Sometimes, you just don’t want to bother with pots and pans.
Sometimes, you want small portions, like tapas. Sometimes, you just want a change.
It is for all of these times that muffin tins were made. Sure, you can use them to make muffins or cupcakes or, best of all, Yorkshire pudding. But an actual trend these days is to use them to make dinner or at least party appetisers.
CHICKEN POT PIE CUPS
2 tablespoons butter
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 celery ribs, diced
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2/3 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups diced chicken
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen corn
2 tubes crescent roll dough
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and grease 2 (12-cup) muffin tins with nonstick spray (or you can make them in batches).
2. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add carrots, celery, onion and thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened, 3 minutes, then stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Stir in broth and cream, and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes.
3. Stir in chicken, peas and corn, and simmer until warmed through. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. On a lightly floured surface, unroll crescent-roll doughs and pinch diagonal seams together. Cut each tube’s worth of dough into 12 squares, and place squares in muffin tin slots, on the bottom and up the sides of each cup. Spoon heaping spoonfuls of chicken mixture into each crescent cup. Bake until the crescent is golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly in muffin tin before serving.
MAC AND CHEESE CUPS
1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, shredded
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place 12 liners in a muffin tin or tins, and grease or spray them with nonstick spray.
2. Cook the macaroni according to package directions; drain. Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Gradually whisk in milk; bring to a boil. Add cheddar cheese, stirring until melted. Stir in the macaroni; season with salt and pepper. Divide among the muffin cups, sprinkle with Parmesan and bake until golden, 15 minutes.
2 (3-ounce) packages beef ramen noodles
1 pound ground beef
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2 large hardcooked eggs
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 24 muffin cups (you can do this in batches). Cook noodles according to package directions, saving 1 seasoning packet for meat mixture (reserve or discard remaining seasoning). Drain; divide noodles among prepared muffin cups. Bake until crisp and light golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
2. Meanwhile, combine beef, green onions and the 1 reserved seasoning packet, mixing thoroughly. Shape into 12 (21/2-inch) patties. You can do this by rolling the meat out between 2 large sheets of waxed paper, removing the top sheet and using a 21/2-inch cookie cutter to make the right sized patties.
3. Cook in a large skillet over medium-high heat until they are as done as you like. Cut each egg into 6 slices. Serve burgers on ramen buns with egg slices, sriracha and, if desired, kimchi.
HASH BROWN CUPS
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, shredded
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 eggs, scrambled
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil 12 muffin cups. In a bowl, mix together shredded potatoes, melted butter and salt, and season with pepper. Press mixture into a cup shape in the muffin tins. Bake until brown and crispy, 40 to 45 minutes. Fill with scrambled eggs, and serve.
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