I have a, not so secret, love of cupcakes, so when I saw this recipe on Down Home with the Neely's on Food TV, I did not pass go, I did not collect 100 dollars....I stopped all I was doing, printed, and planned.
I also have a slightly less well known like of pimento cheese. I've tried out two recipes I really like I'll post sometime, with one more in the works after this, so this was RIGHT up my alley. My alley is not a scary place, obviously, because it's filled with cupcakes and pimento cheese.
Here's a run down of the recipe, what I did, what I didn't do well, what I'd change, and what I'd try next time. As always, don't listen to me, I don't know what I'm doing, but feel free to add your two cents, it can only help. ;o)
First, I halved the recipe for both the cheese, and the muffins, because I'm a party of one, and I said I liked pimento cheese, not that I want to marry it or anything, and if I had made the 24 muffins, and pile of pimento cheese it called for, I think we would have been commonlaw married by the time I finished it up, I'm just sayin'...
On that note, I only got 9 muffins out of the batter mix. I filled the cups more than 3/4 full too, and it's not like they were crazy puffy even at that, so....expect less than 24 if you make the full recipe.
In addition, I used cupcake liners, and day one the batter stuck to the cupcake liners, but by day two, they popped out cleanly. I think I'd make the muffins a day before if I were a planner, and I am. So, for the future.... I really liked the green onion/onion combo in the muffins, though I wouldn't mind a little more 'corn' flavor...I'll investigate this someday....maybe with real corn? Or a bigger mix of cornmeal vs. flour mix? I dunno. With the pimento, it's great, so it's not as obvious. They were still really....reeeaaaaallly good. The pimento cheese was super yum, with a trace of heat. I would definitely do this again! I think the cupcake form holds the wow factor. This would be a fun dish to bring to a picnic potluck, July 4th party, shower, evening home alone watching The Real Housewives of Orange County...whatever. AND in making this I had a really fun idea (fun...in my head) I have GOT TO TRY OUT soon, I just need to find a reason, and then I'll share...the words never do the picture in my head justice. Off to find my reason now because I'm going to lose sleep over this until I get it out of my head and onto a table. Moving on, here is the recipe:
Gina's Pimento Cheese Cakes
Cook, crumble, and set aside 4 strips of bacon, for garnish.
Cut, and set aside 4 chopped green onions, for garnish.
Mix and chill for 2 hours:
12 oz extra-sharp white Cheddar, grated (I love Cabot)
1/4 c. grated extra-sharp yellow Cheddar
7 oz. pimentos, drained, and finely chopped
1/2 t. black pepper
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
3/4 c mayonnaise
1 T Neely's BBQ seasoning *see below
(Just fyi, I didn't do this exactly. I just looked at the recipe below, and put a dash of each of the ingredients to the proportion I felt the whole mix would have called for, but I'm not math specialist.)
1 c. self-rising cornmeal
1 c. self-rising flour
2 T. sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 c. buttermilk (You can make your own buttermilk by adding a T of vinegar to 1 c. skim milk, and letting it sit for five minutes)
3 T melted butter, plus 1/4 T cold butter
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
1 t. seeded and chopped jalapeno
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
7 oz green chiles, drained and chopped
Directions for Batter:
Preheat oven 375 degrees.
In a large bowl add the flour, cornmeal, sugar, eggs, buttermilk and 3 T melted butter. Mix well to combine.
Saute onions and jalapenos using 1/4 T butter, about 2 minutes. Add salt, and pepper and chiles. Remove from heat, cool slightly and add to batter.
Spray 24 muffing tins with nonstick spray.
fill the pans 3/4 full with batter. Make for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
Let cool and frost with pimento cheese mixture. Garnish with bacon and green onion.
*Neely's BBQ Seasoning:
3/4 c. white sugar,
1 1/3 c. paprika
3 3/4 T onion powder
Mix and store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
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