Saturday, 18 April 2009

Savory Cheddar-Cheese Muffins

Even Zimbabwe has its cold days! and with winter coming up there is nothing better than a good savory muffin and a hearty soup to eat while sitting around a fire or watching a good DVD.
This recipe is versatile, quick, easy and tasty.
The muffins are best eaten the same day but if you have any left over they can be warmed up in the microwave for breakfast - really good with butter and Marmite! 2 C. white flour 2 teas. baking powder ½ teas. salt 1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (no subs.) Optional herbs: 1/2 T. crushed dried thyme or savory -- 2T. chopped dried parsley, 1 teas. Mrs. Dash or Spike Seasoning Blend 1 C. milk 1 egg -- beaten ¼ C. light olive or vegetable oil Preheat oven to 400f or 210 c. Grease muffin tin and set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add shredded cheese and (optional) herbs and stir to combine. In a small bowl, combine remaining liquid ingredients. Add to flour mixture, stirring just to combine, don’t over-mix. Spoon into prepared muffin tin, filling each cup ¾ full. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean. Reduce heat to 350f or 200c after first 10 minutes if browning too fast.
You can also make this in a food processor - put herbs, cheese and dry ingredients in bowl and process until like maize meal - then add wet ingredients - you might need a bit more milk but i find even if the mixture is stiff the muffins turn out well.
I bake mine in convection microwave and use silicone muffin pans - and it works beautifully every time.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Savory White Beans

This dish takes almost no time to prepare so is ideal for a quick meal, during a power failure, or when unexpected guests arrive.
It is robust and warming on a cool evening. Serve in soup bowls while sitting round a roaring fire!
A few glasses of red wine go well with this! 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 small garlic clove -- minced 15 ounces canned white kidney beans (cannellini), or other beans as available -- drained 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh oregano, sage or rosemary -- finely chopped 2 tablespoons parsley -- finely chopped 1/2 cup tomatoes -- chopped (use canned) 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar or red wine freshly ground pepper -- to taste In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat oil and garlic. Cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Add beans and herbs; cook to heat through. Stir in parsley, tomato, and red wine vinegar. Cook about 30 seconds longer. Season with pepper and adjust other seasonings to taste. Microwave Version In a casserole heat oil and garlic on 100% power 2 minutes. Add beans and herbs; microwave on 100% power about 1 minute. Stir in parsley, tomato, and red wine vinegar or wine. Microwave on 100% power 20 to 30 seconds. Season with pepper and adjust other seasonings to taste.
Serve as a side dish with meat or as a vegetarian main course with grated cheese, a green salad and crusty bread

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Peanut butter and jam pudding

This is a good recipe to use up slightly stale bread - and that left over jam!
450 grams good bread -- crust removed - challa or brioche are good as they are slightly sweet - raisin bread is also good 150 grams sugar 8 egg yolks 1 milliliter vanilla essence 630 milliliters thick cold cream 300 grams smooth peanut butter 230 grams raspberry or strawberry jam (home made is good) Preheat oven to 180 degrees Cut bread into slices and lightly toast Whisk together sugar, egg yolks and vanilla - whisk in the cold cream Spread each slice of bread liberally with peanut butter and then jam Soak each slice in egg mixture and arrange in layers in an oven dish Pour remaining egg mixture over and make sure it soaks into the bread Bake in a water bath fort about 20 minutes then decrease the temperature to 160 for about 25 - 30 minutes