Two days ago, I received an invitation to enter Ott A’s Iron Chef Challenge. The May challenge requires chefs to whip up a recipe using Ham as the themed ingredient! Dakin Farm is the sponsor and Sam Cutting, their President, will choose the winner!
My husband and I were so inspired by this challenge, we decided to create a new and original recipe just for the occasion!
We wanted to create a dish that combined sweetness with the smoky savory flavor of ham.
At first, we considered making a dinner delight, such as a ham steak dressed with a sweet plum sauce and a pecan praline, for our entry. Then, we remembered that the challenge also mentioned using baking powder, so we began thinking about ways to incorporate ham into quick breads and muffins. That’s when we came up with the idea of creating a special muffin filled with ham and other surprises that would taste so good, it could be served at the finest bed and breakfast!
We purchased a large muffin pan and began to compile ingredients that would provide the right combination of textures and flavors we envisioned.
- The themed ingredient, ham, provides a wonderful rich, smoky flavor.
- The cornmeal adds a hint of sweetness throughout.
- The corn, red bell peppers, and green onions create a visual delight with their beautiful colors, and add heartiness and flavor to the muffin.
- A surprise filling – melted brie – delights your taste buds.
- And the topping – a pinch of bacon and melted cheddar – provides the perfect finishing touch!
So, we whipped up a full batch, and are now presenting our Ham & Brie Corn Muffins for entry into Ott A’s Dakin Farm Iron Chef Challenge. We hope you’ll give them a try – we truly love this recipe!
|Ott A’s Iron Chef Challenge
Featured Ingredient – Ham
1 Cup Chopped Ham
3 Large Eggs
¾ Cup Unsalted Butter at Room Temperature
1 ¼ Cups Sugar
1 ½ Cups Fine or Medium Grind Yellow Cornmeal
1 1/3 Cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
½ Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Cups Buttermilk
1/3 Cup Light Corn Syrup
2 Cups Fresh or Thawed Frozen Corn Kernels
½ Cup Diced Red Bell Peppers
½ Cup Chopped Green Onions – Greens Only
½ Cups + 1 Tablespoon Brie
3 Tablespoons + 1 Teaspoon of Finely Chopped Bacon
½ Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
3. Use an electric mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed to mix together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the buttermilk and corn syrup mixing until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until well combine after each addition.
4. In another bowl, stir together the cornmeal, whole wheat pastry flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.
5. Reduce the electric mixer to low speed. Add the flour mixture (#4) to the butter mixture (#3) in two additions. Beat until smooth and well combined.
6. Fold in the ham until thoroughly combined. Fold in the corn kernels, red peppers and green onions until evenly distributed. Do not over-mix or you will crush the vegetables.
7a. Spoon the batter into a large muffin pan only about half way up.
7b. Place 1 tablespoon of brie in the center of the muffin batter.
7c. Cover with the remainder of the batter.
8. Bake for 30 minutes.
9a. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the top of each muffin with 1 teaspoon of bacon.
9b. Also sprinkle with approximately 1 tablespoon of shredded cheddar cheese.
10. Return the pan to the oven and bake for approximately 13 minutes. The muffins are done when the tops are a rich brown.
11. Remove them from the oven and cool for no more than five minutes. Serve while hot!
Note: This recipe makes 10 large delicious muffins!
For more great recipes, see Create With Joy Recipes!