They say “you are what you eat” hence we thought that recipe testing could be a tasty way to freshen up.
We were prepared for “Curiosity killed the cat” – “but satisfaction brought it back” was what we were hoping for 😉
You need to know that it’s a rather complex task to persuade Italians to test and/or taste “foreign” cuisine, yet after an intensive confabulation – kind of pugnacious process in and out of Appetibilis circle – we decided to go for one of Jamie Oliver’s healthy recipes. Here’s the original recipe: Sweet potato muffins via jamieoliver.com – Thank you Chef!
Read on Lonza65’s notes of our endeavor, from shopping time on.
When three Italian women go for grocery shopping at the local supermarket, the time it takes to choose the ingredients may vary from a few minutes to hours. We have already printed out our list, so what’s so complicated about taking off the shelves what is needed for the recipe?
Ah! ah!, the vast gamut for every single ingredient is amazing, so is our imagination, food-pairing talent and love for discussion.
For instance, what about eggs: medium, big, the biggest you can find on earth? “Parmigiano” or “Grana padano”, and for either one, 8/12-month, 18/24-month, 36-month aged? Cottage cheese or ricotta? All right, the text is very detailed and the instructions are very easy to follow, you can’t go wrong. But there is no fun at all in following it to a tee, because we actually love spending time discussing each ingredient (and jumping-off points just to experiment). On top of that, the three of us are very talkative people so the shopping for ingredients took far more than it should. But what a blast! (Sorry, no selfie!)
Undoubtedly we started putting our hands on the recipe far before we reached the kitchen: the actual cooking process starts among the aisles.
The main variants to the recipe are that we did not use self-raising flour but a gluten-free one (two out of three of us are gluten-sensitive), fresh ricotta instead of cottage cheese and dried chilies instead of fresh one.
So the Appetibilis team is ready to start: one cooks, one takes pictures, one helps both the cook and the photographer. Easier said than done, the photographer helped the cook, the helper became photographer, the cook … well the cook is the cook.
The recipe difficulty level is easy, so we all have time to chat, laugh, and have fun together. No doubt this is the gist of cooking food: enjoy other people’s company while working together (and later savoring the outcome).
The mix is ready – sweet potatoes, eggs, cheese, onions, flour – so it’s time to put it into the oven (2 ramekins and 2 cocottes). We soon realize that we can make some “quenelles” with the remaining mix. Sunflower and poppy seeds complete our muffins and off they go into the pre-heated oven, as per recipe instructions.
Cooking time for muffins is a little bit longer than the time suggested in the recipe – at least for sweet potatoes, I don’t know about squash – but perfect for quenelles. Every so often we look through the oven glass panel and watch our muffins get a wonderful golden colour.
Timer rings, and the big moment has arrived. Tasting time!
As far as I am concerned, every time I try a new recipe, this is the moment I fear the most. But, at the same time, the one I like the best. Fear, curiosity, hunger are all waiting to be satisfied. Yes, we are all without food since breakfast and it’s almost 3 p.m., our stomachs moan in a worrying way. Let’s go!
Muffins are great when served warm, they are soft inside and the top is pleasantly crunchy. In spite of the onions and the cheese, their taste is definitely sweet. Our faces look a little hesitant – maybe a bit disappointed, too. We did not expect them to be sooo sweet.
How can we fine-tune them to our Italian taste? Easy! Just cut lengthwise our quenelles in panino-style, stuff them with a slice of “Ventricina”, this exquisite and savoury local “salume” and here you are. Still healthy? Dunno! Nevertheless a sweet-and-savoury combination that will make your tastebuds really happy. And if you want to make them even happier, cut the muffin and spread on some “Confettura di Peperone dolce di Altino” (Altino mild pepper jelly).
Thumbs up to this “foreign” recipe – adapted/adopted!
Dreamin’ of Jamie Oliver’s Sweet Potato Muffins – Photo Gallery