I'm watching Top Chef and having weekly dreams about impressing Tom Colicchio and cooking fanciful food, maybe a sign that I'm watching too much. It's been especially fun since I'm watching season 4, the Chicago season! It's so fun seeing iconic places in the city on the show and also guessing the location of the Top Chef house (I think we determined it was somewhere in Lincoln Park). They even filmed at Galleria Marchetti, a wedding venue that is literally across the street from our condo! And we even saw the condo in the background! Lots of exclamation points all around! Also can we quickly discuss that that season was filmed in 2007? I was a junior in high school. I don't even know if I was allowed to stay up late enough to watch that show. And I'm pretty sure that my mom didn't let us watch Bravo TV very often. Tiger mom, what else do you expect 🤷🏻♀️
Speaking of cooking, what has been inspiring you lately? There have been a few things on my brain. The first is fresh bread! Sourdough is all over my Instagram feed (I recommend checking out Ruth's account!) and it always looks so delicious and crusty and warm and comforting. Most recently I baked the artisan multigrain bread from A Couple Cooks' new cookbook, Pretty Simple Cooking, and it was excellent all toasted up as a side for some hearty soup. Which is a perfect segue into my next latest obsession, which is the Instant Pot. Now, we don't cook with the Instant Pot everyday, but everything we've made with it has not disappointed us. And the best part is definitely the time! Specifically, how much time it saves. Last week, I wasted a bunch of time watching Top Chef (hah) and suddenly it was four o'clock and there were no dinner plans in sight. I initially grabbed my phone to text Andrew about eating out (again) but then changed my mind and took a look at our fridge to find celery, potatoes, carrots. A little bit of Googling later, and I found Pinch of Yum's Crock Pot Lentil Soup, which called for nearly everything I had in the fridge and pantry already. It was perfect, but it was a crock pot recipe! So I was semi-bummed I hadn't found the soup sooner. And here we enter the hero, the Instant Pot! It made a 6-hour soup into a 1-hour ordeal, and I couldn't have been happier with the result. Neither could Andrew - we saved some money, and had a healthy, nutritious, and filling meal at home instead. Pure comfort, and practical. The best of both worlds.
The last is savory bakes! I've mentioned before that this is the year of savory here! So much so that I've almost considered transforming Nommable into a cooking and a baking blog? So much so that I've tried to convince Andrew to contribute savory meals to the blog? Tiny Asians Cook Dinner?! I die. But the reality is that we probably don't actually have time to sustain a cooking blog, but a girl can dream. So I'll stick to savory bakes on this little blog for now, including these cheesy, herby muffins. Ovenly's cookbook has been a consistent source of inspiration for me, and these guys are adapted from their heavenly feta, basil, and scallion muffins. I love the adaptability of their recipes; you truly can take whatever is in your fridge and make it work! In this case, sharp cheddar to replace the feta, handfuls of bright, fresh cilantro in lieu of the basil and scallions. They are perfect for your savory, salt-loving friends, as a side to your soup or even as a breakfast on the go.
Cheddar cilantro savory muffins, adapted from the Ovenly cookbook's feta, basil, & scallion muffins
Makes 12 muffins
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 oz sharp cheddar, grated
- 3/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- Red pepper flakes and flaky sea salt, for topping
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin tin with 12 baking cups and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, spices, salt. Whisk in the cheddar and cilantro and set the bowl aside.
- In another large bowl, whisk the heavy cream, canola oil, and eggs until smooth.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir until just combined
- Scoop the batter into the baking cups so that they are filled about 3/4 full.
- Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with some flaky sea salt and red pepper flakes. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean.