In keeping with both the contest theme, gluten-free baking, and corn's south-of-the border connection, I decided to add quinoa to the mix. Some roasted corn, sharp cheddar, and finally scallions, deepen the layers of flavor.
A note about corn. If using it off the cob, be sure to strip as much of the silk as possible before grilling. Then, after you've stripped the kernels from the cob, sift them through your fingers and remove any remaining strands of silk. If any make their way into your muffins, they bear a striking resemblance to dark brown hair (see photo 2). I trust you get my drift. —boulangere
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: boulangere is a chef, culinary instructor, and caterer living in Montana.
WHAT: Not your average corn muffin.
HOW: You quickly roast the corn, and then dump, stir, and bake.
WHY WE LOVE IT: The combination of cornmeal and quinoa flour give these muffins a wonderful texture; the fact that they're gluten-free is a bonus. We love the cheese and scallion ratio -- and the fact that these can be enjoyed any time of the year (when fresh corn's not in season, you can skip it, or consider other mix-ins, like roasted winter squash). —The Editors
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Fill a 12-cup muffin tin with liners. Spray the top with pan spray so that the muffins don't stick to it as they rise.
Line a sheet pan with parchment. Spread a cup of thawed frozen corn kernels on it. Roast in oven until nicely browned, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool while mixing batter. Alternatively, husk a fresh ear of corn and roast it on the grill, then strip the kernels and toss them into your batter.
Sift the dry ingredients together into a mixing bowl. Add the eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter. With a wooden spoon or a spatula, stir only until the dry ingredients are moistened. Add the corn, cheese, and scallions and stir to blend.
Use an ice cream scoop to fill each muffin cup to the top. Bake until perfectly risen and golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow cool for a few minutes. If you find that they are still a bit crumbly, don't worry -- they'll firm up as they cool.