Friday, 8 March 2013

Tomato and Feta Muffins

I am terribly sorry for my absence.

Uni got in my way and it just got terribly hectic! But I proudly announce that I have officially finished my dissertation and now I can finally tell you what's been going on in the kitchen.

If you think that all this workload has kept me away from the oven, you are wrong, ladies and gentlemen. I've tried a few new things, have been procrastinating by fishing for inspiration, bought a new desserts book...

I'll tell you a secret: if I could, I would eat sweet things every day. I am fussy about my desserts but I would be quite happy if my body had some magical power to turn sugar into vitamins or something. But the thing is, I'm not a fan of cooking sweet things. I like to be creative in the kitchen and often I feel that sweet recipes do not give you that creative space, as you need to follow a really strict recipe. Of course, when it works out right it's really rewarding. How do you feel about these things?

On to the dish: these delicious babies were discovered a while ago - savoury muffins. The recipe has been marked for a while on my 'to cook' list (yes, everyone else has 'to do' lists, I've got 'to cook' ones). And I have to say, my expectations were high. The thing is, this particular cook book is brilliant as the flavours are well tuned and everything in it is really clearly described, so my chore of following the preciseness of ingredients is eased. 

They came out brilliantly!! Hugo didn't know what to do with them up till the last minute - he just couldn't settle with the idea that it's something savoury in a cupcake shape. He tried to eat it with a fork and a knife (which didn't work as well as you'd expect) and kept on asking questions, but at the end of dinner I had to protect the only remaining one to take some photos before it was abruptly consumed.

The recipe is adapted from the book POPINA and makes 10-12 muffins.
2 eggs
300g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
100ml olive oil (I used the olive oil remaining from sun-dried tomatoes)
200 ml whole milk
1.5 tsp salt
1/3 tsp crushed black pepper
2 tsp dried oregano (or a handful of fresh if you've got access)
100g feta cheese260 g cherry tomatoes, halved (2 tomatoes per muffin)
Preheat the oven to 170C. Put the eggs, flour, baking powder, olive oil, milk, salt, pepper and oregano in a mixing bowl and mix until well combined. The batter should be quite runny. Fold in the feta.

Half-fill each muffin case with batter. Pop 2 cherry tomato halves on top, then top up with batter to fill the case. Finish with another 2 tomato halves.

Bake in a preheated oven for about 25 minutes. Do not be tempted to open the oven door halfway through baking as it might cause the muffins to sink. When they are ready, they should be well risen and srpingy o the touch.

Muffins are always best eaten warm from the oven, but if you do have some left (Thanks to Hugo I don't remember the last time we had leftovers) you can refresh them with a quick flash in the oven. Store in an airtight container for 2-3 days.


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