Friday, February 10, 2006

More muffin-y goodness - and a new favorite pork dish!

I've been swapping around my breakfasts recently; been moving towards high fiber cereals. I love the cereals made by Nature's Path. Anyway, since I've been eating them for breakfast, I haven't been eating muffins. Doesn't stop me from wanting to bake them, though - so I just have to find main dish recipes that work well with muffins. I've been mostly sticking with soups, but this time, I decided to go with a ragout.

I've had limited success working with pork tenderloin. I tried roasting it a few times, but it ended up dry - most likely because I was doing it before I had an accurate oven thermometer, and didn't know my oven was underheating for the temperature it said it was hitting. Anyway, the last recipe I tried with pork (Sweet & Sour), turned out nicely, so I decided to give a CL recipe a try. Advantages - made in the microwave, and it includes sweet potatoes, which is a vegetable I love but rarely make. This recipe came together simply, but I do warn - keep an eye on the microwave. My microwave tends to heat high, so it was done (and over-flowing slightly) earlier than the recipe said. I definitely like this recipe. It was soupy the first night, but not as much in leftovers. The spice mix was good, vegetables were tender, and the pork was beautifully cooked.

As for the muffin, it was a recipe from Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Cafe, which is one of those cookbooks that I just love to look at. I had to make a last minute sub - the buttermilk that I defrosted in the freezer sprung a leak, and I only caught 3/4 of a cup of it. Luckily, I had some non-fat vanilla yogurt to fill in the rest. The candied ginger was easier to cut up than the recipe seems to infer. I also used bosc pear for the first time, and they held up well. The result was a moist, tender muffin with a more cake-like crumb, although it definitely wasn't sugar-y sweet enough to be a muffin. The name does not really reflect the flavor of the muffin, however; the dominant flavor was definitely lemon. Not a disadvantage, certainly, and definitely not disappointing, but a surprise given it wasn't in the muffin name.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Ragout of Pork with Sweet Potatoes

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 5 Preparation Time :0:10
Categories : Dec '96 Main Dish

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
3/4 cup chopped onion
3 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled sweet potato (about 1 pound)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 garlic cloves -- minced
1 (10 1/2-ounce) can low-salt chicken broth
1 pound lean, boned pork loin -- cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup frozen green peas

Place onion in a 2-quart casserole. Cover and microwave at HIGH 2 minutes. Add potato and next 7 ingredients (potato through broth), and stir well. Cover and microwave at HIGH 10 minutes. Add pork; cover and microwave at HIGH 10 minutes or until potato is tender. Add peas; cover and microwave at HIGH 2 minutes.

Serving Size: 1 cup.

"Cooking Light, December 1996, p.155"
"© Cooking Light"
T(Cooking Time):
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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 264 Calories; 9g Fat (29.7% calories from fat); 20g Protein; 28g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 32mg Cholesterol; 1009mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat.

Nutr. Assoc. : 0 5212 0 0 0 0 0 620 327 887 0

* Exported from MasterCook *

Ginger-Pear Muffins

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 11 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Muffins

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
vegetable oil spray
1 cup pear -- peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1/3 cup crystallized ginger -- finely minced
1 cup nonfat buttermilk
1 large egg
3 teaspoons grated ginger root
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons unsalted butter -- melted

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray 8 standard (2 1/2-inch-diameter) muffin cups with nonstick spray.

Place the chopped pear in a shallow dish, drizzle with the lemon juice, and set aside.

Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, and lemon zest in a medium-sized bowl. Stir in the minced crystallized ginger, then comb through the mixture with your fingers to seek out any larger pieces. Cut them into even smaller pieces with scissors. (This is far easier to do when they are coated in flour. Ideally, each bit of ginger should end up about the size of a rolled oat flake).

Measure the 1 cup buttermilk into a 2-cup liquid measure. Add the egg, fresh ginger, and vanilla, and beat gently with a fork or a small whisk until smooth.

Slowly pour this mixture, along with the melted butter, into the dry ingredients. Using a spoon or rubber spatula, stir from the bottom of the bowl until the dry ingredients are all moistened. Don't overmix; a few lumps are okay.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. For smaller muffins, fill the cups about 4/5 full. For larger muffins, fill them up to the top. If you have extra batter, spray one or two additional muffin cups with nonstick spray and fill with the remaining batter.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly browned on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven, then remove the muffins from the pan and place them on a rack to cool. Wait at least 30 minutes before serving.

"Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Cafe, p. 82"

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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 189 Calories; 5g Fat (22.9% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 33g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 31mg Cholesterol; 197mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 1 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates.

Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0


Genevieve said...

i, too, am a huge muffin addict! i love the idea of muffins after breakfast. and i like the ginger-based recipe. i wonder if a savory ginger muffin would complement some traditional chinese dishes? like steamed lobster with ginger and scallions.

Susan said...

Using a muffin with chinese would be interesting. The pear-ginger would work especially well as a replacement for the traditional rice. I say go for it!