Book Review: Muffin Tin Chef – Mashed Potato Cups and Quinoa, Spinach and Feta Cups

If you can’t tell from the blog posts, TFAW  use cupcake/muffin tins… a lot. When we each received a copy of the new Muffin Tin Chef cookbook, we were itching to put those tins to new use.

It’s a genius idea — manage portion control and present food in a much cooler way than just scooping servings with the ol’ ladle. What we also liked about this book is the attention to making things a little health conscious, without going overboard. For example, many of the recipes call for whole wheat flour or reduced-fat milk and sour cream. That very much aligns with our motto in life: Eat healthy when you can, but never sacrifice tasting the good stuff!

We had tried our hand at frittatas and non-cupcake desserts in cupcake tins before, but this book opens up a whole new world of recipes.

A-Tooch tried her hand at the Mashed Potato Cups with Curry Sour Cream — a new take on an old classic. They came out fantastic and are best served piping hot. For some reason mine nowhere near resembled the beautiful cookbook image, but tasted great.

Mashed Potato Cups with Curry Sour Cream
(adapted from Matt Kadey‘s Muffin Tin Chef)

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup low-fat milk
1/4 cup flour (recipe calls for whole wheat pastry flour, I used all-purpose since it was the only thing in the pantry)
1 tsp. fresh sage
1 tbsp. grainy mustard
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp.  peppper

For the topping:
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
1 tbsp. curry powder

Boil the potatoes until tender (about 10-15 minutes) and preheat the over to 375ºF while they’re cooking. Drain and transfer the cooked potatoes to a large bowl and mash together with all of the ingredients. Make sure to leave the mixture slightly chunky. Pour the mixture evenly into the muffin cups and bake for 25 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before removing to help solidify.

*Note: As a muffin tin book should, this cookbook goes into pretty great detail about what type of tin to use, how to prevent sticking, etc. I had a minor freak out moment because of this and sprayed non-stick spray everywhere. It seemed to prove a good solution.

Blend the sour cream with curry powder and top each mashed potato cake with the mixture before serving.

The recipe produced exactly 12 perfectly sized mashed potato cakes. They were slightly crispy on the outside and soft, moist and delicious on the inside. The sage was a very dominant flavor and played well with the curry in the sour cream. BIG hit in the A-Tooch household.

I served these with homemade crabcakes and salad. We all went back for seconds.

Miss Yunks received this book just before Passover began and noted several recipes she wanted to make. Since it is Passover, I chose the Quinoa, Kale and Feta Bake, since quinoa is okay to eat during Passover. I had intended to make the spinach and cheese pie I made last year for Passover, but then changed my mind and made the quinoa recipe instead. I substituted the kale for spinach since I had just bought a big bag.

Quinoa, Spinach and Feta Bake
(adapted from Matt Kadey‘s Muffin Tin Chef)

1 cup red or white quinoa (I used red)
2 cups water
5 cups of spinach
1 1/2 cups finely chopped feta
3 eggs, lighten beaten
1 1/2 large shallots, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
juice of half a lemon
1 T Sriracha hot sauce (optional – I omitted)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp pepper
EVOO, as needed (about 2 tbsp)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan

Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce to low heat and simmer, covered, until quinoa has absorbed all of the water, about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375ºF.  Using a food processor, pulse spinach until finely chopped. I did this in several batches in my little food processor. Put chopped spinach in a large bowl and mix with cooked quinoa, feta, eggs, shallot, garlic, lemon juice, hot sauce, thyme, nutmeg, and pepper. Coat jumbo muffin tin with EVOO and divide quinoa mixture evenly into cups. Matt Kadey’s recipe serves 6; I increased the amounts of quinoa and spinach to serve more than 6. My mixture filled 7 jumbo muffin tin cups. Bake for 25 minutes.

Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top of muffins and set oven to Broil for 5 minutes.  Let cool in pan before removing – or else the quinoa cups will fall apart. The original recipe did not call for the extra Parmesan cheese on top but I thought I’d try it.  It tasted good!

The quinoa, spinach and feta bake made a hearty and filling vegetarian meal. I would say 2 jumbo muffins serve 1 person, so this recipe would serve about 3 people. I love the idea of chopping spinach in a food processor. I will definitely be doing that more often! I have a running list of other recipes in Muffin Tin Chef that I can’t wait to make after Passover.

What have you made in a muffin tin lately?

A complimentary copy of Muffin Tin Chef was provided to each of us.  We were not obligated to review the book and our honest opinions were not influenced.

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2 Comments

  1. Michelle
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 9:17 AM | Permalink

    This is VERY cool. I’ve been pinning a lot of muffin-tin recipes on Pinterest lately!

  2. Sharyl
    Posted July 8, 2013 at 6:52 AM | Permalink

    Everyone loves what you guys tend to be up too. Such clever work and coverage!
    Keep up the great works guys I’ve added you guys to blogroll.

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