Monday, February 26, 2024

Jalapeño Cheddar Muffins #MuffinMonday

Slightly spicy and oh so cheesy, these jalapeño cheddar muffins are fluffy inside with a little cheesy crunch on the outside. In short, they are delicious. Perfect for breakfast OR snack time. They are also a great accompaniment for soup!

Food Lust People Love: Slightly spicy and oh so cheesy, these Jalapeño Cheddar muffins are fluffy inside with a little cheesy crunch on the outside. In short, they are delicious. Perfect for breakfast OR snack time. They are also a great accompaniment for soup!

Once again, I’m sharing a small batch recipe for Muffin Monday, the last Monday of the month. It makes just six normal sized muffins but I must confess that my husband and I each ate two, one after the other, as soon as I took the photos for this post. They are so good! Just double the ingredients if you need 12.

Jalapeño Cheddar Muffins

I used a English mature cheddar for the extra sharp cheddar in this recipe because it’s our favorite but I have to admit for prettier muffins, an orange-colored cheddar might make a nicer contrast with the green jalapeños on top. Does anyone know why we color our cheddar here in the States? I must research this but if you know, please tell me why! 

Ingredients for 6 muffins
1 fresh jalapeño
Drizzle olive or canola oil to grease 6-cup muffin pan
1 cup or 125g flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Few good grinds of fresh black pepper
4 oz or 112g extra sharp cheddar
1/3 cup or 78ml milk
3 tablespoons canola or other light oil
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (We prefer Lea & Perrins.)
1 egg

Method
Slice six thin rounds from your jalapeños to use for decoration, then mince the rest of them, discarding the seeds (if you want them less spicy) and stems. 


Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and grease your 6-cup muffin pan liberally with canola or olive oil.  I don’t recommend using muffin liners when baking with cheese because the melty cheese makes the muffins hard to remove from the paper.

Grate your cheese. Put aside a small handful for topping the muffins. Whisk together your flour, baking powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl. 


Add the bigger pile of cheese to the flour bowl and stir to coat the cheese.


Now add the minced jalapeños and stir to coat again.


In another bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, Worcestershire sauce and egg. 
 

Pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold them together until just mixed. 


This is a really stiff batter, almost a dough. But trust. When the muffins bake, all that cheese is going to melt and you will end up with lovely tender muffins.

Divide the batter evenly among the 6 muffin cups. Top each with some reserved cheese and a slice of jalapeño.


Bake in your preheated oven about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Food Lust People Love: Slightly spicy and oh so cheesy, these Jalapeño Cheddar muffins are fluffy inside with a little cheesy crunch on the outside. In short, they are delicious. Perfect for breakfast OR snack time. They are also a great accompaniment for soup!

Cool on a rack for a few minutes and then remove the muffins from the pan to cool completely.  

Food Lust People Love: Slightly spicy and oh so cheesy, these Jalapeño Cheddar muffins are fluffy inside with a little cheesy crunch on the outside. In short, they are delicious. Perfect for breakfast OR snack time. They are also a great accompaniment for soup!

If, despite liberal greasing, your muffins still stick to the pan a little, just run a knife or silicone spatula around the outside of each muffin and they should pop free.

Food Lust People Love: Slightly spicy and oh so cheesy, these Jalapeño Cheddar muffins are fluffy inside with a little cheesy crunch on the outside. In short, they are delicious. Perfect for breakfast OR snack time. They are also a great accompaniment for soup!

Enjoy!  

As I mentioned above, it’s Muffin Monday, our favorite day of the month! Check out the other recipes my blogger friends are sharing: 

#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all of our lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday can be found on our home page.


Pin these Jalapeño Cheddar Muffins!

Food Lust People Love: Slightly spicy and oh so cheesy, these Jalapeño Cheddar muffins are fluffy inside with a little cheesy crunch on the outside. In short, they are delicious. Perfect for breakfast OR snack time. They are also a great accompaniment for soup!

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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Mini Scones

These fluffy two-bite mini scones are a wonderful addition to your breakfast table. Serve them hot so that pat of butter will melt inside when you split them in two!

