Friday, August 14, 2009

Basil Ham & Olive Muffins

My pot of Basil kept sprouting in the mixed of the rain and sun. I use them as often as possible in pasta and tomato based dishes but my Chinese cooking doesn't seem to blend well with this herb. Although peppery in smell, it lacks the stronger tastes of cilantro, chives and scallion that are more complementing to Chinese dishes.

Savoury muffins are very easy to make. While sweet muffins uses more fruits and various types of sweetening from plain sugar to honey, you can simply use or mix any meat, spices, herbs and vegetable together to make a good tasting savoury muffin. While you need to observe the liquid content in different types of fruits to yield the right textured muffin, most savory muffins' ingredients are usually already processed, dried and flavored in their original form. All you need is just a good basic batter recipe and choose the ingredients to be mixed into it to give it the flavor and taste that you want.

I made these muffins for a friend who has invited us over for a playdate today. Previously I always made something sweet and I thought a change will be good and afterall with summer around, I am sure there are bounty of sweet fruits stored in every household's fridge and a sweet muffin is not that special. I love canned black olives which is not as salty as the various freshly macerated ones sold in the deli and I think its color is a nice contrast to any salads. I used diced turkey ham and chopped up a 1/4 cup of the basil leaves. I didn't add any extra seasoning and spice except salt. The muffins smelled of basil with a soft inside embedded with chopped basil and turkey ham while the top part is firm with a cheese crust and decorated with olive rings. As with all baked goods, these muffins taste best on the day that it is baked and should be eaten warm.

This recipe yields small sized muffins that are just right for a quick tea time break or may be served in place of dinner rolls at supper time. Alternatively, it can be baked in a small loaf tin and cut up like bread slices.

Recipe :

1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp melted butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup low fat milk
1/4 cup minced Basil leaves
3/4 cup chopped Turkey ham
3/4 cup canned Black Olives
grated mild cheese

1)Reserve 4 whole olives. Slice the rest into small bits. Slice the reserved 4 into small rings for the garnish.
2)Preheat oven to 375F. Arrange rack on the lower part of the oven.
3)Sift the flour, baking powder and salt.
4)In another bowl, beat the eggs lightly. Beat in the milk first and later the butter. Sprinkle the chopped basil into this mixture and stir.
5)Drizzle the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix with a spatula into a rough mess. Sprinkle the ham and olive pieces all over the batter and fold in to distribute these ingredients.
6)Use paper liner or grease small muffin tins. Spoon in batter to fill up 1/2 of the case. Garnish with the olive rings and sprinkle with grated cheese lightly.
7)Bake for 30 to 35 mins till slightly browned. Turn off heat and remove from oven and cool on rack. Serve warm.

Makes: 10 small muffins


Agnes said...


crazymommy said...

Try basil fried eggs. Maybe you will like it.