One of my favorite weeknight dinners is Deb Perelman's chard and white bean stew. It's easy, healthful, and readily lends itself to all kinds of modifications depending on what you have in your larder (spinach instead of chard, white vermouth instead of wine, chicken broth instead of vegetable broth, onions instead of shallots, etc.) I've made it dozens of times since Ms. Perelman posted the recipe on her blog some years ago and in that time, I've begun experimenting to find the perfect accompaniment.
In her blog, Ms. Perelman suggests serving the stew with a piece of toast rubbed with garlic. I have done this several times and it is indeed excellent. But because I don't always top the stew with a poached egg, I looked for something a bit more robust than a piece of toast and landed on corn muffins.
Coming back from a week of rather decadent eating in Tahoe, I decided that white bean stew would be a good choice. I started scrounging around for an easy corn muffin recipe that wouldn't require me to make a trip to the grocery store and, lo and behold, Ina Garten delivered.
I've made lots of corn muffins and many of the best contain sour cream or buttermilk, but if you don't have those ingredients on hand (as I often do not) these muffins will do the trick. They're definitely on the sweeter side, so take note, but I personally prefer a sweet corn muffin alongside savory stews.
Slightly modified version of Ina Garten's corn muffins
1 cup plus two tbsp whole milk
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 cup cornmeal
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp baking powder
Turn the oven to 350F. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin and set aside. Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl; mix together the eggs, milk and melted butter in a second bowl and then add to the dry ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon until incorporated. Spoon batter into the muffin tin and bake for approximately 25-27 minutes, until muffins take on a golden brown appearance and a toothpick emerges clean when the muffins are tested.
I tend to make a batch and freeze the majority of the muffins, warming them up in the oven a few at a time, covered in foil in the muffin tin, when I want them. It works beautifully.