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When my brother, after slogging it out for four years at university – graduating with an IT degree (with honours, no less) – announced to my parents that he wanted to study to become a chef, it took my whole family by surprise – to say it mildly (and for months afterwards my parents begged me to convince him to change his mind and to pursue a path in IT). It took us by even more surprise when he graduated from Le Cordon Bleu at the top of his class! A few years later I asked him what had inspired him to become a chef; I mean, I remember that at home he did like to cook – but then, our whole family did (even dad can do a Vietnamese “shaking beef” (aka “bo luc luc”) better than any restaurant out there). It blew me away when my brother said that the ham and corn roll that I had made and brought home from my first Food Tech class in my first year of high school had sown the seed of food passion in him. Don’t be fooled, the ham and corn roll was simply a crusty bap with the inside removed and replaced with a mixture of ham, corn, onion and cheese, and toasted under a grill. I doubt you could even call that cooking… but it started something which, to this day, when I taste his cooking, I feel so immensely blessed.

I have been so busy of late that I’ve not had much opportunity to cook (or blog – bad me!). This Sunday morning, however, I had the house and kitchen to myself and I decided to whip together savoury muffins for breakfast. Inspired by that ham and corn roll of many years ago, I baked a batch of savoury muffins filled with parmesan cheese, corn, onion, pine nuts, sultanas and parsley…

Here is my very simple recipe (makes 8 medium-sized muffins):

* 200g self raising flour * 2 pinches of sea salt  * A good grinding of black pepper * A tablespoon of chopped parsley
 * 70g parmesan
 * 2 eggs
 * 250g buttermilk
 * 100g corn kernels * 50g diced spanish onion * 40g toasted pine nuts * 50g sultanas

Heat the oven to 200C and line a muffin tin with 8 medium-sized paper cases.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, pepper, parsley and parmesan. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Make a hole in the centre of the flour mixture, pour the egg mixture in and mix with a spatula until combined (work quickly and take care not to over mix it). Add the corn, onions, pine nuts and sultanas, and quickly mix again.

Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases – distributing it evenly. Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes. The muffins are cooked when a skewer inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.


Sending you sweet Sunday morning nothings…