Cheese, Herb and Bacon Muffins – Bacon Connoisseurs’ Week UK
This week in the UK it’s Bacon Connoisseurs’ Week organised by The Red Tractor Association. If you like food it will mean a lot – and I do. Niamh Shields from Eat Like A Girl is hosting two Bacon Masterclasses in London to celebrate. So here goes, polling some random Foodies I know top bacon dishes:
1. Bacon Sandwich (Streaky Smoked Bacon in home-made white bread untoasted)
2. Marcella Hazan’s 4 hr Ragu with Streaky Smoked Bacon replacing Pancetta
3. Veal/Turkey Meatloaf wrapped in Streaky Smoked Bacon with a tomato sauce
4. Grating a chunk of smoked streaky bacon with a cheese grater or fruit peeler into fine slices lenghthways. Frying and adding to soups, pasta dishes, chicken pies.
5. Cheese, Herb and Bacon Muffins (made with, yes, you’ve guessed it Streaky Smoked Bacon) with lots of fresh herbs and a certain English Mustard to give them a bit of a Kick!
* it’s also great wrapped round cod and haddock and baked in the oven with fresh herbs
Major UK retailers recently announced a shift/decline in processed meals. There is a good reason why more and more people are opting or trying to opt to cooking from scratch and knowing the source of their food. Do your bit if you can! There are lots of small, specialist food producers throughout the UK, they are not expensive and your food will have been tended and nurtured with so much care than produce shifted through the big chains (no matter what they say!).
The thing about bacon is that if you buy the good stuff i.e. responsibly produced and sourced you can seriously taste the difference. Watching and smelling it as it cooks is another giveaway i.e. the better the welfare of the animals the better the taste/smell. Although it might cost a bit more, if you are strategic it will go so much further in terms of taste and body to different dishes. I defy you to say it wasn’t worth it. Without further ado: here is my marvellous recipe for Cheese, Herb and Bacon Muffins. They are ideal as a breakfast and lunch snack, particularly good at lunches i.e. lunch box or portable i.e. picnics, train journeys and perfect with evening meals with either lots of cheese or a fabulous home-made soup like Butternut Squash. It is a great combination and they are very filling.
Recipe: Marvellous Cheese, Herb and Bacon Muffins
Makes 12 Muffins
Oven 190C or 170C for Fan assisted ovens
Prep Time: 15mins
Baking Time: 20-25mins depending on your oven
Muffin Cases/Greaseproof Paper
4 slices of good streaky bacon
125g good quality British cheddar cheese grated (large shredder)
275g self-raising flour
75g unsalted butter
Handful of finely chopped parsley/chives or a combination
2 medium or large free range eggs
200ml milk (semi, skimmed or full whatever your prefer)
1 teaspoon of Colman’s English Mustard or other superior British mustard
4 sundried tomatoes or 2 oven roasted tomatoes with basil (if you’ve had the time). Chop either into several small pieces
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
Muffin Cases/Greaseproof Paper
You need to:
1. Sieve self-raising flour, add other dry ingredients (cheese, parsley/chives, sugar, salt, and chopped cooked streaky bacon)
2. Combine eggs, milk, melted butter and tsp of english mustard until blended and consistent colour i.e. will resemble custard colour
3. Add blended ingredients in 2 above to 1 above. It will be a rough wet mixture
4. Use a muffin tray and if you don’t want to buy expensive muffin cases (I don’t) make your own with greaseproof paper a la Jamie Oliver’s Recipease) i.e. cut into strips usually you can get three out of each strip. Best ones are those that stretch out of the case and look ridiculously large but remember, they do rise!
5. Add mixture to the case/paper in the muffin case. Add some sun-dried or oven roasted tomato and add some more mixture. You can if you like add some more cheddar on the top however probably not necessary.
6. Bake for 20-25 mins and use a skewer to check they are cooked through.
7. Remove and cool on a baking tray.
8. Enjoy! These are fabulous toasted with extra butter.
This is not a sponsored post. My favourite pork butcher travels all the way from Dunmow to Battersea every Saturday with a range of pork products from a small farm called Prior’s Hall. There are lots of different types of bacon but smoked streaky is definitely the one I would opt for every time in terms of flavour, texture and versatility.
However, it really is a very personal choice. And, you won’t know unless you try! What would you recommend?