Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bacon Corn Muffins

As a child I had the luxury of not being fussy.  My family ate meat and potatoes, comfort food-type, meals, but I was never forced to eat to everything on my plate.  My portion size was usually small, and I only chose foods I knew I would eat.  My grandmother would make me take a bite of her weird and exotic vegetables (beets and turnips) but they really did nothing for me, so I tried them, and never had to again. 

Corn meal was also one such food.  In my culture, my grandmother would make "scone" or "frybread", which is a fluffy cloud of fried doughy goodness.  So I was very excited when we were going to a pow wow, I would get to gorge myself on frybread, since it wasn't made that much at my house.  But when we arrived at this indoor event (all the pow wows I had attended were held outside), I knew this was going to be different.  The event being inside was not the only difference, so was the food.  I searched all the booths and found an entirely new type of menu.  My frybread was nowhere to be found.  Instead, my aunt showed me the bannock that this local tribe made.  I was sceptical, but having been taught to at least "try it", I took a bite of the heavy yellow cake.  It wasn't that bad, so I took another bite and another.  I think what I liked most about it was the sweetness of the cake, as frybread was not.  It took about a half hour for the food to disagree with my tiny belly.  Since then, I have stayed away from the evilness of anything corn meal.

But while watching the Food Network, I found a recipe that made me want to try the evil ingredient.  Bacon Corn Muffins!  I mean seriously, how can bacon, its meat and renderings not help? 

Ingredients

For Muffins:
8 strips bacon
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon reserved bacon fat

For Frosting:
8 ounces kefir
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 bunch chives, sliced
Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Spray a 24-count mini muffin tray with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

Cook bacon until crispy brown (you can either bake it in the oven, or cook on the stove top)
Chop into small pieces

In a large bowl combine flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and brown sugar.
In a separate bowl whisk the milk and egg.
Whisk the milk mixture, melted butter and bacon fat into the dry ingredients.
Add 3/4 of the chopped cooked bacon, reserve remaining 1/4 for a garnish.
Fill each muffin cup 3/4 of the way up.
Bake in 10-12 minutes (or use the toothpick test)
Allow to cool before icing.

In a medium bowl, beat the kefir, honey and hot sauce until soft and combined)
Add 3/4 of the sliced chives.
Mix well until combined.
Transfer the cheese mixture to a pastry bag (or sandwich bag with a corner snipped)
Once cooled, ice the muffins.  Garnish each with crumbled bacon and chopped chives.
Stay Hungry my friend!