Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Hoppin' John Cornbread Muffins

Photo Credit: Ashley E. Cummings

Hoppin' John Cornbread Muffins

Traditional components of the Southern New Year's staple, Hoppin' John, work in harmony to create these yummy muffins.  What a way to ring in a year of prosperity!  Serve warm with butter as a brunch feature or hearty on-the-go snack.  You can also serve them with soup to complete the meal.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Baking Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 6 jumbo muffins


6 slices of bacon, roughly chopped
½ cup white onion, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
½ pound collard greens, finely chopped
  salt to taste
  black pepper to taste
  hot sauce to taste

1 ¼ cup cornmeal
½ cup white flour
4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons, butter melted
2 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup canned black-eyed peas, rinsed, drained, and slightly smashed


1.)  Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease the inside of a jumbo muffin pan.

2.)  Slowly cook the bacon in a wide skillet over medium heat until crispy. Remove bacon and place on paper towel.  Carefully pour off all but a tablespoon of the resulting bacon drippings.  Reserve the drippings for later use.  Sauté the onion in the pan drippings.  Once the onions are tender and begin to brown, add the vinegar to the hot pan with the onions.  Watch out!  The steam from the vinegar is going to hit you in the face!  Stir the onions and vinegar around while removing any brown bits from the pan.  Reduce the vinegar until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Add the greens to the pan.  Slowly move around the greens with the onion.  The volume will decrease.  Cook down the greens until the stems are soft.  Season the greens with salt, pepper, and hot sauce; set aside to cool.

3.)  Whisk together the cornmeal, white flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl until well combined.  In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, honey,  vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of the remaining bacon drippings.

4.)  Combine the contents of both bowls until just incorporated.  The batter will be thick and somewhat lumpy.  Coarsely chop the cooked bacon and fold into the batter with the beans and cooled greens.

5.)  Evenly distribute the batter into the greased muffin cups.  An ice cream scoop works great for this.

6.)  Bake until tops turn golden brown and a toothpick can be cleanly removed from the center of the muffins.  About 30 minutes.

NOTE:  A standard muffin pan for 12 can also be used for this recipe.  The baking time will go down to about 20 minutes.

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