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This fresh Arugula Salad is served with Italian Style meatballs and warm kicked-up corn muffins for a light, delicious meal ready in 20 minutes!
I wrote recently about my ‘classicalist’ tendencies, and how I view simplicity as a virtue, as a goal unto itself. I’ve written quite a bit about how this very concept is the focus of an entire industry within the culinary world – think meals in thirty minutes, accessible home cooking, and tips for streamlining the entertainment of guests.
However, any such high minded thought is quickly dashed against the ‘rock of practicality’ presented by real life scenarios, which invariably require us to adapt to whatever the day throws at us. This past Halloween was a perfect example. As anyone who follows the site knows, my family are often the tasters of my ‘test kitchen’ for the holiday themes I create for Living the Gourmet, and these ‘test kitchens’ usually take the form of impromptu late luncheons or weekend dinners.
I had scheduled one such impromptu dinner last week, and was in the midst of putting the finishing touches on a tray of Autumn-themed Muffins when a sudden ‘rush’ assignment for the site made itself known, packaged quite nicely with a forty-eight hour deadline. This was promptly followed by an emergency call from a neighbor, and a burnt batch of muffins. Cut to my niece arriving early with my brother just behind her, and I’ll let you imagine my ‘test kitchen predicament.’
I am, however, scarcely so easily deterred. What I did need, however, was a “20 Minutes to Tasty” sort of meal to help bridge the gap in my newly chaotic pre-holiday schedule.
First things being first, I decided on remaking the aforementioned muffins, but this time they would be savory dinner corn muffins – Kicked Up Corn Muffins. To do this, I prepared them with a base of milk, butter, eggs, flour, and cornmeal. Then, to kick them up, I added in cheddar cheese, crisped bacon, and Farm Rich Jalapeno Peppers – which I pick up conveniently right at my local Walmart during supply runs.
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 1 ½ cups cornmeal
- 2 ½ tbs. sugar
- 5 tsps. Baking powder
- 1 ½ tsps. Salt
- 2 eggs – slightly beaten
- 1 ½ cups milk
- ½ cup butter – melted
- ½ cup cheddar cheese – shredded
- ½ cup bacon – cooked and crumbled
- 5 Farm Rich Jalapeno Peppers – chopped (half cup)
- Preheat Oven 425 degrees F.
- In a mixing bowl sift together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- In a smaller bowl combine the eggs, milk, and melted butter and gently whisk.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the liquid and gently mix.
- Add cheese, bacon and jalapeno peppers. Fold the matter until well incorporated.
- Butter the muffin tins.
- Fill the buttered tins with the batter and gently brush the tops with melted butter.
- Bake 20 – 25 minutes or until slightly golden.
To pair with the muffins, I wanted something quick, light, and delicious. Since we’ve had a bout of unseasonably warm weather of late, I wanted something almost summery to pair with the evening. Right away, I thought of an arugula salad, and threw one together with red onions, grape tomatoes, a red bell pepper, and cucumbers, for which I quickly put together a lemon, olive oil, and honey dressing. To keep things fun, I topped the salad with Italian style Farm Rich Meatballs, which have the added benefit of being both gluten free and packed with twelve to thirteen grams of protein per serving.
- 4 cups Arugula
- 1 red onion – sliced
- Handful of grape tomatoes
- 1 sweet red bell pepper – sliced
- 1 Kirby cucumber – sliced
- 3-4 Farm Rich Meatballs, Italian Style or your choice
- For the Dressing:
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbs. honey
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 clove of garlic – grated
- Cook the Farm Rich meatballs as directed.
- Combine all of the ingredients and toss.
- Top with the meatballs.
- Combine all of the ingredients and whisk.
Needless to say, having such a convenient, and tasty option, really helped pull my pre-holiday dinner back together. What are some of your favorite solutions for “20 Minutes to Tasty” meals? We would love to hear from you.
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Enjoy with Love!