Tuesday, April 13, 2010

chard & cheese muffins

It's a rainy Sunday as I write this. I have work and laundry to do, and yet the only thing I want to do is bake something warm in the oven. A little time aside to turn that thought reality should be ok, right?

I've been thinking about savory muffins since reading a recipe for spinach muffins in The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook last week. It's funny, because my typical reaction to the word 'savory' is not a good one, I think in part driven by the Daring Bakers each month who do a savory twist on the dessert challenge to be innovative (savory gingerbread houses, really?). But I guess I'll have to withhold that opinion from now on, since today I took a would-be sweet breakfast muffin and turned it into green and cheesy goodness. Here's what I did:

Cheesy Chard Muffins
Makes 18

2 Tbsp. butter
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 bunch red chard, leaves and center ribs separated and chopped
2 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. cornmeal
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 /2tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. white pepper
1 1/4 c. whole milk
1 egg
2 c. cheese, grated (I used 1 c. sharp cheddar and 1 c. pepper jack because that's what I had on hand)

Line muffin pan with paper liners. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion and chard stems until onion is transluscent.

Combine flour, baking powder, cayenne, and pepper in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk and egg together. Slowly pour into the flour mixture while stirring with a wooden spoon. Stir in the onion mixture, chard leaves, and cheese, mixing well until everything is evenly dispersed.

Spoon batter into the paper cases in mounded scoops. The whole wheat doesn't rise as much in the oven as its all-purpose flour counterpart. Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, until deep golden. Let cool slightly in pan then turn out on a wire rack to continue to cool.

These muffins would be great served with eggs at brunch or with a hot bowl of chili later in the day.

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