I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Toasted Corn and Bacon Muffins


A good corn muffin is a thing of beauty. The perfect accompaniment to a bowl of soup or a supper salad, and so comforting passed around the table in a basket while still warm. Slather on a little butter, and you’ve got a bite of heaven, my friend.

These tender corn muffins have the added attraction of crispy bacon and intense, chewy fresh corn kernels. The tang of buttermilk and sour cream is balanced by the sweetness of honey. Try these with Tomato Soup Base or Roasted Carrot and Cumin Soup.

Toasted Corn and Bacon Muffins
Toasting the corn kernels gives them a more intense flavor and a great texture.

Kernels from one cob of fresh corn (about ½ cup)
4 strips of bacon
1 egg
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1 ½ cups buttermilk
2 Tablespoons honey
1 ½ cups yellow corn meal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Place the corn kernels in a dry skillet and toast over medium heat, tossing and stirring frequently, until the kernels are beginning to brown and dry out. Keep the kernels moving. The color of the corn will intensify as well. This will take 7- 8 minutes. Transfer the toasted kernels to a bowl.

Rinse and dry the skillet, then cook the bacon strips until brown and very crispy. Drain the bacon on paper towels, and reserve the bacon grease. Crumble the bacon into small pieces.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, sour cream, buttermilk and honey. Mix the corn meal, flour, baking powder and salt in another small bowl, then add to the dry ingredients. Stir until just mixed. Stir in the corn kernels and bacon pieces.

Spoon about a teaspoon of bacon grease into each cup of a 12-hole muffin tin. Swirl it around a little, then place the tin in the oven. Heat for about 5 minutes, until the bacon grease is sizzling. Remove the time from the oven, and quickly divide the batter between the cups (I find an ice cream or ¼ cup cookie scoop a good tool for this). Return the pan to the oven, and bake for 10- 12 minutes, until the muffins are golden and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Loosen the muffin edges with a thin knife blade, leave to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 12 muffins

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