Friday, 7 October 2011

Pumpkin and blue cheese savoury muffins

Muffins again I hear you mumble.... well, perhaps I could have made something else, but two events serendipitously occurred yesterday that led to these savoury treats. 

The first, occurred as I was reading through some food blogs and found a recipe from some Kiwi’s currently based in Melbourne, my home town. They’ve self-published a cook book entitled Martha Goes Green. The recipe was for pumpkin and feta savoury muffins. I do love a savoury muffin, but it’s been quite a while since I’ve had one.

In my Melbourne University days in the mid-1990’s, I worked at the Rathdowne Street Food Store. Each day we’d serve up varying combinations of sweet and savoury muffins. Those staff lucky enough to be working late, would take home any leftovers.  At that point I lived on Lygon Street in a giant terrace with six male engineering students. Needless to say, when Foodstore goodies arrived home, it was a harmonious, if not slightly overcrowded, happy house.

Savoury muffins are not so common in Europe. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever come across one. The recipe in Martha Goes Green managed to remind me of a forgotten favourite, and also left me with the bitter-sweet taste of nostalgia for Melbourne, and days gone by.   

And so, I went about my morning yesterday, trundling about the woods and the village, in my wellies, thinking of Melbourne, but also of the astounding beauty and colours of autumn in France.

The second serendiptious event occurred when I arrived on the Comtesse de la Tour’s terrace. I was greeted by an incredibly bright pile of squash, arranged an a still life. I was very pleased when I learned these were a gift from another very lovely neighbour. She thought I might like to photograph them and then make something tasty.

Well, yes indeed I would! And did!

And so, pumpkin and blue cheese muffins were made in Segur le Chateau, for perhaps the first time. I have to confess, I was inspired by the recipe in Martha Goes Green, but added and subtracted a few bits and pieces. Fetta is not common here, but blue cheese is abundant. Here’s my version:
2 cups chopped pumpkin
Glug of olive oil
A little butter
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 eggs
1 cup milk
Ground black pepper
Sea salt
2 cups plain flour
2 table spoons mustard
Baking powder

Step 1: pre-heat the oven to 180C. Chop the pumpkin into small cubes. Toss the cubes in olive oil, seat salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes. 

Step 2: Mix the parsley and the mustard. Add most of the pumpkin (once it’s cooled), save 12 cubes (to top the muffins later). Then add most of the blue cheese, again save 12 cubes.

Step 3: Sift the flour and the baking powder, then stir into the mixture.

Step 4: In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs and milk together. Then add to the mixture. Add salt and pepper. Then stir in slowly, folding the ingredients together gently.

Step 5: Add the mixture to your (greased) over tray. Cook for 20 minutes.

PS – If you are in Melbourne reading this, feel free to leave me a comment on the Foodstore. Is it still good? I recently read that it is, but is filled with overpaid 30-somethings attempting to recreate their 20-something selves... doesn’t sound all bad.


Janine said...

Those muffins look great, and sound yummy. I bet your celery salt would have been good in them too.

Melanie said...

Great idea! Next time I'll add it!

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