Spinach & Turnip Greens Meat Mini-Muffins
This is an adaptation from one of the cool recipes I found in Melissa Joulwan’s book, Well Fed. I’ve created her recipe several times as it makes great Road Food for trips where you don’t want to depend on those fast food eateries ubiquitous to the contemporary world – most of them, after all, aren’t worth depending on, although some day I want to try the pork carnitas at a Chipotle’s. (PS: at the moment I am not getting compensated for linking to Amazon. I’ve tried to set this up, but I have to get a call back from them to verify… which bombs out my wi-fi connection at this end, and so the linking isn’t yet working. When it does happen, I WILL let you know!)
Melissa J. wrote the recipe for full-sized muffins, and I’ve made those. But sometimes you don’t want a full-sized blast of spinach and protein – or sometimes one is too few and two is simply far too much.
I tested out her recipe using a mini-muffin pan instead, and loved it. This is my second endeavor making mini-muffins, and since I had only one pack of frozen spinach, I added in a package of frozen turnip greens. (Melissa notes you can make the whole thing vegetarian by omitting the meat and subbing in more spinach to compensate, should you wish.)
A note about potential meats: Ground beef, pork or goat would be great, whether the muffins are to be served hot or cold (as the latter might be most likely on a road trip). Sometimes ground lamb tastes a little funky if served cold. Venison could be a potential if mixed in with a little pork or a bit more goat, to keep it from being too dry. As for ground chicken or turkey, I haven’t found a good source of either of these that can’t guarantee bits from hundreds of the critters aren’t ground up into the package I buy. For me, that’s a real turn-off. But, feel free to experiment, the cooking principle remains the same.
Anyhow, here’s tonight’s current adaptation!
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: for ingredients, ~10-20 minutes; for muffin time, 25 minutes
Rest time: 15 minutes
Makes 24 Mini-Muffins
Spinach & Turnip Greens Meat Mini-Muffins
1 ten ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 ten ounce package frozen chopped turnip greens, thawed (or just use a second package of spinach)
1 teaspoon oil. I used ghee today.
¼ medium-large yellow or white onion, diced.
1 pound ground meat. (This was beef from my local farmer-supplier.)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
salt and pepper to taste
½ teaspoon ground chipotle powder (or cayenne, or whatever floats your boat. For non-spicy, ancho is wonderful. If you are using spicy, and want more of that, definitely push your envelope!)
½ teaspoon allspice
2 large eggs
A little more oil to coat your mini muffin pan (unless you use paper inserts…) – Wipe your pan to a very thin layer using a paper towel. Optionally, you can use those paper inserts in your mini muffin pan, to make cleanup easier. I didn’t – things clean up just fine for me. Although I use either silicon or Teflon pans… Yes, I know there are concerns about Teflon. I pick my battles and as long as the coating stays intact, I’m using it.
TO MAKE THE MINI MUFFINS:
Pre-heat oven to 375 F.
In a large skillet, melt the ghee or butter, or heat up your other oil on the stove top, medium high.
Add the onion and saute about 5-8 minutes or until soft and translucent. Mix around ever so often.
Add in the ground meat, making sure you break it up. Mix around. Cook it until it is cooked through, then drain off most of the grease.
Add the minced garlic, and stir around another minute or so.
Drop in the THOROUGHLY DRAINED, squeezed dry, spinach or spinach/turnip green mixture. Mix around.
Then add in the rest of the seasonings, and feel free to riff on the suggestions that I used. Once mixed, remove from heat source and wait about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, beat up your eggs.
Once the greens and meat mixture is cool enough to work with, add the eggs, and use your hands to mix the eggs into everything else. Into a lightly greased mini-muffin pan (I used avocado oil, choose your own), add your dollops of food. I did this with my hands – hey, they were already spinach-y! These muffins aren’t going to rise, so feel free to fill a little over the top of each hole. This made 24 mini-muffins for me. Wipe the edges on top of the pan, and bake for 25 minutes.
Remove from oven, and allow to cool to at least tepid before removing these from their little nests. (15-20 minutes, or else they may crumble.) They do freeze well, and they make AWESOME morsels of Road Food!
Melissa Joulwan’s blog is located here.