Parmigiano-Reggiano and Spinach Muffins with Pine Nuts

Parmigiano-Reggiano and Spinach Muffins with Pine Nuts

A day out in the countryside or in an inner-city park is best spent with plenty of yummy provisions, I find, such as muffins. To me, of course, they are usually of the sugary kind and coupled with a cup of milky coffee as a firm part of my afternoon routine, but muffins can be a real savoury treat, too!

These chewy, aromatic little cakes receive their wonderful aroma from nutmeg, the buttery crunch from roasted pine nuts and the strong, uncanny umami taste and saltiness from the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese – a true feast for the senses! As an extra treat for the eyes, garnish the Parmigiano-Reggiano and spinach muffins with a dollop of nutmeg-spiced cream cheese and a crispy Parmigiano-Reggiano round made from grated cheese. These muffins are the perfect finger food for filling up your picnic basket as well as making wonderful party nibbles and stunning brunch displays.Spinach_Muffins_1

Ingredients:

For 10 muffins

 

For the batter:

280g mixed, plain flours (white and wholemeal)

1 tbsp. baking powder

2 large eggs

225ml milk

75ml vegetable oil (extra oil for greasing the muffin moulds)

60g Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated

100g baby leaf spinach

50g pine nuts

1 tsp. sea salt

½ tsp. black pepper

½ tsp. ground nutmeg

1 pinch sugar

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tsp. butter

 

For the decoration (optional):

280g cream cheese

10 tbsps. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1 tsp. ground nutmeg

 

What you’ll need:

Mixing bowl

Whisk

Kitchen scales

Grater

Tablespoon

Teaspoon

Small bowl

Strainer or colander

Measuring jug

Frying pan

Chopping board

Kitchen knife

Wooden spoon or spatula for stirring

Muffin baking tray (with 12 moulds)

Flat baking tray with non-stick baking paper

A glass with a small diameter, e.g. a Champagne glass

Pastry brush

 

Method:

  1. Thoroughly wash the spinach leaves. Melt butter in a pan and add the spinach. Stir frequently with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula. Cook the spinach for approx. 5 minutes. Let it cool off.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the flours with baking powder. Add eggs, milk, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and vegetable oil. Season the batter with sea salt, black pepper, ground nutmeg and sugar. Stir well until the batter is smooth and free of lumps.
  3. In a dry frying pan, roast the pine nuts until they brown. Let them cool of briefly before adding them to the batter as well. Add the cooked spinach to the batter along with the chopped garlic. Use a tablespoon to fold in the spinach, garlic and pine nuts and stir until the mixture is uniform.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C (fan).
  5. Take a large muffin tray (12 moulds) or two small trays and use a pastry brush to grease the moulds with vegetable oil.
  6. Use a tablespoon to evenly divide the batter among the moulds. It should suffice for at least 10 muffins. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, middle rack, at 170°C.
  7. For the Parmigiano-Reggiano rounds (decoration) take a Champagne glass or similar (ø3cm), fill it with a tablespoonful of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and turn it over on a flat baking tray covered with non-stick baking paper. Repeat the process until you have produced then evenly round mounds of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Make sure that there is enough space between the cheese mounds so they won’t fuse together. Bake them in the oven for approx. 10 minutes, and then leave them to cool off.
  8. In the meantime, use a small bowl to mix the cream cheese with the ground nutmeg. Stir well. Once the muffins are done and have cooled off, decorate them with a heaped teaspoonful of nutmeg cream cheese whip each and top off with a Parmigiano-Reggiano round.

 

(Credit to: Castelli/Parmigiano for these beautiful recipes)

http://www.castelli-uk.com

Recipe: Parmesan Scotch Eggs with Parmigiano-Reggiano

Recipe: Parmesan Scotch Eggs with Parmigiano-Reggiano

Now we can get out more and enjoy the fine weather, how about a picnic? These Scotch Eggs make a great addition to a picnic with friends and family, Think how impressed they will be with your home made Picnic food.

Scotch eggs are the ideal snack food and much easier to make than one would assume! Using sausages instead of regular minced meat gives the advantage of already having perfectly seasoned meat. But this British classic comes with a twist: sharp, nutty Parmigiano-Reggiano added to the meat and the breadcrumb coating! Enjoy these flavour-filled goodies at parties or picnics or serve as a main meal with some green salad.

With thanks to http://www.castelli-uk.com/

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Savoury Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pancetta Pastry Scrolls

Savoury Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pancetta Pastry Scrolls

This recipe for savoury Parmigiano-Reggiano and pancetta pastry scrolls combines the rich umami flavour of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese with the smoky taste of cured pancetta and sweetness of sweated onions rounded off with aromatic fresh thyme.

What an utterly delectable pastry that you can grab for breakfast, lunch or snack.

Flaky_Parmesan_Pastries_3

Ingredients:

For 10-11 pieces (approx. ø7cm)

1 sheet ready-made flaky pastry dough (ca. 25x35cm)

6 heaped tbsp. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1 egg yolk

8 slices pancetta

1 large onion, thinly sliced

1 tbsp. butter

Several twigs of fresh thyme

Salt, pepper to taste

What you’ll need:

Chopping board

Large kitchen knife

Tablespoon

Frying pan

Spatula

Grater

Clean and dry work surface for preparing the dough

Large, flat baking tray, lined with non-stick baking paper

Two small bowls or other containers, one to store the egg white, the other for keeping the egg yolk

Pastry brush

Method:

  1. Finely slice the onion and the pancetta. Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan and, on low heat, lightly sweat the onion and pancetta pieces until the onion turns opaque in colour. Add a sprinkle of salt and a generous dash of black pepper. Take the pan off the heat and add fresh thyme to it (remove the greens from 3-4 twigs).
  2. Roll out the flaky pastry on a clean, dry work surface. The prepared dough won’t need any further flattening. Evenly distribute the onion and pancetta mixture on the dough and make sure to reach to the edges. Sprinkle 5 tbsp. of Parmigiano-Reggiano on the dough.
  3. Roll up the dough from the shorter side, which will produce approx. 10-11 pieces with a diameter of 7cm when baked. Carefully cut the dough with a large kitchen knife into pieces of 3cm thickness.
  4. Lay out the dough scrolls on a flat baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Leave a few centimetres space between each scroll to avoid them sticking together once they expand in the oven. Sprinkle the remaining grated parmesan on the scrolls.
  5. Bake in a pre-heated oven, middle rack at 160°C (fan) or top rack on Gas mark 5 for 20-25 minutes altogether.
  6. Ten minutes into the baking process, glaze the half-baked pastries with egg yolk using a pastry brush.
  7. Remove pastries from the oven once they are golden brown. Serve immediately.

Flaky_Parmesan_Pastries_2

(Credit to: Castelli/Parmigiano for these beautiful recipes)

http://www.castelli-uk.com

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