In my quest to simplify, I have been considering an all inclusive breakfast muffin. I used to make a version that involved layering meat, veggies, and cheese in muffin tins, drizzling with beaten egg, and baking. They were decent but seemed a bit spongy and did not freeze well. I also had fond memories of a quiche-like muffin from Specialty's bakery in SF that seemed to have cornmeal or something more substantial to hold it all together. In my searches for something similar, I came across a recipe on bhg.com that scrambled some eggs and folded them into a cornbread batter; it seemed like a great starting point. The flavor profile I wanted in these muffins was inspired by a breakfast we made In the midst of summer -- an odd-sounding, but delicious combination of browned sweet corn, eggs, cheese, and maple-caramelized ham. For the first batch, I followed the original recipe pretty closely, adding just the ham, corn, and more cheese, and reducing the sugar. They were really good and it seemed a great method for suspending any combination of meat, veggies, and cheese. For the next batch, I added an extra egg to the scramble and a bit of baking soda to help provide lift, as well as a roasted chile. I ended up with what turned out to be an amazing breakfast muffin.
I should add that I also made this in a loaf pan and cut it into slices. It cooked a bit longer and came out great. —savorthis
Test Kitchen Notes
These muffins fit my ongoing quest to get more protein into breakfast on those days when I need to grab something quick and portable. They reheat well in the microwave or toaster oven and have great texture and flavor. I will be keeping a supply in the freezer for those hectic winter mornings! —tanager
corn, fresh or frozen
1 1/4 teaspoons
plus 1/2 tablespoon sugar, divided
sliced ham, cut into strips (about 1 cup)
2 1/2 teaspoons
Black pepper, for seasoning
cheese (a sharp white cheddar is great)
roasted poblano, diced (also great with hatch or other chiles)
Melt a tablespoon of butter in a pan over medium heat, add corn, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon sugar (this is optional optional: I added the sugar when making these with frozen corn, but fresh wouldn't need it) and cook until brown. Remove to bowl, set aside, and wipe/rinse out pan.
Add another tablespoon of butter and cook ham until beginning to brown. Stir in syrup and cook until glazed. Add to the corn. Rinse/wipe out pan.
Add a tablespoon of butter to pan and scramble 4 of the eggs with salt/pepper to taste until just barely cooked through. Add to bowl.
Mix flour, cornmeal, 1/2 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, baking powder, baking soda, and a good dose of black pepper. In another bowl, whisk milk, remaining 2 eggs, and 1/4 cup melted butter. Stir dry and wet mixtures together then fold in cheese, ham, corn, eggs, and chiles.
Use 1 final tablespoon of butter to grease a muffin tin and add batter. Bake about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.