Sunday, July 8, 2012

Black Bean, Bacon Drippins, and Avocado Muffins, Take One

My mom was the Queen of Nothing Wasted. This was most evident when it came to bacon drippins.  And, yes. Drippins.  No final "g", no final apostrophe to show you believe in final "g".  Mom was an educated and articulate enough lady that she knew about final "g" and could pronounce it just fine when needed.

But, bacon drippins were... drippins.  And drippins they shall always be.

Bacon drippins were stored in coffee cans, back in the days when people drank coffee that came pre-ground in cans. You just added to them every time you made bacon or sausage, and subtracted from them every time you fried something or greased a pan.

Once mom made zucchini bread, and she greased the pans with bacon drippins.  Unbeknownst to her, the drippins had gone rancid (something that rarely happens in hillbilly households).  Worst zucchini bread ever, at least around the edges.  It was still pretty good in the middle.

Anyway, true child of Mom that I am, when I fry bacon, I save the drippins.  In little ramekins, because I don't fry bacon that often.  Unlike Mom, I let it sit in the fridge until I'm pretty sure it's rancid, then I throw it out.

But lately, the idea of using the bacon fat to make something flavorful has been calling to me.

And, using black beans in muffins has been calling to me.

And using GF beer in muffins has been calling to me.

And, I had some avocados left over from the salad I'd made on the 4th.

So, what if I made blue cornmeal muffins, with black beans and bacon fat and avocados?  And, what if I topped them with the cracklins leftover from last week's posole?

Sounds like something you'd serve for Halloween, doesn't it? 

Black Bean, Bacon Drippins, and Avocado Muffins

Vegetable Ingredients:
3/4 to 1/2 C leftover black beans, chilled
1/2 C finely chopped onion
1 TBSP minced jalapeño
1 garlic clove or cube, or equivalent powder
1 TBSP minced cilantro (opt.)
Chunks of avocado, splashed with lime juice

Dry Ingredients:
1 1/4 C GF flour blend
1/4 C tapioca starch
1/2 C blue cornmeal (yellow or white would be prettier)
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
Ground pepper to taste

Wet ingredients:
1 egg
1/3 cup melted and partially cooled bacon drippins
About 3/4 cup GF beer, room temperature

Topping (Opt.)
Small bits of cracklins or bacon.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 (f).
  2. Place liners in 12 to 15 muffin cups, then spray with canola oil.
  3. Saute onion, jalapeño, and garlic in about 1 tsp bacon drippings in a non-stick skillet. Remove from heat.
  4. Add black beans and cilantro.
  5. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  6. Mix wet ingredients in a medium bowl.
  7. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
  8. Gently fold in all vegie ingredients, except the avocado chunks.
  9. Divide batter among the muffin cups, then smooth tops a bit with dampened fingers.
  10. Push one avocado chunk deep into the center of each muffin, then smooth batter over with dampened fingers.
  11. Sprinkle tops with cracklins or bacon bits, if desired.
  12. Bake about 13 to 15 minutes, until toothpick inserted off-center comes out clean.

Results: Well, indeed, they weren't pretty. Spouse 1.0 thinks they had too much avocado, not enough jalapeno, and maybe didn't need the cilantro. Other than that, he liked them.

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