Friday, April 20, 2012

Muffin Planning

My affair with savory muffins continues.
I did take a brief break to visit my sister in Mesa, and then made some BBQ turkey meatloaf muffins, then some oatmeal muffins to give The Spouse a break from the savories.  And then I was getting low on cookies.

But, now my muffin machinations are back.  I've been thinking about The Next Muffin all day. 

I'm approaching this one top down: It all starts with the streusel. 


Fresh sage is wonderful.  I have three different sage plants growing in my windowsill.  All small, none doing well. One that's been getting white spots on the leaves.  But, I think between the three plants, even with avoiding the white spots, I have enough sage. 


Pine nuts? Pecans? Walnuts? Cashews? Almonds? Macadamias? Sunflower seeds? (Technically, not a nut, but usable in a nutly context.)  With sage, almost certainly walnuts.


Olive oil? Sunflower? Walnut? Sesame? Organic shortening? Butter?  Needs to complement the sage, but should also help provide structure to the streusel.  Since I'm not using a cheese in the streusel, probably butter.

Now, down to the muffin: Muffins are comprised of grains, the egg, the liquid, the fat, leavening, maybe an acid, and the seasonings.


You can do a blend, or you can have a main grain and then adjunct grain(s).  This is a muffin that calls for  a main grain.  The adjuncts will be easy: brown rice, sorghum, tapioca, and potato starch. But the main grain.... blue cornmeal? Cooked millet? Millet flour?   This time: Cooked millet.


Organic. Cage free. No substitutes.


Definitely starting with applesauce.  Unsweetened. Organic. Funny thing about applesauce: I've seen recipes where folks use it to substitute for fat, for egg, for sweetener.  Pretty much the Universal Ingredient. I'm using it for the liquid.


Not butter. We don't want the muffin to be about the butter. It's about the sage streusel. So, in the muffin itself... Olive oil would complement the sage, but may not work with the applesauce.  Sunflower oil would complement the applesauce, but might be too boring. Maybe this would be a good day to open that bottle of walnut oil.


The basic millet muffin recipe I'm starting from uses both baking powder and soda. And because it has baking soda, it needs either cream of tartar or...


Lemon juice? Lime juice? Orange juice? Apple cider vinegar? Rice vinegar?  Probably lemon juice. Maybe rice vinegar.


Salt & pepper, of course.  No sage, because we don't want to draw attention from the streusel. But, we need to have something to give the muffin some flavor.  Maybe a few fresh thyme leaves, some parsley, and the tiniest bit of dried rosemary.  No garlic this time around.  Onion?   Not sure.

Well, anyway, that's the plan. At least, the beginnings of one.

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