Fresh Herb Muffins with Turkey Stuffing

I had some leftovers of turkey with mushrooms and walnuts - I had the stuffing, just didn´t know what to do with it... In between my book notes, printouts and post-its that grow in my kitchen shelves, there's been for ages this recipe of fresh herbs muffins, from the brilliant Clotilde of Chocolate & Zucchini. When my fingers touched this recipe, my decision was made.

Fresh Herb Muffins
adapted from Chocolate & Zucchini

(4 big muffins)

3 eggs
1/2 cup yogurt (125 grs)
3 tablespoons homemade pesto
3 tablespoons grated parmesan
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (150 grs)
1 tablespoon baking powder (11 grs)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
salt & ground pepper
1 tablespoon parsley
3 tablespoons cilantro
Butter to grease and breadcrumbs to dust muffin tins

In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, Parmesan and (roughly chopped) herbs. Using another bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt and pepper. Add yogurt and pesto and whisk again. Quickly, pour egg mixture into flour mixture and without over mixing, stir until combined. Pour batter into muffin tins (greased and dusted) and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Preheat the oven to 350° F (180º C) and bake for 20-25 minutes. (I also used some smoked turkey on top - more leftovers!)

Chop - precooked - turkey, mushrooms and walnuts. In a saucepan, heat this mixture, add some flour and milk, stirring until combined after each addition.

Cut muffins in half - after cooled - fill with a couple of tablespoons of stuffing. Serve with cherry tomatos (spilled with olive oil) and cooked in the oven for 10 minutes, red onion and green salad. Use remainder tomato juice and olive oil as a hot dressing for the salad.


Sericá - Portuguese Traditional Dessert

Sericá (or Sericaia) is a traditional Portuguese dessert made of eggs, sugar, milk and cinnamon. It represents the Alentejo cuisine's typical skillfulness - achiving great results based only in centuries of convents' culinary wisdom and some ordinary ingredients. Sericá is a surprising and uncategorized... tart? It's usually served with ameixas d'Elvas (sugarplums from the city of Elvas).

Personal confessions - I've committed a couple of "sins" in this version: a) I didn't have limon zest so I used a vanilla pod and b) as I couldn't find any sugarplums, I've served mine alongside with this Melon and Orange Marmalade (if you're interested in the recipe, let me know). As my mom-in-law cannot have regular milk, I used soy 'milk' - and somehow the consistency was a bit different than usual.

250 grs sugar (I used only 200 due to soy milk)
125 ml water
400 ml whole milk (I used soy milk)
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour (sifted, then measured)
1 stick cinnamon
Zest d 1 lemon (I din't have any - I've used a vanilla pod cut in half, seeds separated)
6 eggs (separated)
2 tsp ground cinnamon

In a small saucepan, combine sugar with water. Set pan over moderate heat for 15 minutes. In another (bigger) saucepan, put cinnamon stick, vanilla pod and 2/3 of milk - use the rest to combine flour - whisk in and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture just boils, about 10 minutes. Add sugar mixture, remove pan from heat and whisk in egg yolks, lightly beaten. Set aside to cool.

In large bowl using electric mixer, beat egg whites until fluffy. Remove cinnamon stick and vanilla pod from cooled egg yolk mixture and discard. Gradually fold part of beaten whites into yolk mixture. Add remaining beaten whites and fold in gently but thoroughly until mixed together.

Preheat oven to 180 ºC. Use a ceramic pan (should be ceramic otherwise won't work!), put the mixture in and sift ground cinnamon over. Bake until center is set and cracks have formed on surface, about 35 minutes. (Sericá will fall slightly — this is to be expected)