AFC STUFFIN’ MUFFINS
Individual servings of creamy Stuffin’ Muffins. Dry rye bread, cabbage saute, savory cider broth processed with instant mashed potatoes into a batter. Baked with brown sugar and margarine bottom glaze and topped with smoky Candied Walnuts. Exquisite!
14 lg. deli-size slices rye bread (I used Beefsteak brand) – lay on cooling racks or racks of oven, without overlapping, then bake at 250 degrees till dried, about 15 minutes or so; stack and cut into 1/2-1 inch squares and place in extra-large mixing bowl
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 c. diced celery
2 c. diced onion
5 c. shredded green cabbage (leave out the large core-style pieces that take too long to cook)
1 t. pink Himalayan salt
2 t. garlic powder
1 t. dry mustard
1/2 c. sliced California black olives – I used Goya brand
3 c. apple cider
1/2-1 t. caraway seeds, smashed with mortar and pestle or back of spoon on board
1 T. onion powder
2 t. ground sage
1 t. ground rosemary
2 t. pink Himalayan salt
2-3 t. liquid smoke
1 c. instant potato flakes
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
In extra-large skillet, over med.- low heat, melt olive oil.
Add celery, onion, cabbage and salt. Stir to coat, then cook on low heat till tender, about 30 minutes; we’re not looking for a char here, so let the veggies cook slowly. Stir often enough to allow veggies to cook evenly.
When halfway tender, add garlic, dry mustard and olives. Stir to disperse evenly.
Make cider broth: In large saucepan combine cider, caraway seeds, onion powder, sage, rosemary, salt and liquid smoke. Bring to boil, reduce heat and cook 5 minutes. Turn heat off.
Transfer sauteed veggies to the bowl with dry bread cubes. Toss.
Sprinkle instant potato flakes over stuffing. Don’t toss yet.
Pour cider broth over all and immediately toss to moisten all ingredients.
If you want the stuffing whole, then adjust for seasoning, oil a baking dish, transfer stuffing to dish, cover with foil and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30-60 minutes, depending on how well-done you like your stuffing.
Remove foil for last 15 minutes of baking time to dry out top a bit.
To make muffin-style:
Place stuffing in food processor, 1/3rd at a time, adding salt to taste with each batch, and pulse till evenly mealy and gooey. Transfer to large bowl.
Prepare cupcake/muffin tins:
Liberally rub sides and bottoms of each muffin cup with margarine.
In bottom of each cup place 1 t. margarine and 1 t. dark brown sugar – no more than that.
Fill each muffin cup with stuffing, using a spoon or ice-cream scoop.
Place a few pieces of Smoky Candied Walnuts on top of each Stuffin’ Muffin. (see recipe below)
Cover loosely with foil.
Place muffin tin on a baking sheet or line oven rack with a large piece of foil to catch drippings.
Bake in preheated 375 degree oven 30 minutes.
Remove foil. Raise heat to 425 degrees and bake 20 minutes longer.
Remove from oven and let set for 10 minutes before serving.
When ready to serve: Using a table knife, push the ‘runover’ of each individual stuffing neatly away from the rim toward the center to unstick it, thereby tightening it up to a muffin shape to ease removal.
You can serve the stuffing in the tins on the table to let each person take their own, which is what I do. Or, remove each from the muffin cup onto a platter. There will be some breakage, while they’re still hot. It’s easy to fix by lightly pushing and pressing back to the shape you want.
Notes: Whether you serve the stuffing whole or as a batter in cupcake tins, you’ll need to season beyond the initial seasoning – garlic and onion powders, rosemary, sage, salt and pepper, liquid smoke (you be the judge of how much you want).
If making these in advance to refrigerate overnight, then bring raw stuffing to room temperature before baking. A couple of hours should do, but realize that the texture will firm up after being refrigerated requiring more baking time.
If baking them, then refrigerating overnight, the entire muffin will firm up more than if served right after baking them. Reheat in oven before serving. they’re great either way.