*** Try the unusual: a savory muffin for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
From Denny: We all love muffins. They are that little meal, that special little treat in the late afternoon. They are divine bits of Heaven. Sometimes, I would rather enjoy a savory muffin instead of the sweet.
The American breakfast can quickly become predictable with the usual suspects of eggs, bacon and toast. Banana bread with a little softened cream cheese is wonderful in the morning with eggs. But how about something totally off the wall different?
Feta cheese is a good protein source any time of day and mixes well with so many ingredients. You could even enjoy these muffins alongside those predictable eggs and bacon. This muffin has roasted peppers which are sweet of a savory kind. They would go well too with a soup or salad for lunch. Try them with roasted chicken for a dinner too.
For this recipe make sure to use only fresh basil as opposed to the dried version as they need the fresh oils to punch up the flavor of the muffin. If you don't have any fresh basil, the author recommends substituting a tablespoon of fresh thyme or a teaspoon of dried thyme in its place. Thyme tends to be a pungent herb even when dried.
Feta, Roasted Pepper & Basil Muffins
From: Sur La Table - The Art & Soul of Baking, Andrews McMeel Publishing, October 2008
Makes: 12 muffins
2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
½ cup (4 ounces) jarred roasted red bell pepper, patted dry and chopped into ¼-inch dice
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
1 cup (8 ounces) buttermilk
¼ cup (2 ounces) olive oil
1 large egg
Preheat the oven to 375°F and position an oven rack in the center. Lightly coat the muffin tin with melted butter, oil, or high-heat canola-oil spray. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the large mixing bowl. Set aside. In the medium bowl, stir together the feta cheese, roasted bell pepper, and chopped basil. Set aside.
Pour the buttermilk into the measuring cup. Add the olive oil and the egg and whisk together until well blended. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the well and stir gently with a spatula. Mix only until there are no more streaks of flour or pools of liquid and the batter looks fairly smooth. A few small lumps scattered throughout are fine—they will disappear during baking. Gently fold in the feta cheese mixture until evenly distributed in the batter.
Use the large ice cream scoop or 2 soup spoons to divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the tops feel firm and a skewer inserted into the centers comes out clean. Transfer the muffin tin to a rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Gently run a thin knife or spatula around each muffin to free it from the pan, lift out the muffins, and transfer them to a rack to finish cooling (careful, these are tender while hot). Serve warm.
When completely cool, the muffins can be stored at room temperature, wrapped in plastic or sealed in a resealable plastic bag, for 2 days. Reheat, wrapped in foil, in a 325°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until warmed through. The muffins can also be frozen for up to 1 month, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and then sealed in a resealable plastic freezer bag. Thaw, still wrapped, for 30 minutes before reheating.
*** Check out how Muffin Monday started: American Revolt: How You Can Break Big Business, Big Banks, Big Insurance, Big Oil, Big Lobbyists
Photo by mccun934 @ flickr
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