There is nothing better than fresh corn which is now in season in BC (August to October) and is available in the supermarkets and on the farmers market stalls. It is one thing that I look forward to each year and a recent blog post that I read about “how to shuck a corn” got me excited for the new season!
This time last year, when we had corn in our veggie box, I added Sweetcorn Fritters to this blog because my oven was out of action and I wasn’t able to make my favourite Cornbread Muffins. Well this year you’re in luck as the oven is just fine!
Usually I make the muffins as an accompaniment to chowder but some time ago I found a recipe on Pinterest, White Chicken Chili, that I have been dying to try. Seems to me like they should be a match made in heaven and although both could be made with canned corn why not make use of an ingredient when it is in season?
Cornbread Muffins – Ingredients (Makes 12)
- 85g melted butter, plus extra for frying
- 1 large sweetcorn, kernels sliced off
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- ½ red chilli, deseeded, finely chopped
- 140g plain flour
- 140g polenta or cornmeal
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 50g strong cheddar, grated
- 2 eggs
- 284ml pot buttermilk
- 100ml milk
- Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and brush a 12-hole muffin tin with some of the melted butter.
- Put the corn kernels in a pan with the onion, chili and a knob of butter. Gently fry for 5-10 minutes until golden and soft.
- Mix together the flour, polenta, baking powder and cheddar with 1 tsp salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk and milk, then stir into the dry ingredients with the remaining melted butter and corn mixture.
- Divide between the muffin holes (they will be quite full) and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through – poke in a skewer to check. Best eaten warm.
White Chicken Chili – Ingredients (serves 6)
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finey minced
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans chicken broth
- 1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin
- 3/4 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 (8 oz) pkg Neufchatel cheese, cut into 12 slices (aka light cream cheese)
- 1 1/4 cup fresh corn (frozen works too)
- 2 (15 oz) cans Cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- chopped fresh cilantro, for serving
- shredded Monterrey Jack cheese, for serving
- tortilla chips, for serving (optional)
- Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot add chicken and diced onion and saute until chicken is no longer pink, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds longer.
- Add chicken broth, green chilies, cumin, paprika, oregano, coriander, cayenne pepper and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture just to a boil then reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
- Add Neufchatel cheese and stir until nearly melted (it will break down in little bits and will appear to look like separated cheese but it will eventually melt).
- Stir in corn, and 1 can of Cannellini beans.
- Process 3/4 of the remaining beans along with 1/4 cup broth from the soup in a food processor until pureed, add bean mixture to soup along with remaining 1/4 can of beans (you can skip the pureeing step and just add the beans directly to soup, the soup just won’t be quite as creamy). Simmer about 15 minutes longer.
- Mix in fresh lime juice and serve with Monterrey Jack cheese, chopped cilantro and tortilla chips for dipping if desired.