe, after the jump…
Illustration: Corn with both male and female flowers from Köhler’s Medizinal-Pflanzen (via Wikipedia)
CARAMELIZED ONION CORN MUFFINS
Preheat oven to 375˚ F/ Yields 15 muffins
2 cups cornmeal
1 cup unbleached flour
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking power
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1-2 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups soy or rice milk or milk of choice, warmed to room temperature and acidulated by adding 4 teaspoons rice vinegar
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon maple syrup
1. Heat a sauté pan and sauté the onion over medium-high heat 2-3 minutes or until wilted. Then turn heat to low and allow onions to slowly turn golden brown and caramelize. Stir occasionally, and continue cooking 25-30 minutes. Have patience, the whole point is that the longer and more slowly the onions cook, the sweeter and more flavorful they will be (if they seem to being going dry, it’s o.k. to add a few tablespoons of water, cover and steam for a couple of minutes to bring back the moistness).When the onions are nearly ready, sprinkle lightly with salt and stir in the green onion.
2. Measure the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Stir well to combine.
3.When the onions are ready and the milk has curdled slightly, add the oil to the dry ingredients and mix it in. Then add the maple syrup to the milk and mix that along with the onions into the dry ingredients. Mix everything well.
4. Have ready a muffin pan lined with cupcake papers. Fill each about 3/4 full with batter. Then bake in a preheated 375˚ F oven about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
5. Eat while still hot!