Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cheddar Corn Muffins - Gluten Free

Did you ever have one of those pleasant surprises when trying something new?  I have to be honest, I went into this recipe not expecting much.  I will admit a prejudice that I have.  Anytime I read an allergy specific recipe (be it milk, peanuts, shellfish or in this case, wheat), I just assume it will not be as good as the "regular" version of the item.

Not so here.

Picture of Lost and Fondue book coverBut I am ahead of myself.  Recently I found out that I have a family member just diagnosed with CELIAC, which is basically an allergy to wheat.  So, while reading through blogs, I have been making a note of recipes that are gluten free.  These popped up on one of my favorites, THE MYSTERY LOVER's KITCHEN.  One of the regular contributers, Avery Aames (author of the Cheese Shop Mystery Series) also happens to be on a gluten free diet.  She made this post for these mini muffins.  Sounded right up my alley, and perfect to go with the soup I was making.  

I dropped Avery an email and she was very gracious with her time.  She told me her story of how she was diagnosed (not pretty) more than 12 years ago.  She explained a bit about how this has impacted her cooking and directed me to some sites with actual medical information.  She did pass on this tip...

One of my favorite recipes that is equally good made with wheat or with
gluten-free products is banana bread.  I find most breads made with sugar
and fruits taste virtually the same.  It's the yeast-risen breads that don't
have the same flavors or textures.
I was able to find her Banana Bread recipe on her "other" site (Avery is her pen name), (where you learn of her life as an actress, TV and theatre, prior to becoming an author).  Oh, and she jumps out of perfectly good airplanes as well.  What a broad!

So, big thanks to Avery for helping me understand a little better about the sensitivities to glutens.  She also helped me with booze.  No beer or whiskey, but scotch and wine are fine.

And a big thanks for this recipe.  Outstanding and perfect for soup.  The outside crunches up a little like a crouton.  But when you open them up, they are soft and moist inside and just filled with flavors.  For once, i followed the recipe almost exactly as she printed...

(makes 12 muffins or 24 mini-muffins)
5 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups cornmeal, stone-ground
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup corn (medium ear yields ½ cup) (frozen may be used, but make sure drained)
1 1/8 cup milk
1 teaspoon lemon
1 egg
2 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In large microwavable bowl, melt the butter. Add the cornmeal, spices, corn, milk, lemon, egg and cheese. Mix well.
Pour into greased muffin tins (12 large or 24 mini).
Bake 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. (Minis take about 15 minutes.)

I made mine a little more corny.  I added about 2 cups of corn.  First, it was frozen so the great taste of fresh corn was already diluted.  And second... I like lots of corn in my corn muffins.  I used an excellent white cheddar cheese that really flavored these babies.

In no way did this taste like I was missing something.  Great job Avery (good fortune with the book release in just a few weeks)!!!



  1. How can ya go wrong with corn kernels in the muffin too, right? These sound great and your pics make them look extra great. I have a family member with gluten-intolerance and experiment with a lot of those recipes too - happy to have a rec on a nice one.

  2. Dave, so glad you enjoyed these, even after you made them. Extra corn would be just the ticket! And thanks for helping make people aware of Celiac. It's so common now, it's scary. Kids, adults. And it can be genetic. (My sister found out a few years ago.) Thanks also for the good wishes. I'm hoping LOST AND FONDUE will do even better than the first book. :)

    Mystery Lovers' Kitchen