November 8, 2009

Smoked Provolone and Thyme Muffins

Makes 12 muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup grated smoked provolone cheese
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or 2 teaspoons dried)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 whole egg
2 tablespoons Coleman's dry mustard
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Dash Tabasco or to taste

Add variety to your bread basket with these rich and savory muffins. For variations in flavor, you can substitute other cheeses for the smoked provolone, such as smoked mozzarella, aged cheddar, Monterey Jack (plain or peppered), or smoked Gouda. You can also try using other herbs such as chives, basil, oregano, or marjoram to come up with your own signature muffins. These muffins may be made ahead of time, and then refreshed by briefly reheating them in a 250 degrees F oven. They may also be frozen for up to eight weeks. To serve, thaw at room temperature, then reheat in a warm oven.

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray or brush muffin tins lightly with oil or line with muffin papers.

Stir together the flour, cheese, baking powder, thyme, salt, and peppers in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the egg and dry mustard. Blend well with a fork. Add the milk, butter, and Tabasco and mix just until all ingredients are combined. Do not overmix.

Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, filling them three-quarters full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly pressed with a fingertip.

Cool the muffins in the tin for about 10 minutes, then turn them out of the pan. Serve while still warm.

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