No matter where I live, no matter where I go, I will always hold the standard high for Iowa sweet corn. It’s hands-down fabulous, whether in a dish or on its own, and I plan to eat at least a few corn-only meals this summer, just in honor of its sheer amazingness. I don’t know if it’s what’s in the soil, or the water, or just that there’s so much of it the farmers have to get it right, but whatever it is, it’s working for this state.
I froze some of that sweet corn last summer—in fact, if I recall correctly, the corn I froze was purchased on the day the farmers were yelling to customers at the farmer’s market that it was the last day it would be available—and repurposed it to some Sunday afternoon corn muffins that made a regular Sunday afternoon taste much more like a Saturday night.
These muffins start with a basic cornbread and muffin mix (I used a pouch of Betty Crocker’s Cornbread and Muffin Mix as my starter), but I added or changed a few key ingredients to take it from normal to sublime.
Sure, it would probably be amazing if you made the muffin batter from scratch, but I had a lot to do on Sunday and wanted muffins in a speedy fashion. I chose the shortcut option, but didn’t suffer for it.
The sweet corn studded the sunny batter and made it look interesting even before it went into the oven. I had made them in brightly colored, rubber-ducky paper muffin cups that were probably more appropriate to a baby shower than a Sunday afternoon brunch, but hey, one does what one can with what one inadvertently bought and abandoned in one’s kitchen closet.
The muffins came out of the oven browned and piping and ready for a pat of butter. A word to the wise: these aren’t nearly as crumbly as standard muffins – the addition of the corn and the cheese contribute to a spoon-bready texture. But let that butter soften or, like Patsy Cline, these muffins will fall to pieces.
1 package cornbread and muffin mix (any commercial kind that requires the addition of butter and that says it makes 6 muffins)
1 c. fresh or frozen corn kernels (I recommend Iowa sweet corn, but that’s a limited-time-option in a very localized area)
1 handful shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven as directed on the package. In my case, it was 400 degrees F.
- Prepare the cornbread and muffin mix as directed, with these exceptions: Substitute extra-virgin or virgin olive oil for the butter, and add just less than the amount of milk called for. In my case, the package called for 1/3 c. milk, and I poured about 90 percent of that into the bowl. You can add the eggs exactly as the mix directs.
- Fold in the corn and cheese.
- Bake as directed, until the muffins are firm and brown on top. Serve immediately with butter.