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Thursday, 25 August 2016

Vegetable cheesy muffins




I rarely buy muffins when I am out having coffee with Mr. HRK or friends as they are too large and tasteless and not very healthy. This recipe makes 12 of what I would call normal sized muffins and if I am really hungry, I just have two of them. I have also discovered the Wiltshire floppy no stick muffin trays available from the supermarkets, which are great for baking muffins and small cakes. No need to grease them, and the muffins just pop out of the holes when gently squeezed from the bottom. Brilliant.


This week I have just been basically doing what needs to be done, because I've been a bit off colour. Since last Thursday I've had a sore throat with a brewing cough and have just felt sick. I am blaming this on our trip to Rockhampton the previous weekend to attend my brother's 60th birthday celebrations. Too much hugging, kissing, and shaking hands at those events, ha, ha,  however it was a lovely night. But there is so much sickness  around so who knows where I really contracted the bug. 

When the going gets tough the tough get going. So yesterday I cooked up my healing slow cooked chicken broth which is now resting in the refrigerator and will become soup tonight, with the remainder as frozen stock.  I also set myself a small challenge this week to find the best recipe I could for vegetable muffins. Not that challenging really but enough of an incentive to lure me into the kitchen and produce something delicious for morning tea with Mr. HRK. Strangely being sick doesn't affect my appetite that much. I have a preference for savoury things for morning tea, and sweet things for afternoon tea, however I can of course manage both together if available. I have been quite addicted to savoury muffins for morning tea during this last week. I also have a batch in the freezer now for visitors or just in case we run out of supplies. After some trial and error this is the recipe which I think produces the most consistent and delicious savoury muffin but which is also very adaptable depending on what I have on hand.

For further variations add a chopped bacon rasher or two, or add a cube of feta or goat's cheese to the middle of each muffin for a nice cheesy surprise. Sky is the limit really. Serve them with a spicy tomato relish and morning tea is on.

Vegetable and cheesy muffin recipe:
Makes 12 muffins

Basic Ingredients:
2 cups sifted S.R. Flour (or 2 cups plain flour, 4 teaspoons of baking powder, and pinch a of salt sifted together)
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (or 60g melted butter)
1 cup grated tasty cheddar cheese
pinch of salt if not already added

The following ingredients can be varied slightly depending on what vegetables or cheese you have on hand:
1 medium zucchini grated
1 medium carrot grated
1/2 cup sweet corn
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil or fresh parsley or any combination of fresh chopped herbs that you like
1/3 cup of  grated parmesan cheese (optional)

(The grated vegetables should amount to about 2 cups of mixture. It's not necessary to be exact. I have omitted the corn in one batch, and the zucchini in another batch and the muffins still work out well. However, the zucchini brings a nice moistness to the mixture and the corn a sweetness and a slight crunch. Broccoli could also be added.)

Let's cook:

  1. Place flour, zucchini, carrot, sweetcorn, basil, parmesan and cheddar cheese in a bowl and coat all of the vegetables well in the flour so that if possible no dry flour remains in the bowl.    
  2.  Whisk milk and eggs together in a separate bowl and add the oil to combine.
  3.   Make a well in the centre of the flour and vegetables bowl and add the whisked milk, oil and eggs.
  4.    Fold the liquid gently into the flour and vegetables until just combined. If the mixture is beaten in too vigorously the muffins will be tough to eat. When lightly folded the whole mixture should come away nicely from the bowl.
  5.   Spoon by the tablespoonful into 2x6 hole muffin trays and then top up and tidy up the muffins after the 12 are basically filled, to use up all the mixture and even up the surfaces.
Remember to serve with a deliciously spicy  homemade or store bought tomato chutney. I like the Outback Spirit Provenance Range of Bush Tomato Chutney.

Bon appetit!

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