Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Jamaican Cheese Muffins

Our household has been on a grilling kick lately. Okay, we always love to grill, but we've been doing a lot of experimenting and exploring new recipes. Not too long ago we played around with a few Jerk Chicken ideas, and that was my inspiration for this muffin recipe. I found an awesome Jamaican "filled" corn muffin recipe online that I wanted to try, but then I thought about it...I wanted my Bob's Red Mill products to shine, not hide behind the cornmeal. So, I found another savory muffin recipe that called for some add-ins. I combined the two recipes and came up with this. They were scarfed down in no time at all and got eight thumbs-up (four guys ate them ALL!) One friend mentioned that they reminded him of fritters rather than muffins, but either way I'll take a table full of happy tummies any day. These will be made again and soon!

Jamaican Cheese Muffins
by Chris
Adapted from Savory Stuffed Corn Muffins and Savory Whole Grain Zucchini Cheddar Muffins

1 10-ounce can of white meat chicken, drained and shredded
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon "Pickapeppa" hot sauce (or more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 Tablespoons diced bell pepper (any combination of colors)
2 green onions, chopped fine
1 cup of red and green bell peppers (a mix of the two), diced
1-2 teaspoons of scotch bonnet or habenero pepper, diced
2 large eggs (room temperature)
1 cup whole milk
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Organic Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill Organic Unbleached White Flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Extra cheddar cheese (grated) for topping

Combine the first eight ingredients (chicken through the 2 Tablespoons of diced bell pepper) in a medium bowl and set aside (this can be done 1-2 days in advance.) Be sure to mix well. Let come to room temperature if it was made earlier and stored in the refrigerator.

In a food processor, combine and dice the green onions, the one cup of mixed bell peppers, and the scotch bonnet/habenero. Use caution if you are sensitive to hot peppers (after they bake, they are not very hot, but in the raw state they can be painful!) Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the eggs and whole milk. Mix well. Add the two flours, baking powder, salt, and melted butter. Mix on low speed until incorporated.

Place the diced pepper and onion mixture into the stand mixer bowl along with the 3/4 cup cheddar cheese. Gently mix again, on the lowest speed. When everything has come together, add the chicken mixture to the batter and again mix on a lower speed. Everything should be incorporated, but not over-mixed. This dough is "tacky" (sticky), not dry at all. Trust me, it works!

Preheat your oven to 400°F and place liners in your muffin pan. Place the pan on a cookie sheet (I only have one 6-muffin pan, so I made 3 batches, totaling 18 muffins.) Fill muffin tin liners with about 1/4 cup of batter. Top each muffin with about 2 teaspoons of the extra cheddar cheese (I eyeballed it, but it was less than a Tablespoon on each.) Pop into the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes (I found that 23 minutes was perfect for me, but your oven may be different). When done (tops are nice and firm, but muffins are still moist), remove from pan and allow to cool in liners, on the countertop (if you need to store them, toss them into the fridge, as they do contain meat.) Eat when fresh, if possible, and enjoy! Mmm, mmm tasty!

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