Want to go to Sochi Russia for the 2014 Winter Olympics? You do if you’re a really good athlete in moguls or aerials.
But you have to come to Park City first. This week. You must compete and qualify here, in snowy blowy weather, the kind that makes powder skiers happy, for a chance to be on your country’s Olympic team in Sochi.
So I got to ski fresh powder today and 220 World Cup athletes from 27 different countries were on another part of the mountain waiting their turn to fly upside down or bounce their knees to their necks.
But what do those facts have to do with corn muffins?
The corn muffins went with the black bean chili, to feed the friends in a house on Deer Valley Drive, to walk to Main Street Park City, to hang out in the crispy cold and dance, to the music of Big Head Todd and the Monsters, to help kick off the competitions, in this little ole town gone big. Don’t you think that’s a logical connection?
I wouldn’t mind going to Sochi this year, but as a skiing tourist, not a competitor. If you read the story about Sochi in Ski Magazine this month, you could get the Sochi bug too.
It seems Sochi is a brand spanking new ski resort, set in impressive mountains with “lake-effect” weather like the Wasatch. Cold winter storms picking up extra moisture from a relatively warm body of water—lake effect. In northern Utah it’s from the Great Salt Lake, this week Lake Erie bumped up Buffalo New York’s blizzard, and in Sochi, the Black Sea gives that extra wet kiss.
Wettish green chiles, juicy chopped red onion, and a bit of grated cheese sneak the smooch into my World Cup corn muffins. Moist beats out the competition—no dry cornbread here.
This recipe appears as Green Chili and Cheese Cornbread in Chocolate Snowball. Same ingredients, this is the muffin option. I make them so often I keep Bob’s Red Mill Buttermilk Powder on hand so I don’t have to run to the store for fresh buttermilk. You can use fresh buttermilk (instead of the powder and water) if it is something you keep around to drink. Since buttermilk’s curdle is a queasy thing–it doesn’t have a home in my fridge. Two tablespoons of lemon juice in 1 cup of milk also subs for buttermilk.
**Note: This is a sea-level ratio—if you live at altitude, cut the baking powder to 1 ½ teaspoons.
- 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
- 3 tablespoons buttermilk powder
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Real Salt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 cup water
- 4 ounces (1 small can) diced roasted green chilies, drained
- ½ cup (about 2 ounces) grated cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup diced red onion
- Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line 10 muffin cups with paper cupcake liners or spray generously with cooking spray. To make sure muffins release with ease, coat the top of the pan as well as the inside of the cups when you grease the tins.
- Whisk the flour, cornmeal, buttermilk powder, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl until you are sure all is evenly disbursed.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg, oil, honey and water. (Measure the oil first and then the honey in the same cup; the oil coating will allow the honey to release without sticking.)
- Stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, just enough to combine; avoid overmixing.
- Fold in the green chilies, cheese and onions. Divide into prepared muffin cups. Bake about 20 minutes, until the tops of the muffins spring back when touched with a finger. Cool about 10 minutes, then remove from the pan.
- Makes 10 muffins.