Dining Features

Hamptons Epicure: Local Cornbread for Your Holiday Table

Almost 30 years ago Dale Haubrich and Bette Lacina, partners in life and business, had a dream to support themselves by farming organically on their smallholding in Sag Harbor.

Haubrich and Lacina were instrumental in establishing the Sag Harbor Farmers Market and have become popular fixtures there, selling a wide range of delicious organic fruits and vegetables. Their farm, Dale & Bette’s, located next to Bay Burger on the Bridgehampton Turnpike, is especially renowned for its organic salad greens.

Haubrich, who grew up on a farm in Iowa, decided last year that he wanted to grow a local staple crop. Since he’s well acquainted with growing corn, he chose to grow Native American multicolored flint corn. It’s colorful and nutritious and grows well in this climate. The corn meal has been a smash hit at the Sag Harbor Farmers Market and Haubrich will offer it for sale at the Topping Rose Farmers Market this Saturday, November 15.

Fresh Hamptons in Bridgehampton uses the meal to make its popular polenta. The corn meal is sold in two-cup bags and its label includes a recipe from Lacina for a tasty corn bread. I tweaked her recipe a bit and share it below to create easy, savory muffins.

(I’m teaching a workshop at the Southampton Museum on Thursday, November 13 in the evening on baking traditional holiday pies. At press time there was just one spot still open in the class. Call 631-283-2494 if you’re interested in pie baking tips and lore.)

Savory Tomato Corn Bread Muffins

Yield: 1 dozen

1 cup Dale & Bette’s corn meal

1 cup flour, plus 1 tablespoon

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon Amagansett Sea Salt

1 cup milk (dairy or nut)

¼ cup oil or melted butter

1 local egg

1 tablespoon New York State dark maple syrup

½ cup Dale & Bette’s dried tomatoes, chopped

Preheat oven to 400°.

Grease and flour muffin tin, or line pan with cupcake wrappers.

Mix all dry ingredients except tomatoes, reserving 1 tablespoon flour.

Stir together milk, oil, egg and syrup, beating the egg slightly.

Stir liquids into dry ingredients just until smooth.

Toss fruit with flour, then fold into batter.

Pour into muffin tin.

Bake about 20 minutes.

Serve immediately and enjoy.

Any leftovers can be used in stuffing.

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