Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter a 12-cup muffin pan. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and pepper. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the egg, buttermilk, oil, corn, chiles and cayenne. Whisking from the center, combine the ingredients into a loose and slightly lumpy batter. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups, place a chile stem end upright in the top of each muffin and bake for 15 minutes, or until the muffins begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Place the pan on a rack to cool for about 10 minutes, and serve warm or at room temperature.
Fresh chiles and bell peppers can be roasted over a gas flame or on a tray under the broiler. Keep turning so the skin is evenly charred, without burning and drying out the flesh. Transfer the charred peppers to a plastic bag, tie the top closed and let steam until cool to the touch, about 15 minutes. The best way to peel is just to pull off the charred skin by hand and then dip the peppers briefly in water to remove any blackened bits. Do not peel the pepper under running water since that will wash away flavorful juices.
c.1997, M.S. Milliken & S. Feniger, all rights reserved
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