Food Lust People Love: These fluffy two-bite mini scones are a wonderful addition to your breakfast table. Serve them hot so that pat of butter will melt inside when you split them in two!

This recipe is based on one that a Scottish friend shared with me. She uses self-rising flour and cream to make hers a two-ingredient dough and didn’t have any measurements to offer! “Just add enough of each to make a proper scone dough,” said she. Challenge accepted! (In her defense, she went to culinary school so this stuff is second nature to her.)

Don’t panic though. I’m going to give you ingredient amounts so you can replicate these little mini scones. I used a 2 in or 5cm cookie cutter. You can use a bigger cookie cutter to make larger scones. You’ll just have to pat the dough out a little thicker so that they are proportional and bake them a little longer.

Gillian would appreciate this, she of no actual recipe: One time I didn’t have cream so I started making these with full fat Greek yogurt instead. I do love experimenting! It adds a lovely flavor and works fabulously. That is the recipe I'm sharing today.

Mini Scones

If you have self-rising flour you know is active, by all means, use it instead of the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, adding an extra 2 teaspoons of flour. I don’t often buy self-rising flour because I find it gets old if not used up in a timely manner. I keep the baking powder in the refrigerator so it’s always active well past its sell by date.

Ingredients 
1 cup or 245g full fat Greek yoghurt
1 1/2 cups or 188g flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

To brush on before baking: 2-3 tablespoons milk

Method
Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C. Line a large baking sheet with baking parchment or a silicone liner. 

In a mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 

Fold the yoghurt and flour mixture together until fully incorporated. If the mixture is too dry or too wet, add more flour or more yogurt accordingly. You are looking for a soft dough that isn’t too sticky.


Press the scone mixture flat until it’s about 1/2 in or 1cm thick, then use a small cookie cutter to make circles. 


Patch together the leftover dough, trying not to knead it much and pat it out again. 


Cut out more scones. Place them on the lined baking tray, almost touching. Use a pastry brush to brush the tops with a little milk. 


Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the scones are risen, golden, and cooked through. 


I like to split them in two right when they come out of the oven and add a pat of butter. 


Or serve with jam and butter or cream while still warm.

Food Lust People Love: These fluffy two-bite mini scones are a wonderful addition to your breakfast table. Serve them hot so that pat of butter will melt inside when you split them in two!

Enjoy!

It’s Sunday FunDay and today we are sharing recipes to celebrate National Hot Breakfast Month. We hope to inspire you to get in the kitchen and cook a hot breakfast for yourself or someone you love before February ends. Check out the links below: 

 
We are a group of food bloggers who believe that Sunday should be a family fun day, so every Sunday we share recipes that will help you to enjoy your day. If you're a blogger interested in joining us, just visit our Facebook group and request to join.



Pin these Mini Scones!

Food Lust People Love: These fluffy two-bite mini scones are a wonderful addition to your breakfast table. Serve them hot so that pat of butter will melt inside when you split them in two!

 .

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Cajun Chicken Eggplant Dressing

Spicy and delicious, this Cajun chicken eggplant dressing can be a side dish or dinner! Either way, if you like eggplant, you are going to love it. 

Food Lust People Love: Spicy and delicious, this Cajun chicken eggplant dressing can be a side dish or dinner! Either way, if you like eggplant, you are going to love it.

This was one of my mom’s favorite dishes and one I absolutely detested growing up. For too many years she’d make me put some on my plate, just to try it, until she suddenly said, “Hey, the more for me!” and quit forcing me. Hallelujah! 

When I finally learned to love eggplant through the Italian gateway dish/drug of eggplant parmigiana,  I started cooking Mom’s old eggplant-based favorites and, sur-PRISE, sur-PRISE, sur-PRISE, as Gomer Pyle used say, I loved them all!

Side note to my overseas/younger readers: Gomer Pyle was a character in a terribly hokey 1960s tv show I watched as reruns when I was a kid in the '70s. One of his standard lines "Sur-PRISE, sur-PRISE, sur-PRISE" - emphasis on the last syllable - was always uttered with a big wide eyes, possibly followed by another of his favorite interjections: SHAZAM! He was innocent, easily amazed and we loved him. In case you want to look it up, he was on The Andy Griffith Show.

