Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

May 22, 2012

Muffin tin dining can be every day or party chic

Lee Ward
The Independent

ASHLAND — Most of us love muffins but do we really know the limits of muffin tins?

Probably not.

“The Muffin Tin Cookbook” is an eye-opening read, providing recipes for everything from appetizers to main courses to desserts, all making use of the muffin tin.

STUFFED

 MUSHROOMS

10 ounces baby bella or white mushrooms, stems removed and reserved

1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs

3 tablesooons light cream cheese

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon grated Parma cheese, plus additional for topping

Pinch dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/2 small clove garlic

1 tablespoons shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

2 tablespoonss grated fontina cheese

1 tablespoons. olive oil

1 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

1 tablespoons frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare as many mini muffin cups as you have mushrooms (since sizes vary) by spraying with cooking spray.

Place one mushroom cap in each muffin cup

Place remaining ingredients and 4 mushrooms stems in food processor and pulse until completely mixed.

Divide mixture among the mushroom caps. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes until mushrooms are cooked through.

Remove from oven, remove foil and sprinkle a large pinch of Parma cheese on top of each cap.

Return to oven uncovered, and bake for 5 minutes.

CORN CHIP NACHOS

1/2 pound lean ground beef

1/2 cup salsa (your choice of heat)

2 cups Fritos, plus additional for topping

1 cup shredded taco cheese

4 teaspoons chopped green chilies

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare 8 jumbo muffin cups with foil or silicone liners.

Cook beef in a pan, until browned. Stir in salsa and cook until reduced.

Place 1/4 cup Fritos in each cup and top with 1 tablespoons cheese in each cup.

Top with beef, divided among cups, then top with 7 or 8 Fritos in each cup.

Sprinkle 1 tablespoons cheese on each. Top with 1/2 teaspoons chilies on each.

Bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.



BAGEL SAUSAGE SANDWICHES

2 mini bagels, halved

2 tablespoons. goat cheese

1 chicken sausage, removed from casing

2 slices tomato, seeded

1 slice Swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare 2 jumbo muffin cups with paper liners.

Spread the goat cheese on the bagel halves and place one half, cheese side up, in each tin.

Crumble the sausage on top, dressing into the goat cheese.

Place 1 tomato slice on top of each

Break the Swiss cheese into 4 quarters and place 2 on each sandwich. Top with remaining nagel halves.

Bake for 15 minutes or until bagel is slightly browned and filling is hot.

BEEF STROGANOFF CUPS

1/2 small onion, chopped

1 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

3 ounces mushrooms, sliced

6 ounces beef tenderloin, sliced thin

2 tablespoons  Wondra flour

3/4 sup beef broth

Pinch of nutmeg

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup light sour cream, plus more for topping

4 ounces cooked egg noodles

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare 12 muffin cups with silicone or foil liners.

Cook onion with olive oil and butter in skillet over medium high until translucent

Add mushrooms, turn heat to medium, and cook until cooked down.

Add beef and cook until cooked through. Stir in flour and cook about 30 seconds, stirring.

Stir in flour and cook about 30 seconds, stirring.

Stir in beef broth and add nutmeg and salt and pepper. Cook until thickened.

Stir in sour cream and add noodles.

Divide among muffin cups and place a dollop of sour cream on top of each.

Bake for 8 minutes until completely hot and meat is cooked.

BAKED VEGGIE

 STIR-FRY

Green part of 1 scallion, chopped

8 baby carrots, cut into thin rounds

2 cups broccoli florets

1 cup bean sprouts

1 small garlic clove, chopped

1/4 cup bottled stir-fry sauce

1 teaspoon tamari sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare 9 regular muffin cups with foil or silicone liners.

Place all ingredients in a bowl and toss to coat. Divide among the cups, scraping bowl with a rubber scraper to get all the sauce.

Bake for 20 minutes until vegetables are cooked.

MINI GRILLED CHEESE AND TOMATO 

SANDWICHES

1 baguette sliced into 1/2 slices (about 40 slices)

Dijon mustard to taste

4 plum tomatoes, seeded and sliced thinly into 20 slices

10 slices of Swiss Cheese, cut in half

Preheat oven to 400degrees and prepare 20 regular muffin cups by spraying with cooking spray.

Spread mustard on one side of each slice bread and pair them up so you have 20 pairs.

Place the tomato slices on paper towels to dry them, then place 1 on each sandwich.

For each sandwich, take 1/2 piece of Swiss Cheese and fold in half, then place on top of tomato. Top with remaining piece of bread.

Place 1 sandwich in each muffin cup and spray the tops of the sandwiches with cooking spray.

Bake for about 5 minutes, until the cheese just melts and the tops of the sandwiches are golden brown.

CROISSANT BREAD PUDDING

3 croissants torn into 1 inch pieces

1 egg

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

1/8 teaspoons nutmeg

1/8 teaspoons  cinnamon

1 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 350degrees and prepare 4 jumbo muffin sups with foil or silicone liners.

Mix all ingredients together. Divide among muffin cups.

Bake for 20 minutes until the dessert is set and golden on top.

CRUNCHY PEANUT CUPCAKES

1 1/2 cups cake flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoons salt

1 cup crunchy peanut butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cup milk

3/4 cup chocolate chips, divided

1/2 cup peanut butter chips, divided

Preheat oven to 400degrees and prepare 18 regular muffin cups with paper liners (tulip liners work well for this recipe.

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt peanut butter, and brown sugar until crumbly.  Reserve 1/2 cup of mixture.

Add egg, oil, and milk to the mixture, and combine completely.

Add 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1/4 cup peanut butter chips to mixture, then divide among muffin cups.

Mix reserved peanut butter mixture with 1/4 cup chocolate chips and 1/4 cup peanut chips, then sprinkle on top of cupcakes.

Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the heat down to 350F and bake for another 8 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

MEATBALLS IN SPAGHETTI NESTS

2 cups spaghetti cut into 1/4 pieces

2 eggs

salt and pepper

1 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs, divided

3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 tablespoons, divided

1 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoons cream

1/2 pound lean ground beef

1/4 teaspoons onion powder

1/4 teaspoons garlic powder

1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce, plus more for serving

pinch of sugar

Preheat over to 400 degrees and prepare 6 jumbo muffin cups with cooking spray or silicone liners (spray these as well)

Mix spaghetti, 1 of the egg, salt and pepper, tomato paste, 1/4 cup bread crumbs, 1/4 cup grated parmesan, olive oil, and cream.

Presss spaghetti mixture into bottom and side of cups, going between 1/3 and 2/3 of the way to the top.

Bake for 12 minutes.

Mix beef, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, the other egg, 1/4 cup bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, 1 tbls. spaghetti sauce, sugar, and 2 tbls. parmesan in a bowl, then form into 6 meatballs.

Place 1 tablespoon spaghetti sauce into each nest, then top with meatball.

Place 2 tablespoons sauce on top then sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup parmesan cheese among the cups.

Bake for about 22 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through. Serve with additional sauce and Parmesan cheese.

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While I don’t claim to be an expert cook, I do like to cook and love to eat. Readers are encouraged to send questions about food and cooking; I’ll try to find the answers. Also, if you’re looking for a specific recipe, send your request, or if you can offer a recipe to someone looking for something specific, please send e-mail to lward@dailyindependent.com.