Daylight is getting shorter, the weather is getting cooler and football rules the airwaves so it must closer to Thanksgiving day. One great thing about being a Canadian in the United States is that I get to celebrate two separate Thanksgivings, November 28, 2013 in the US and October 14, 2013 in Canada. Talk about leftover turkey! All kidding aside, how do you take inspiration and make a special breakfast that does Thanksgiving proud. Each year I look forward to my favorite dish; stuffing made with celery and onions, bread and spices plus something extra like sausage or diced turkey. My inspiration is to recreate that same great taste in a savory muffin, my "Stuffin' Muffin." I wanted the muffin to be moist and savory with a hint of sweetness. I encourage you to use this as a starting point and make it your own and then envision your own savory muffins.
Note: I searched for the name "stuffin' muffins" and found others had made something similar (even Rachael Ray has one!) usually using bread crumbs or pre-packaged stuffing mixes. I think that using seasoned bread crumbs would be a great idea if used as a crisp topping. I believe my version is unique, adding turkey gravy to add additional moisture (and for taste); creating an unique dish. I believe you could substitute chicken or turkey broth to save some calories.
3 tbsp. butter
1 medium to large onion
2 or 3 stalks celery
Optional: 1 or 2 large precooked turkey or pork sausage patty
2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 cup turkey gravy plus extra for serving
1 tsp. thyme leaves
1 tsp. ground sage
Salt and pepper for seasoning
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3-5 tbsp. sugar
1 Large Egg
½ cup milk
Preheat the oven to 400° F.
Finely dice the onion, celery and if you choose to use, the sausage. Heat a skillet on medium heat and add butter. Sauté the onion, celery and sausage seasoned with salt and pepper until the onion and celery are soft. Add the poultry seasoning, thyme and sage and sauté for two minutes more, then add the gravy and stir to combine. Taste and correct the seasoning, take off the heat and allow to cool until warm.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in to a large bowl. Beat the egg, sugar and the milk in another bowl and gently mix into the dry ingredients. As making any other muffin I want not to over work the mixture. Mix in the onion and celery mixture.
Grease some muffin tins and spoon the mixture into the muffin tins ¾ full. Bake in a 400° F oven until done (about 20 minutes) or until the tops are brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Serve hot with extra gravy. Makes 6 large or 12 small muffins.
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How does a good chef think? What is the creative process a
chef uses to come up with new and exciting dishes? What do I need to know to enable that creative process? These are the questions I want to explore in this series of articles. As a chef and an avid cookbook collector I am drawn towards
ideas and techniques of cooking rather than just a collection of recipes. I believe to grow as a chef, I need to continually learn and hone new techniques along with perfecting each technique I use every day. Whenever I go to a restaurant, whether fine dining, neighborhood pub, avant garde, or even fast food, I continually ask myself how can I do this better, what works and more important, what doesn’t? Feel free to send me comments, ask questions. Together, we can explore and make creative cuisine.
Spending almost thirty years in the computing field, I was able to travel experiencing a wide variety of tremendous cuisine. First I became a foodie, and when the opportunity arose, I was able to attend culinary school following my passion. I work as a part-time private chef and volunteer time at the community café in North Bend Oregon providing affordable meals in a restaurant setting to my community.