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    Entries in dirty dishes will be the death of me (28)

    Tuesday
    Jul242012

    Blue Corn Berry Muffins

    Well, I had to do it. I had to make something else in the muffin tin to see if it was totally bitched.

    And one of the small veggie places that seems to specialize in local and as-close-as-possible foods had giant vats of blueberries on sale. So of course, blueberry muffins. And blueberry smoothies. And blueberries with yogurt and granola...

    Just the muffins in this post.

    Now, those of you who've never seen me in meatspace propbably don't know that I have some issues with colour. For a lot of years I wore a lot of black because I'm just not good at matching things. Warm colours? Cool colours? Wut? Eventually I gave up and just started wearing green pants with a blue tshirt and red sneakers. Monochormatic outfits are my friend.

    And so I decided to make blueberry muffins using blue masa. Monochromatic breakfasts.

    Don't worry, Canada Customs didn't know what blue masa was either when I brought it back across the border.

    Masa is nixtamalized cornmeal. It's cornmeal treated with an alkali in order to make the vitamins in the cornmeal available. It also make the proteins in corn usable by humans. And if you mix corn, squash, and beans in one dish, you end up with a perfectly complete source of protein.

    Of course blue masa is just masa made from blue corn. If you've never had it, it's totally awesome. Tastes mostly the same, but dude! It's freaking blue!

    Think about it... naturally occuring blue stuff is pretty rare. Even moreso is naturally occuring blue food.

    Blue Corn Blue Berry Muffins

    What You Need

    • 2 c blue masa
    • 1 tbsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1 tbsp lemon zest
    • 2 tbsp lemon juice
    • 1 c cream and or milk
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1/4 c honey
    • 1/2 c melted butter
    • plus a bit more butter for greasing the muffin tin
    • blueberries!

    What you gotta do:

    So, we're going to start this off by souring our cream and or milk. If you have buttermilk, use it, and skip this step. I never have buttermilk. For some reason the smallest container I can find of it is 1 litre, and I will never use 1 L of buttermilk before it manages to go bad. Hell, half the time I can't use a litre of regular milk before it sours.

    You can sour your milk / cream by adding lemon juice to it.

    Then, in your biggest bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and add the lemon zest.

    The rest of this goes pretty quickly, so preheat your oven to 400 and melt some butter to grease your muffin tin (or line it with papers).

    To your soured cream, add the vanilla and honey.

    1/4 cup isn't a lot of honey, no. But you'll be loading these muffins with super sweet berries so you don't really need the sugar sweetness. You can add more if you'd like, but these work for me.

    Plus, if you only use 1/4 cup in the batter you have an excuse to drizzle the muffins with honey when you eat them. ;)

    Add the eggs and the melted butter. 

    Beat this liquidy stuff all together and then pour it into the dry stuff.

    Mix the two until they're just combined and then dump in the berries. At least 2 cups.

    Fold the blueberries in gently and then fill your cups with them.

    You should be able to generously fill all 12 spots with fabulously blue batter.

    Bake them for about 20 minutes, but maybe start checking around 18. You don't want these overdone. Cornbread can seem really dry if it's overbaked.

    Nothing a little butter and honey won't solve though.

    Full of explodey blue goodness.

    Let them cool a good 10 minutes in the pan before you try extracting them. If your pan is fine, you should have no problems.

    Mine was not. They totally stuck to the sides and the bottom. Just as bad as the quiches did. Pan is bitched.

    But, I'm damn good at getting stuck things out of pans, and with my trusty paring knife and spoon, I was able to do this.

    Not pretty, but it's out.

    These are best eaten the day they were made, as with all cornbread, but if you do package and freeze them, just remember to bring along some butter and honey to go with them.

    I've got honey in my desk drawer at work.

    What have you got stashed in your drawers at work?

    Tuesday
    Jul172012

    look ma, no crust!

    I've been feeling lately that working full time affords me less time to get shit done than full time school and part time work combined do.

    I think this is mostly because I'm out of the house for at least 10 hours every day. During the school year, I have to spend a good chunk of time studying and doing homework, most of which I do at home. Homework. At home. Who knew.

    Granted school and work together are a lot of work, and I think in total I put in more hours each week, but at least some of them are at home. In my pajamas. And I can take half an hour here and there to do things like... cook...

    But, I managed to get a bit of time in this week to make something and though this recipe really is quite fast to put together, I ended up spending more time washing the dishes afterward than I did cooking. (Don't worry, this isn't a dishes-intensive recipe or anything, I'm just dumb sometimes)

    Mini Quiches

    What you need:

    • 1 zucchini
    • 5 mushrooms
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 3 tbsp chopped fresh dill
    • 1 tsp lemon zest
    • 1 to 2 cups grated swiss cheese
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 c whipping cream
    • salt and pepper
    • small tomatoes

    What you gotta do:

    Grate your zucchini. Mine was extremely juicy (srsly, like a cucumber) so I rolled it up in paper towel and gave it a squeeze to get some of the water out.

    Chop the mushrooms and garlic nice and small.

    Warm a bit of butter in a pan over medium high heat. It should be just starting to brown.

    You want the high heat here to get rid of the water in the veggies so you don't end up with soggy quiches. Once you've had them in the pan for about 5 minutes, they'll be as waterless as they're likely to get, so remove them from the heat and set them aside for a minute.

    While that's cooling, combine the eggs and cream.

    Add some salt and pepper and the lemon zest to the eggy stuff.

    Now, we're doing quiches, yes, but we haven't made a crust yet, no.

    That's because there isn't one.

    The idea here is that the eggs and cheese will brown and crisp nicely in the hot oven so that they form a bit of a crust on their own.

    Now, I kinda (on purpose) missed a step when I made mine. I didn't grease the muffin cups. It's a non-stick pan, and I've had disastrous results in the past when I greased non-stick pans. Disastrous. Like, nothing was coming out of that fucker, disastrous; entire thing went into the bin, disastrous.

    I had a bitch of a time getting mine out. I'm not sure if greasing would have made the removal process better or worse though. All I know is, I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to clean a non-stick pan with a Mr.Clean Magic Eraser.

    Dude, I let the freaking thing soak for days in both hot and cold water, with and without soap and nothing was getting that shit off.

    I highly recommend you either grease your pan, or try foil muffin cup liners.

    Anyway.

    Once you've greased your muffin cups, start filling them. 

    Cheese on the bottom to form part of the crust.

    Dill and veggies for the filling.

    Covered with savoury custard.

    Topped with more cheese.

    I still had some of those awesome tiny tomatoes, so I sliced them and decorated the tops with them.

    Bake... um, preheat your oven to 400... then bake at 400 for about 15 to 20 minutes. They should be lovely and golden on top. They'll be kinda puffy when you take them out, but like most eggy things, they'll deflate as they cool. 

    That's okay, they still look pretty.

    With the help of a paring knife and a large spoon, I was able to detach them from the sides and bottom of the muffing cups, but a few edges did end up a little ragged.

    Pretty sure the only way I'm going to be able to bake in that pan again is if I line it with paper cups. Fine for cupcakes, but I like my muffins naked.

    What have you stuck to a pan??