Friday, January 28, 2011

Challenge recipe 1: Roast capsicum and feta muffins

Okay, let's get this cooking challenge on the road! First of all, here's the book:

I've actually made quite a few recipes from this one - triple chocolate brownies, pizza dough, Portuguese custard tarts, and apple pie, among others. But I'd never made anything out of the muffin chapter, because I've always used the recipes from my mum's copy of the Canadian classic, Muffin Mania (which I've just discovered through Google in now in print again - how excitement!). So I figured now was as good a time as any!

Anyway, here's what you'll need:

Start by quartering the capsicums (one red and one yellow) and getting rid of all the junk in the middle:

Then put them under the grill, skin side up, until the skin begins to blacken and bubble. This was after about six minutes:

When the skin is suitably bubbly/black, chuck the capsicum pieces into a Ziploc bag for about five minutes:

Once it's had time to sit and think about what it's done, take the pieces out of the bag and peel off the skin:

Then chop it all up...

...along with 100g of feta. For once, I actually used the full fat stuff! Scandal...

Then take 90g of melted butter... egg...

...1 cup of milk...

...a tablespoon of fresh rosemary, chopped (I cheated and used scissors, cos I'm craptacular at chopping herbs!)...

...1/2 cup of parmesan cheese...

...and 2.5 cups of sifted self raising flour.

Dump everything into the bowl with the flour, and stir until just combined. I had to add a little bit of extra milk to make up for the fact that I couldn't get the right size of eggs.

Then spoon the batter into a muffin pan that you've greased the lazy way - spray oil!

Then scatter some sesame seeds over the top (and pretend there's a photo of doing so here. I totally forgot until after I'd put them in the oven...).

 The recipe says to bake them for 25 minutes at 200 degrees. But it also says to use a Texas muffin pan. I don't have a Texas muffin pan, so used a standard one. Obviously, given the picture above! So I dropped the cooking time to about 18 minutes. To be honest, they probably didn't need much more than 15 minutes.

I tried this one straight out of the oven (Muffin Mania insists that muffins must ALWAYS be served warm!) with a little bit of margarine:

The verdict? It was pretty good - filled with little chunks of salty feta and the deliciousness of roasted capsicum. But to be perfectly honest, I think they're missing something. I don't quite know what - salt and pepper perhaps. Or maybe a pinch of cayenne pepper. Or maybe just some extra parmesan cheese. The rosemary flavour was lovely, it was just a little bit too subtle for my liking. So I think if I make them again, I'll be playing around with the herbs and adding in something that will give the end result a little more spark!

One down, twenty seven to go...

K xx

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