My friend Anne is coming over this morning to learn how to make mozzarella cheese. We are also going to make some Ricotta.
I'll use the mozzarella for paninis tonight for dinner and I'll use the Ricotta for white pizza over the weekend.
But first, I want to make some savory muffins for our lunch - that's the reward for the not so hard work of making fresh cheese. While the Ricotta "hangs" we'll munch and chat.
These muffins make a lovely appetizer or a light lunch and are my "go-to" recipe when I want something quick and easy, yet sophisticated.
Rosemary Muffins with Smoked Turkey and Honey Mustard (makes 18 cupcake size or 36 mini size, or a dozen of each [pictured]
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
1 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup toasted pistachios (you can also use walnuts)
1 cup golden raisins or dried cranberries
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/2 pound sliced smoked turkey
1/3 cup honey mustard (I use Honey Cup brand)
Lightly grease 3 mini-muffin pans (36) (for appetizer size) or 1 cupcake tin (12) and 1 mini or 2 cupcake tins (18)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift together the flour, soda and salt, set aside
In mixer, cream together the sugar, butter and orange zest. Add eggs and mix well. Add flour and buttermilk alternatively starting with flour and ending with flour. (This is a basic muffin batter minus the orange zest. From here, you can go anywhere - sweet, savory, fruity, whatever your taste buds desire.)
Fold in the pistachios, raisins and rosemary. Scoop into prepared tins and bake.
Mini Muffins - 18 to 20 minutes
Cupcake Size - 22 to 25 minutes.
Cool on a rack. You can just eat them now, with butter OR
When cool, slice in half horizontally (tops off). Spread honey mustard on bottom and inside top. Place a stacked piece of smoked turkey (1/2 piece if mini muffins) on bottom half and place top on.
If serving for lunch. Plate one muffin on small luncheon plate with a small mixed green salad and a light vinaigrette. A lovely white wine (think sauvignon blanc) or iced tea rounds the luncheon out.
Anyway, that's what I'm doing today.
A Cook's Notes:
If you are making these for an appetizer, or to take along to someone's house. Stack in a basket, cover with a dishtowel. Mist the towel lightly, then cover with plastic wrap. They will stay moist and fresh for hours this way.
The mini muffins freeze beautifully and defrost in about 15 minutes. That's what I'm going to do with the mini's. They will be my emergency muffins!