These are far more exciting than a plain bread roll.
These muffins are a different take on conventional cornbread, and make an excellent side dish for any salad, soup or roast.
"They are a great alternative to bread or bread rolls," note food authors Lisa Nieschlag and Lars Wentrup.
"Add diced bacon to the dough for an even more savoury muffin flavour, if you like."
Ingredients: (Makes 8)
90g Parmesan, finely grated
3tsp cream of tartar powder
1 pinch salt
1/4tsp cayenne pepper
8tsp sesame seeds for sprinkling
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (Gas mark 5) and line eight holes in a muffin tin with paper cup liners.
2. Melt the butter and grate the Parmesan finely.
3. Combine the cornmeal, flour, polenta, cream of tartar powder, salt and cayenne pepper in a mixing bowl. Stir in 80g of grated Parmesan. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Pour in the melted, cooled butter, lightly beaten egg and milk. Stir all ingredients to combine.
4. Fill the paper cup liners about three quarters with dough and sprinkle the muffins with the remaining Parmesan and sesame seeds.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-22 minutes until golden brown.
Remove from the muffin tin and leave to cool.
New York Christmas: Recipes And Stories by Lisa Nieschlag and Lars Wentrup (photograpy by Lisa Nieschlag and Julia Cawley) is published by Murdoch Books and is priced £30.
Delicious.magazine tips: Four easy starters on toast
These first courses are posh enough for high days and holidays, but also make top snacks – be sure to use good sourdough or rustic Italian bread
1 Wild mushrooms
Fry a mix of sliced cultivated and torn wild mushrooms in butter with fresh chopped thyme and salt until the mushrooms soften and start to brown. Stir in some crushed garlic and cook for a minute more. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, then pile onto toast with the buttery juices. Garnish with fresh rosemary, if you like.
2 Smoked salmon, avocado and horseradish
Mix horseradish sauce with crème fraîche and a squeeze of lemon juice. Neatly slice an avocado and arrange on toast. Ripple slices of smoked salmon on top and add a blob of the horseradish cream. Sprinkle with finely chopped red onion or shallot, scatter with dill and serve. You could add a few caviar-style fish eggs if you want to go posh.
3 Bresaola with fennel, orange and watercress
Trickle a little extra-virgin olive
oil over toast. Ruffle slices of bresaola on top. Mix wafer-thin slices of fennel with watercress and slices of segmented orange (remove all the pith), then season and dress with lemon juice, orange zest and olive oil. Pile on top of the bresaola. Add a splash more olive oil before serving.
4 Goat’s cheese, pear and pomegranate
Drizzle a little extra-virgin olive oil over the toast. Spread thickly with a good soft, rindless goat’s cheese, then transfer to plates. Arrange thin slices of pear (or apple) on top, brushed with lemon juice to keep from browning, then season with salt and pepper and add a splash more olive oil. Scatter over a few pomegranate seeds and serve.