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Author Notes: Why not!? I love the elemental sweetness in spring onions and leeks and think it pairs well with the saltiness of bacon and earthiness of corn. As well, I'm a nut for muffins of all stripes- sweet, savory, for breakfasts, snacks, sides, dessert. This hearty yet super light "cupcake" combines all these elements and is topped with a "frosting" made of goat cheese and Greek yogurt and lastly, a fried ramp leaf. —em-i-lis
For the "cupcakes"
- 4 strips bacon
- 1 cup leeks, white and light green parts chopped
- ½ cups spring onions, tough green part of stalks removed
- 2 ramps, bulbs diced, leaves reserved
- 1¼ cups stone-ground yellow cornmeal (medium grind)
- ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoons salt
- ¾ teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoons ancho chile powder
- ¼ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ cups buttermilk
- ½ cups whole or 2% milk (or you can use 1 c of either buttermilk or milk)
- Preheat oven to 375, and prepare a 12-cup muffin tin. In a large skillet, cook the bacon. Remove it, drain on paper towels and set aside. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings. In that 1 tablespoon, set over medium heat, cook the leeks, spring onions and ramp bulbs until tender and turning golden. Set aside to cool.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, ancho powder, and baking soda. In a smaller mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, butter, honey, buttermilk and regular milk. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and stir until just combined.
- Chop 3 strips of the bacon and add to your batter. Reserve the 4th strip for topping the cupcakes. Then add the leek/onion/ramp mixture. Fold the bacon and veggies in gently until everything is well dispersed. Fill 10 muffin cups with the batter (you won't get 12 nicely sized ones) and bake for 16 minutes or until firm and golden. Let rest on a rack while you make the "frosting."
For the "frosting" and fried ramp leaves
- ¼ cups Greek-style yogurt
- ¼ cups crumbled goat cheese
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- reserved ramp leaves, slivered
- In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, goat cheese and honey until well combined. Set aside.
- In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and fry the ramp leaves for 2-3 minutes until nicely crisped. Chop the remaining strip of bacon.
- Place a dollop of "frosting" on each cupcake and top with a fried ramp leaf and a few bits of bacon. Serve warm.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dish with Meat as a Flavoring
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Spring Alliums