This post is for my friend Suzanne, who recently told me not everyone is cut out for from-scratch baking and reminded me that some people will always prefer baking with mixes. This week I used not just one but TWO mixes to make a Sweet. Next week, I’ll go back to baking from scratch. I can’t explain it, but using a mix felt more complicated to me than measuring out ingredients from my own canister set.
This time of year is travel-heavy for me. I spend a fair amount of time working away from home, which means seeking out places safe for me to eat. It also means I spend a lot of time figuring out things I can cook in a hotel room with limited kitchen facilities. Sometimes I have really limited resources, only a small microwave and refrigerator. Other times I have a cooktop with a couple of burners. Recently I was treated to a hotel room with a range, full size refrigerator, dishwasher and a few pieces of bakeware.Whoo hooo!
As surprising as this may be, I had a muffin pan in my suitcase, along with a can of fire roasted hatch chiles. TSA loves me, really they do. I made a quick visit to the nearest Whole Foods and bought a few necessities to bake cornbread muffins. In about half an hour, a hotel room was converted to a place that smelled a little like home. Ahhh….
About this week’s ingredient, Hatch chiles. My friend Mary is a native of New Mexico. She shared two cans of authentic Hatch chiles with me. If one is lucky enough to snag a dinner invitation to Mary’s house, she may make layered enchiladas and use wonderful sauce created with hatch chiles. In her cookbook collection are countless recipes for cooking with chiles. I asked for her help in using Hatch chiles in a Sweet and stumped her and her network of New Mexico bakers. There weren’t a lot of options and I was absolutely stumped by this ingredient. I started thinking about things in which I like chiles and thought about cornbread. Then I thought about a really sweet cornbread I used to like eating, back in the gluten-filled days.
The really sweet cornbread I used to like eating came from a long-gone restaurant in Leawood, Kansas, the Uptown Diner. It was rumored that they made their cornbread with a yellow cake mix. Now you know why I baked with a mix this week! These muffins are sweet and have a very cake-like texture with a smoky aftertaste from the chiles. They are my favorite from-a-mix treat so far! While I wouldn’t usually think of cornbread as a Sweet, these definitely qualify.
Hatch Chile Cornbread Muffins
Makes 14 muffins
1 3/4 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Cornbread Mix (this is half of a mix)
1 1/2 cups Pamela’s Classic Vanilla Cake Mix (this is half of a mix)
3 eggs (I use farm fresh eggs, averaging 50 grams each)
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
1 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1-4oz. can fire roasted diced green hatch chiles
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl (I stirred by hand, no mixer in the hotel room kitchen). Lightly oil a muffin pan. Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, put batter into each muffin cavity. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 22 minutes. These will very lightly brown, but not much.
I had these muffins with a delicious Black Bean Pumpkin Chili my husband made from this recipe. He made the following changes:
Substituted vegetable broth for the chicken broth
Substituted 8 oz. crumbled tempeh for the cooked turkey
Cooked on the stovetop instead of in a slow cooker (hotel room cooking, no Crockpot in the luggage)
If you’d like to know more about Hatch chiles, visit this website about their upcoming festival!