What to do when the morning has slipped away and guests are stopping by at any moment but whip up some muffins. Because nothing says welcome like the scent of fresh baked goods. Luckily I’m the kind of gal who keeps sun-dried tomatoes on hand- ‘just in case’
Savory Sun-dried Tomato, Chevre & Pecorino Romano Muffins
makes 12 muffins
Like their inspiration, the “Feta, Roasted Pepper, and Basil Muffins” from The Art and Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet, these muffins are wonderful as a quick breakfast, as an accompaniment for eggs, or on the side for lunch or dinner.
2 ounces cornmeal (about 1/3 cup)
2 ounces ww pastry flour(about 1/3 cup)
6 ounces unbleached all-purpose flour (About 1 1/3 cups)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBS rough copped italian parsley (fresh basil would be an awesome alternate if I had some)
4 ounces (about half a cup) juilliened sun-dried tomatoes (I used the ones packed in olive oil)
2 ounces (about a half a cup) chevre goat cheese, crumbled
11/2 ounces shredded Pecorino (or other hard Italian cheese, or blend there of)
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup olive oil (I used Kirkland’s organic extra virgin)
Preheat the oven to 375 with the baking rack positioned in the middle. Line muffin tins with muffin cups. In a large bowl whisk together the flours, cornmeal, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside. Combine parsley, goat cheese, Pecorino, and olive oil. Toss or stir to combine. Set aside. In a medium bowl mix together remaining wet ingredients. (I used a 2 cup size measuring cup, adding the yogurt first,then topping with milk to get to a cup, adding the olive oil and then the egg)
Make a well in the flour mixture and add the milk mixture. Mix until there are no large clumps of flour or liquid (a few small lumps are fine). Fold in the cheese mixture until evenly distributed throughout.
Evenly distribute the batter in the prepared muffin tin. I love my large ice cream/cookie scoop for this. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the tops are firm and a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer to a rack and allow to cool for five minutes before removing the individual muffins from the pan.
A note on the inspiration: As much as I love the internets and having the answers to almost everything flitting through cyber space, it will never replace my favorite old fashioned print and paper cook books. The Art and Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet is one of those books. Ingredients listed by both weight and volume (which when substituting or modifying makes for much more consistent results). Solid techniques and recipes. And the answers, answers I know I can trust, for pretty much all my baking questions.
A note about extra virgin olive oil: Why list the brand? Because the brand matters. According to a UC Davis study 69% of common brands are not actually extra virgin. Kirkland is one of the few that is. You can find a handy list and link to the study here. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/720875 Though this was done a few years ago so perhaps things have changed.