review: muffin tin chef
Muffin Tin Chef: 101 Savory Snacks, Adorable Appetizers, Enticing Entrees and Delicious Desserts had me wondering just what exactly you could cook in a muffin tin. I had mostly used the pans just for muffins and my only kind of unconventional use was to make mini popovers. But I have several muffin pans, which range from huge to tiny, so I was very open to the idea of utilizing them for more than muffins. Plus, my kids always seem to be considerably more interested in anything I bake in a “cupcake” pan than just about anything else.
Muffin Tin Chef, written by Matt Kadey, has a broader range than I had imagined, with recipes for Breakfast, Appetizers, Main and Side Dishes and Desserts. The author give interesting insights and tips into what types of muffin tins work the best for which recipes, eg. silicon is great for panna cotta, not so great for browning pie crusts.
I loved how many savory dishes there were and how the muffin tin is used to create both complete dishes, like the Crustless Smoked Salmon Quiches or used as little cups to hold the food inside of, like the Pancetta Cups with Fig Jam. We made the Butternut Squash Souffles (fluffy and delicious!) and the Spinach Dip bowls, which are made simply from cutting rounds from bread and pressing them into the muffin cups before filling with the spinach mixture. I (and the whole family) loved how fun they were to make and to eat, too!
The author also encourages us to think beyond the typical muffins and cupcakes for dessert and branch out to cheesecakes, petite pies and more. I also really appreciated that, as a dietician, the author created recipes for sweets that are also wholesome, with ingredients like maple syrup, low fat ricotta and whole wheat flour, saving me the hassle (and experimentation) of having to tweak them myself. I can’t wait to try more recipes from Muffin Tin Chef, it’s a wonderful concept and has many advantages, including faster cooking times (nice timewise and for my electric bill!), portion control, fun for the kids and easy to freeze individual portions.