Sunday, August 03, 2008

Zucchini-cornmeal muffins

Zucchini really had nothing at all to do with this recipe--I actually used a mysterious vegetable known as a zephyr squash. But zucchini is ubiquitous and may be used interchangeably, so that's what we'll call these muffins anyway. Another interesting thing about the zephyr squash is that most are long and look just like regular zucchini...but every now and then you'll get a rogue round one off the same plant! Crazy! Of the batch for sale, that's the one I bought, of course. But despite the funky name and genetic nuttiness, they're basically zucchini, so let's just leave it at that. I actually got some long ones too and I'll do something with those later, but today I decided to make muffins or bread out of the big round one.

You'll need about one cup of shredded summer squash. I only needed to use half the big guy I got. I thought it would be all seedy inside, but when I cut it open I was pleasantly surprised. Not too bad! After you get it cut up into a manageable size, shred it up with a grater. You'll need to dry it off well because summer squash is really wet and will make your bread or muffins or whatever really gummy and nasty. So tip the grated squash into a dishtowel and wring it out really well. You'll be amazed by how much water squeezes out. In a big bowl, mix up 2 cups regular flour with 1 cup cornmeal (I used a mixture of fine-ground white cornmeal and yellow cornmeal to make 1 cup, but you can use all one or the other if you like). Add 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup regular sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of nutmeg or cardamom, and combine it really well. In another bowl, beat 2 eggs with 1 cup milk, then mix in 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) of melted butter and the (more or less) one cup grated, drained squash.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add in the wet mixture, stirring it until it is just combined. It should be a little bit lumpy. You never want to overbeat the batter in the family of quickbreads or you risk flat, tough baked goods as a result. I think they take revenge. At this point you can make muffins or a loaf of bread. I made muffins (grease the tins first, duh) but had a little bit left over so I added some chocolate chips and poured it into a small pan to see how it would turn out. They both ended up looking pretty good! The muffins were golden and perfectly risen. I think they'll make good morning snacks for work. And the chocolate chip version is pretty awesome as well.

2 comments:

Vash said...

Have I mentioned lately how I love the action shots? No? Well, I am absolutely enamored with the action shots. Also delicious to read:


"It should be a little bit lumpy. You never want to overbeat the batter in the family of quickbreads or you risk flat, tough baked goods as a result. I think they take revenge."

Anonymous said...

what about oven temp and baking time?