Monday, January 19, 2009

Fresh Herb Muffins

Submitted by Michelle
This is my friend Celeste. Actually here name is Celeste Merveille, which means "heavenly miracle" and she is a miracle child in many ways. She was in my kindergarten class 3 years ago and has several disabilities including cerebral palsy, scoliosis, and hydrocephalus. Celeste's handicaps, however, do not get in the way of anything. She has 3 older brothers and insists on doing whatever they do, including wrestling and being involved in whatever rough-housing type activity they are up to. Celeste often comes to my house on the weekend to do more lady like activities with me. One of her favorite activities is cooking.

When I first met Celeste she literally subsisted on chicken McNuggets (McDonald's or Costco brand
only) and french fries. She was a very picky eater but once we started cooking together I was able to get her to try new foods. Now she is pesto eating, pasta loving, Parmesan cheese devouring foodie like me. On Sunday, at her request, we made Fresh Herb Muffins. I first saw the recipe on Claudette Dusoulier's blog, Chocolate and Zucchini. These tasty treats make for a great snack in the afternoon or a wonderful accompaniment to a picnic lunch.
You will need a few simple ingredients: cilantro, Italian (flat leaf) parsley, chives, eggs, parmesan, pesto, flour, buttermilk, baking powder, salt and pepper. I didn't have chives on hand so I used scallions instead. If you want to make your own pesto you can see my December 9 entry for a recipe or you can buy prepared pesto at the grocery store.
Notice Celeste's freshly painted nails. Another favorite activity when she is at Mrs. Wark's house.

You start by whisking the eggs together with the salt and pepper.
Next, add parmesan, pesto and buttermilk and mix well. Finally, the dry ingredients.
Gently fold in the herbs.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins. The recipe does not call for parmesan on top, but Celeste and I think it is a nice addition.
Bake for 25 minutes and you'll get a dozen savory treats.

FRESH HERB MUFFINS

A small bunch of fresh, flat leaf parsley, about 25 sprigs
A small bunch of fresh cilantro, about 25 sprigs
A small bunch of fresh chives, about 20 sprigs
3 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup pesto
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Butter to grease muffin tins OR muffin liners

Yields 12 muffins
Preheat oven to 350 F and butter or line muffin tin.

Rinse and dry the fresh herbs. Pluck the leaves from the parsley and cilantro and chop them roughly. Snip the chives and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt and pepper until white and frothy. Pour in the buttermilk, pesto and parmesan, and whisk again. In a small bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Pour the flour mixture into the egg mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until incorporated. Don’t over-mix the dough; it’s fine if a few lumps remain. Add the fresh herbs and stir again to combine.

Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling them to about two-thirds of their capacity. Sprinkle with sesame seeds (if so desired) and bake for 25 minutes or until golden. Let cool for a few minutes on the counter and turn out on a rack to cool completely.

4 comments:

Linda and Michelle said...

Hi Celeste,
I love your new haircut!
From Mrs. Wallace

Kathleen said...

Linda stole my comment! :) I love Miss Celeste's new bangs as well as her new culinary skills.

Veronica C. said...

The wonders of love... I met Celeste when she was in Michelle's Kinder class and I have to say she has come along way. Celeste is a beautiful child and Michelle has given her so much love ... and taught her the love for fine food!

kate wallace said...

please tel Celeste that i said Hello!