Published Thursday, April 12, 2012
By NICHOLE GOLDEN
Who knew muffin tins were for more than just a quick batch of chocolate chip muffins?
“Muffin Tin Chef,” by Matt Kadey, is filled with recipes for snacks, appetizers, desserts an even entrees all prepared using muffin tins.
Kadey, a registered dietitian and recipe developer, writes that the muffin pan is a “kitchen workhorse.” According to the author, dishes prepared using muffin tins helps with portion control, are great for families with kids, are pleasing to the eye, and can slash cooking time.
Some of the breakfast recipes featured are Egg and Sausage Polenta Cups, French Toasties with Blueberry Compote, and Parmesan Hashbrowns. Try Curried Shrimp Cups or Bitty Burgers for easy appetizers for parties. Mini casseroles or Turkey Pot Pies are great main dish ideas. The book is also filled with plenty of side dish, and dessert recipes from Pecan Tarts to frozen Cappuccino Cups.
“I hope you’ll join me in the muffin tin revolution,” writes Kadey. The cookbook, released in March, is published by Ulysses Press.
If you like vegetable lasagna, you’ll love this mini version featuring spinach. The cooking time is 20 minutes. If not using a non-stick silicone liner, muffin cups can be moderately greased with oil or butter to prevent sticking of most any dish.
• • • •
From Muffin Tin Chef
9 whole wheat lasagna noodles
2 cups store bought pasta sauce or homemade, divided
1 1/2 cups reduced-fat ricotta cheese
4 ounces chopped spinach, about 3 cups
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, about 4 ounces
Torn fresh basil, to serve
Grated Parmesan cheese, to serve
In a large pot of water, cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions until al dente. Depending on the size of your pot, you may need to do this in batches. Divide half of the pasta sauce among 6 jumbo muffin cups. Lay the noodles on a flat work surface and spread the ricotta cheese over each one. Top the ricotta with spinach and tightly roll the noodles. Slice each roll in half and stuff three lasagna rounds into each of the 6 jumbo muffin cups with the sides cut up. Sprinkle the tops with a dash of salt. Top with the remaining sauce and the mozzarella cheese.
Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Let cool for several minutes before unmolding. As they cool, the lasagna rolls will meld together. To unmold, run a butter knife around the edges, place a flat object such as a cutting board on top of the tin and turn upside down.
If desired, serve with torn basil, grated Parmesan cheese, and or additional pasta sauce. Kadey says he often jazzes up store bought sauce by adding mushrooms or red wine vinegar.
Editor’s note: To enter to win a copy of “Muffin Tin Chef,” send a recipe by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org by April 18. One winner will be drawn from among those submitting recipes.