If you love eggplant like I love eggplant, you might like to try my Cheesy Eggplant Pork Roast Rolls, my Caprese Stuffed Roasted Eggplant or Mom’s other huge favorite, Cajun Shrimp Eggplant Casserole. All delicious but the Caprese Stuffed Roasted Eggplant is especially lovely if you need a pretty main dish for the vegetarians in your life. 

Isn't it amazing how our taste buds and aversions to texture can change as we grow up? 

Cajun Chicken Eggplant Dressing

You can make this dressing with your preferred chicken parts but know that chicken with skin on and bones helps make the dish more flavorful. If you choose bigger pieces, like thighs, just make sure you cook them till they are tender. On the cooked rice, I like long-grained basmati rice but my Cajun grandmother would have used short grained, grown locally in southern Louisiana. You do you. 

Ingredients
2 1/2 lbs or 1134g chicken wing parts (use the tips to make stock!) 
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
ground cayenne
1/4 cup or 60ml canola oil
1 medium onion, peeled and finely minced
1 medium bell pepper, de-seeded, stem removed, finely minced
2 stalks celery, finely minced
2 medium eggplants (about 2 lbs or 900g in weight)
3 cups or 400g cooked rice
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon cayenne (use less if you don’t like things spicy), plus more to taste 
Freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

Optional: chopped parsley for garnish

Method
Season the chicken with salt, black pepper and a good sprinkle of cayenne then pan-fry in the canola oil, uncovered, in your Dutch oven until golden brown on all sides. Remove to a plate and set aside. 


Add the onion, bell pepper and celery to the pot and sauté over a low heat until the vegetables are soft and the onion is translucent. I find putting the lid on helps this go faster but don’t forget to stir frequently. 


Peel the eggplant in strips, leaving some peeling on for color, then cut them into cubes. You can leave all the peels on but the color of the dish will be markedly darker. My mom used to say that when her grandmother made it, the eggplant turned even the chicken kind of black. I cannot verify this as I always peel mine thusly. 


Once the onion mixture has softened, return the golden chicken pieces to the pot. (For the eagle-eyed, I just removed the pot from the stove for photos. My stovetop doesn't have great lighting.)


Pile the eggplant cubes on top and season with the salt, cayenne and a few generous grinds of black pepper. 


Add a half cup or 120ml water to the pot and put the lid to your Dutch oven on snugly. Cook over a high heat for a few minutes, until you start to see a little steam trying to escape, then turn the heat down to simmer. 

Cook for about an hour, checking periodically to see if you need to add a little water, if it looks dry. With a proper tight-fitting lid, the eggplant releases enough liquid that this shouldn’t be necessary but best to check. 

This is after about half an hour. 


This is after a full hour. You will notice that I did not stir so the chicken remains submerged. 


Take the lid off the pot and add in the cooked rice. Now you should mix well. 


Cook, covered, for about five minutes or until the rice is heated through. Stir occasionally to make sure it doesn’t start to stick to the pot. 

Taste the dressing and add more salt, cayenne and black pepper if needed. Mine is usually good for salt but we like more pepper. Again, you do you. 


Pile the dressing in a serving bowl and garnish with a little chopped parsley for color. My grandmother would never have missed this step! Every savory dish she cooked was finished with a little parsley. 

Food Lust People Love: Spicy and delicious, this Cajun chicken eggplant dressing can be a side dish or dinner! Either way, if you like eggplant, you are going to love it.

Enjoy!

Welcome to the fourth installment of our Alphabet Challenge for 2024. Today’s recipes are brought to you by the letter D. Many thanks to our challenge creator Wendy of A Day in the Life on a Farm


Pin this Cajun Chicken Eggplant Dressing!

Food Lust People Love: Spicy and delicious, this Cajun chicken eggplant dressing can be a side dish or dinner! Either way, if you like eggplant, you are going to love it.

 .