What if you could invest 20 minutes of active cooking time to have a healthy, satisfying breakfast ready in 60 seconds or less for the next 3 days? Ham and Cheese Buttermilk Breakfast Muffins from Jim Romanoff of the Associated Press is a recipe that allows you do to just that. I made these easy, savory muffins on Saturday morning and we’ve been enjoying them since.
First, I prepped my ham and veggies. I thinly sliced 1 bunch of scallions to yield 3/4 cup (the recipe called for 1 cup), diced half of a red bell pepper to yield 1/2 cup, and diced 6 ounces of sliced ham to yield 1 cup. Next, I prepped my muffin pan by spraying it with cooking spray. (I used a silicone muffin pan for easy release, but any old muffin pan is fine. You can use liners as well, if you want.)
In a large bowl, I whisked together 3 cups of flour, 2 1/4 teaspoons of baking powder (the recipe actually calls for 1 tablespoon, but I adjusted for altitude), 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
In a medium bowl, I whisked together 2 large eggs, 1 1/3 cups of buttermilk, 2 tablespoons of canola oil, and 3 tablespoons of melted butter. I stirred in the prepared ham, scallions, and red pepper along with 1 cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese.
To form the batter, I added the wet ingredients to the dry and mixed with a rubber spatula just until everything was combined. (Don’t overmix.) I used an ice cream scoop to transfer the batter to my prepared muffin pan; 1 heaping scoop per muffin cup was just about right. (The cups were very full.)
I baked the muffins at 400F until the tops were browned. The recipe said 20 – 25 minutes; at Denver’s altitude, I got the results I wanted in 28 minutes. I let the muffins cool in the pan for 15 minutes, turned them out, and served them warm.
Mmmm. These were seriously good. The muffin itself was moist and fluffy with great density, and I loved the chunky texture of the ham and pepper pieces. The scallions and cayenne pepper added the perfect amount of zing. I did feel like they could be a bit saltier, so I think I’ll double the salt to 1/2 teaspoon next time instead of 1/4 teaspoon.
The recipe made 12 muffins, which is far more than Dr. O and I can eat on our own. I wrapped each muffin individually in plastic wrap and placed the leftovers in the refrigerator. (They’ll keep for 3 days.) As promised, these warmed up beautifully in the microwave… Each muffin just needs 30 seconds on high to be back to warm, moist, and delicious.
TIPS: I always ask my deli guy or gal to slice my meats thick when I need them for dicing. The person behind the counter usually has *some* idea of how thick a slice should be to yield the amount I need (though I never expect them to get it exactly right!).
Also, if you have a silicone muffin pan and you choose to use it, remember to put it on a baking sheet for support before you put it in the oven.
Recipe link: Ham and Cheese Buttermilk Breakfast Muffins (inactive)
Update 8/23/12: The recipe is no longer published on the Dallas Morning News website. I’ve written it out in a separate post (and mine isn’t going anywhere!); click here to visit.