New Zealand is famous for many things. Savoury muffins should be one of them.
During High School, I spent three years working at a bustling café with a penchant for baking. Date scones, tempting caramel slice and fluffy lemon meringue pie were among the best-sellers. Luckily I spent all day on my feet, waiting tables and chasing after errant children who cheekily tiptoed away while their parents dilly dallied between frittatas and pot pies. Otherwise I would have been as round as a rum-ball.
The morning grind was understandably filled with coffee orders, flat whites and extra-shot long blacks scribbled all over my jotter. Ham & cheddar croissants flew out of the cabinets, toasted until the cheese was gooey. To my surprise, however, it was not the swirled blueberry muffins which were sought by patrons for breakfast, but rather their arguably less flamboyant cousin: the cheesy, peppery savoury muffin. Their popularity was such that we started making double batches, so that disappointing news did not have to be delivered until late morning - we could suggest thick-cut chicken and avocado sandwiches seeing as it was just about lunchtime. On the very rare occasion that we had a couple left-over to take home at the end of the day, they were my strongest card to curry favours at home, fuelling several morning lifts to school.
This recipe below, with creamy feta balanced by spicy chorizo, is easily my favourite. It never fails on me. My preference is to use large muffin tins rather than small - a whole muffin warmed with butter is an excellent choice for breakfast if I do say so myself.
Takes 45 minutes. Makes around 9 large muffins.
- 2 ½ cups of self raising flour, sifted
- 125g feta, crumbled
- ¼ cup grated parmesan
- 1 large cured chorizo sausage, finely diced
- 1 cup chopped spinach (be sure to wilt, from frozen is perfectly fine)
- 1 tbsp chopped oregano
- 1 small white onion, diced
- ½ tbsp salt
- ½ tbsp cracked pepper
- 1 ¾ cups milk
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 egg, beaten
1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees. Grease a large muffin tray.
2. In a large bowl, sift in flour and add crumbled feta, grated parmesan, diced chorizo, chopped spinach, oregano and diced onion along with salt and pepper. Mix together.
3. Add milk, olive oil and beaten egg together, stirring lightly.
4. Make a well in the centre of the dry mix, and slowly add the liquid ingredients. Mix until combined, but do not over-mix.
5. Bake for about a half hour if using a large muffin tray, or until golden-brown. Less time is required if you are using a cupcake-sized tray.
Best served warm, with a knob of butter and a pot of tea.
With Love, Kate