The last thing I was expecting was seeing bacon muffins offered as a “healthy option packed with protein”. Specially, when I classified them as totally unhealthy, but worthwhile the risk about 3 years ago. Well, it is gluten free, after all… In any case, an excellent make ahead dish for brunch, lunch or keep the
beasts lovely colleagues happy, motivated or blissfully unaware of the sky falling down their heads challenges.
Bacon eggs and cheese muffins (adapted from Our Nourishing Groots)
- 12 eggs
- 350g of bacon, chopped and cooked
- 180g of Gruyere (or other sharp) cheese, shredded
- A pinch of dried basil and oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- 80g 0f Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 175oC
2. Heat a large flat frying pan until is piping hot. Lay out the chopped bacon strips so that they are not overlapping but generally fill the pan. Cook the bacon on its own grease. When they are translucent, remove them from the heat and reserve.
3. In the meanwhile, stir together the 12 eggs whole eggs. Add the cooked bacon and the grated Gruyere cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Add the oregano and shredded basil.
4. Line the muffin tray with paper liners. Ladle the muffin mixture and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until puffy and slightly browned on top. Remove from oven and let cool for about 15 minutes on a wire cooling rack. Loosen the paper cups with a butter knife and lift out of the muffin pan.
6.Serve immediately while still warm, or let cool completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Last winter, I cooked over and over again dishes from The Hairy Dieters’ How to Love Food and Lose Weight). I was really looking forward for the next volume of the collection. All in all, it has been a bit disappointing. Some of the recipes don’t seem to have been tested; others seem to be the original minus a couple of bacon strips… The fact is that I am slowly putting it away.
The good news are then when a dish works, it is as good as you can expect. For example, this one, which I have done a few times this winter. I remember only too well my mother explaining that liver is good you and I should eat it all, but cooked this way I can even overcome how healthy it is.
Calf’s liver with bacon and caramelized onions (adapted from the recipe found in The Hairy Biker’s website)
- 450g calves’ liver, sliced (thawed, if frozen)
- 4 teaspoons plain flour
- 20g butter
- 1 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, fairly thinly sliced
- about 55g bacon rashers all fat removed and each cut into 2cm wide strips
- 500ml beef stock
- 2 teaspoon tomato ketchup
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Rinse the liver in a colander under cold water and drain it well on kitchen paper. Put 2 teaspoons of the flour in a large bowl and season with plenty of salt and pepper. Add the liver to the bowl and turn it in the flour until lightly coated.
Melt half the butter with the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Tap the excess flour off each slice of liver and add them to the pan using tongs. Cook for 1½–2 minutes on each side until lightly browned but not completely cooked through, then pop them on to a plate.
Turn down the heat and melt the remaining butter in the same pan. Add the sliced onion and cook for a minute or so, stirring to separate the layers. Next, add the bacon and cook together for another 5 minutes or until the onion is softened and pale golden brown, stirring often.
Sprinkle the remaining flour over the onion and bacon and cook for a few seconds, stirring.
Pour the hot stock slowly into the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a simmer, stir in the ketchup and cook over a medium heat until the gravy is thickened and glossy.
Put the liver back in the pan and heat it through in the onion gravy for 2–3 minutes until hot, stirring.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve the liver and bacon with a small portion of mashed potatoes and lots of freshly cooked greens
It was a totally random purchase, in an airport bookstore. I had a couple of minutes to grab a book to read in the plane and this one just got my attention. It looked like yet another expat experience with yet more live changing experiences inducing snooze fest. For extra cynicism, I only found broken hearts in the city of love… But it were the recipes that caught my attention. A love story with recipes? Never mind it is even in Paris – that is totally worthwhile reading. And it was… It is a quick, funny and light read. For a quick sum up of traditional home style french dishes, it is also excellent. I feel I will come back to this book over and over again.
- 120g of all purpose flour (about 1 and 1/4 cup)
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
- 200g sliced bacon or pancetta
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 120 mL olive oil (about 1/2 cup)
- 120 mL full fat milk (about 1/2 cup)
- 8 soft dried figs
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
- 100g of grated Gruyere cheese
Pre-heat the stove to 160oC
Sift the flour with the baking powder to a bawl.
Butter and flour a baking dish (or use a non stick baking spray). Cover the bottom of the dish with parchment paper.
In a small frying pan, fry the bacon strips until all fat is gone. Take them out of the pan and pat them dry with kitchen paper.
In a medium size bawl, beat the eggs with the salt. When they are mixed, add the milk and olive oil. Carry on beating until you obtain a light fluffy structure.
Fold the flower into the mix until is incorporated (be careful not to over mix – a couple of time will do).
Add the remaining ingridients (fried bacon, parsley and grafted cheese) gently mix then in.
Put the batter in the baking dish and transfer to the oven. Let it bake for about 1hour. Test with a knife before taking it out – it should came out dry.
Take it out from the dish while still hot, and let it cool down before serving.
A totally unhealthy but delicious muffin… Definitely calories worthwhile ingesting. Better if eaten with wine or beer, and a little side salad.
The original recipe was found on Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall‘s column in The Guardian. As you usual, I had to do a couple of tweaks. If you are novice to muffin baking, just follow his advice. You cannot go wrong…
Red onion, cheese and bacon muffins
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 100g streaky bacon, cut into 1cm pieces
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- 250g flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 80g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 yogurt (the original recipe called for 200ml buttermilk)
- 1 tbsp finely chopped chives (optional)
- 150g gruyere (original recipe called for a strong cheddar)
Heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6 and line a muffin tin with 12 paper cases.
Warm the oil over a medium heat and fry the bacon in it until just crisp. Lift the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. In the same fat, sauté the onion until just softened, about five minutes, then set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. In a jug, whisk the eggs, butter and buttermilk, stir them into the flour mixture with a spatula until just combined, then fold in the cooled bacon, onion, chives, if using, and two-thirds of the cheese until just evenly distributed.
Spoon or scoop the mixture into the muffin tin, sprinkle on the rest of the cheese, and bake for about 18 minutes, until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.