Not your usual muffins by any means, these little gems go perfectly with grilled dishes such as a Greek-style chicken. Add a cucumber and tomato salad and search out a cold bottle retsina, the pine resin-scented Greek wine. (Sounds strange but tastes like what the Gods would drink, which, come to think if it, it probably was.)
- Butter, for preparing the pan
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- ¾ cup polenta or coarsely ground yellow cornmeal
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano or 1 scant teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
PREHEAT THE OVEN to 425°F. Butter a 12-cup standard-size muffin pan thoroughly.
IN A SMALL SKILLET, heat 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat and sauté the shallot until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. In a small mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Stir in the polenta with a fork until the dry ingredients are evenly blended. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, melted butter, sour cream, and milk until well combined. Add the softened shallot, lemon zest, oregano, and the dry ingredients and stir with a fork until just blended. Do not overmix. Divide the batter equally among the muffin cups, filling them all the way up.
BAKE FOR 20 MINUTES, or until puffed and deep golden. Cool on a rack and serve while still slightly warm.
Nutritional information is based on a serving size of 1 muffin and using 1 tablespoon of butter to prepare the pan.