The big feasting week is finally here. Time to start planning the turkey's exit from the freezer and the final touches on your big meal. This recipe, from epicurious.com, provides a spicy alternative to traditional yeast rolls. It comes from this month's Gourmet magazine.
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus 1 tablespoon, softened, for brushing muffin cups
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2 cups cornmeal (preferably stone-ground)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup corn, thawed if frozen
1 1/4 cups well-shaken buttermilk (not powdered)
1 large egg
1 3/4 cups grated sharp Cheddar (5 1/4 oz.), divided
For jalapeno butter:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 fresh jalapeno, finely chopped, including seeds
Preheat oven to 425 with rack in middle. Brush muffin cups with softened butter.
Whisk together cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl.
Whisk together corn, buttermilk, egg, and melted butter in another bowl, then stir into flour mixture until just combined. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese.
Divide batter among muffin cups and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bake until puffed and golden-brown and a wooden pick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Turn out onto a rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Make jalapeno butter while muffins bake:
Stir together butter, jalapeno, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Serve with muffins. Makes 12.
Cooks' notes: Muffins can be made 6 hours ahead. Jalapeno butter can be made 1 week ahead and chilled in an airtight container. Bring to room temperature before serving.