Use a muffin tin to make these cheese-filled mini corn breads, which are the perfect accompaniment to a steaming bowl of chili. Although best served warm from the oven, the corn bread can be baked in advance, then reheated in a microwave or in a 250°F oven just before serving. For an over-the-top variation, fold 2 oz. of finely diced ham into the prepared batter.
Cheese-Centered Mini Corn Breads
1 1/2 cups finely ground cornmeal
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbs. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
5 1/2 oz. fontina cheese, cut into twelve 3/4-inch cubes
Preheat an oven to 400ºF. Spray the wells of a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and rosemary. Make a small well in the center.
In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk and butter until just blended. Pour the egg mixture into the well of the cornmeal mixture and gently fold until the batter is blended and no lumps remain.
Spoon about 2 Tbs. batter into each prepared well and place a cheese cube in the center of each one. Spoon the remaining batter evenly on top, covering the cheese cubes. Bake until the edges of the corn bread are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 15 minutes.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the corn bread cool for 5 minutes, then serve immediately. Makes 12 mini corn breads.