This Monday morning, I’ll start off with an apology … Sorry, Nan!! Let me explain. My grandmother is a wonderful woman. Truly, she is. She is always looking out for me and offering me great advice. She’s also the first to point out when there’s a typo or a grammatical error here, which I honestly appreciate. I always hope she notices it before any of you do and I have the time to change it before it’s discovered. 😉
Fortunately, that doesn’t happen very often. As a child, Nana was always correcting me when I would use incorrect grammar. Now that’s ingrained in me thanks to her. She also gets credit for my excellent posture and table manners. As a child, on many an occasion you would
here (can you believe I made that mistake on THIS post while talking about grammar?!?) hear her little rhyme at the dinner table, “Katie, Katie… If you’re able, take your elbows off the table.” I remember thinking that was silly. Why couldn’t I rest my elbow on the table as I ate? And what was the big deal if I wanted “rest” my back and slouch a little as I sat? Napkin not in my lap? Who cares?
Now as an adult, I appreciate all her corrections, her lessons in life, as well her direction on how to carry myself. I’m sure my husband does too! I far too often have these very same discussions with HB. Oh, but I’ve babbled on here and forgotten all about my apology. The reason for my apology on this fine Monday morning is because of my choice of ingredients for this particular day. Just the other day, Nan sent me the nicest email complimenting my recent recipes and wondering how HB and I manage to stay slim with all these baked goods in the house. (Answer: I give it all away or serve it to company! Although we have to indulge in just a little bit ourselves too.)
Also in her email, she offered some constructive criticism. She mentioned how she really wished that more of my recipes had ingredients that everyone would have on hand, the pantry staples. I appreciated her input greatly but I also had to explain that one of the reasons I started writing this blog was to challenge myself to step outside my comfort zone and learn new things. Part of that experience is using different ingredients that I may not have tried working with before or using ingredients in a new or unique fashion. I’m grateful you all want to read all about it! Although many times, I’ll have recipes that surely you’ll have nearly everything on hand.
Today is not one of those days, so “Sorry, Nan!” Today I have not one, but two posts with unique ingredients for you. So be on the lookout around lunchtime because not only is today Muffin Monday, but it’s also reveal day for the Secret Recipe Club so that will be coming up later. For now, let’s talk about muffins! This week we’re going savory and I couldn’t be happier about that. I took a pretty classic combination (jalapeno cheddar) and stepped it up just a notch.
While working I was in the store getting a few ingredients with my friend, Mike. At that point I had ideas of bacon and cheddar floating in my head. I just needed one or two ingredients. Then we saw peppers so immediately Mike suggested jalapeno. Sold! Then genius struck. You see, we work in a very urban area of the fine state of New Jersey and in our city, you will find a lot ethnic grocery stores. They are a hidden gem! Honestly, we find so many specialty ingredients and interesting things to try.
When we passed the butcher case, Mike saw chorizo sausage and that was it, that was the thing to take this savory little muffin over the top. If you’re not familiar with chorizo, it’s a sausage made from pork, pork fat and seasonings. It can be fresh in casings, cured or fermented. There are different kinds, Mexican or Spanish and just like Italian sausage, it can be spicy or sweet. I used a ground, Spanish mild chorizo for these muffins but you could certainly use any kind you want. You should be able to find chorizo in a regular grocery, as well with minimal difficulty. Once you make these muffins, you have the ultimate savory muffin with a little spice from the jalapeno.
*Are there any “interesting” ingredients that you’ve tried recently?
Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week.
One Year Ago: Mason Jar Pies
Jalapeno Cheddar Chorizo Muffins Adapted from Bakingdom
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 jalapeno, finely chopped or one can of green chiles
1/8 cup poblano pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup chorizo sausage
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup olive oil
– Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
– If using fresh chorizo in casings, remove casings and cook chorizo in a medium pan until cooked through. Break apart into small pieces as it cooks. Remove from pan onto a paper towel lined plate. Use a double layer of paper towels and press on top, blotting as much oil from the chorizo as possible. If using cured chorizo, coarsely chop into small pieces.
– In the 1-2 minutes of cooking, toss in the jalapeno and poblano and continue cooking.
– In a small bowl, toss together the cheddar cheese, jalapeno, poblano and chorizo.
– In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
– In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil and egg.
– Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. A few lumps are okay. Gently fold in the cheese mixture until evenly distributed.
– Fill the muffins cups with the batter and bake for 20 minutes until golden. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.