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No Shaking, Just Baking

August 19, 2011

Here at the MHK we aren’t big on baking. Measurements must be precise, so there’s no room for error or spontaneity. Plus math is involved, and that’s no fun. But we certainly love to eat baked goods, and when we came across this recipe in The Healthy Kitchen cookbook, we put aside our baking bias and dove in. Turns out we made a good choice. This is a terrific dish, and is pretty easy to make. The spicy chilies are balanced by the sweetness from the syrup/sugar, and the cilantro gives it a nice flavor. These go great as a side dish for an entrée salad, or with traditional BBQ foods, or as just a snack. Enjoy!

Serrano Chili and Cilantro Cornbread Muffins

2 small Serrano chilies (or 1 large jalapeno)
1 ½ cups white flour
½ cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch cayenne
2/3 cup milk
2 large eggs
½ cup canola oil or softened butter
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup or sugar
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Put the chilies on a baking pan on the top rack under a broiler until they blister and turn black. Turn them over and repeat. Remove them from the broiler and cover them with a dishcloth to cool. Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together the milk, eggs, oil or butter, maple syrup or sugar, and the cilantro in a separate bowl. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon until thoroughly mixed. Slice the chilies in half, directly down the middle. Open them up, and remove the seeds and discard. Peel the skin off and discard. Cut the chilies into small pieces and stir them into the batter until they are completely mixed in. Smear a little butter or oil on the bottoms and sides of a 9-inch square baking pan or 12 muffin molds and pour the batter in. Bake 20 minutes if using a muffin pan, or 25 minutes if you’re using a baking pan. Remove from the oven and let cool. Serve with butter or honey (or both). Eat!

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