What’s in the box – 25/26 May

by Amanda McInerney on 26/05/2011

This weekly post is aimed at offering some simple recipe suggestions to the subscribers of Adelaide Food Connect weekly fresh produce boxes – and the link to the list of contents for this week is here.

Winter has arrived up here in the hills and I sit here in front of the fire as I write this to you.  Stanley has been booted up, the dogs are wearing their coats to bed at night, uggies have become  de rigueur and slothful afternoons in the warm with a  book are (somewhat) justified.  I hope you are all keeping warm.

I have decided to tackle spinach head on this season.  It can be a challenge to find new and appetising ways to present it to the family, so each week I will have either a new recipe or a link to one for you to try.  I’d love to hear back if any of you try them out – perhaps we can put them into keepers and losers categories.  This week I’ve selected one from a favourite food writer and cook – Mark Bittman.  This recipe for Spinach-Bulgur Patties with Skordalia looks as though I might be able to sell it to the kids and would probably work quite well with a few substitutions or additions.  There is a local brand of beetroot skordalia that I would buy if I was feeling lazy/time challenged and left-over rice would probably work just as well as the bulgur.  Anyone else have any ideas?

By now you must all be aware of the extras which are available from Adelaide Food Connect.  If you aren’t then let me direct you here to check them out.  I love nuts and use them quite a lot in cooking, so I was very happy to see a local supplier of walnuts has been sourced.  Walnuts (and pecans) are quite happy to be frozen, so I’ve bought up big on these delicious Enoomah Farm walnuts and I’m thrilled with the quality.   I’ve toasted some and paired them up with some dates and date syrup in a batch of muffins that I baked this afternoon.  I’ve found that toasting nuts before using them in baking always gives a much deeper flavour.  The date syrup  gives a richer flavour, but if you don’t have any  - and, to be honest, I went out of my way to get this – then maple syrup, honey or golden syrup would substitute quite well.   There is one trick to remember with muffins – NEVER overwork the batter.  They should be stirred only until the ingredients are just combined, no more or they will be tough.

Date and Walnut Muffins

Date & Walnut Muffins
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Author:
Serves: 12

Ingredients
  • ½ cup dates, chopped
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 75 mls canola oil or melted butter
  • 75 mls date syrup
  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • Prepare muffin pan by lining with muffin cases or spraying lightly with oil.
  • Combine dry ingredients in bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon.
  • Combine wet ingredients in separate bowl and mix well with a fork.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until ONLY JUST COMBINED. About 20 strokes with a wooden spoon.
  • Spoon into muffin tray and bake for 20-25 minutes or until done.

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Prepare muffin pan by lining with muffin cases or spraying lightly with oil.
  3. Combine dry ingredients in bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon.
  4. Combine wet ingredients in separate bowl and mix well with a fork.
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until ONLY JUST COMBINED. About 20 strokes with a wooden spoon.
  6. Spoon into muffin tray and bake for 20-25 minutes or until done.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Mandy - The Complete Cook Book May 27, 2011 at 3:06 pm

I love spinach but must admit that I am not that adventurous when cooking it – it’s either creamed spinach or spinach in a pie or quiche.
I love dates, walnuts and muffins so your recipe is guaranteed to be a winner especially with my obsession of turning everything into cupcake/muffin form. Do you think the milk could be replaced with plain yoghurt?
:-) Mandy

Anna Johnston May 27, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Match made in heaven – date & walnut. Lovely looking muffins Amanda :)

Amanda May 27, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Mandy – I’m thinking that the batter may be a little too stiff if you subbed all of the milk – may half?
Anna – Thanks for the compliment, but they really are dead simple to make.

Kate May 27, 2011 at 6:41 pm

The muffins sound delicious and I have got golden syrup in the pantry so if the weather closes in over the weekend I might whip some up !

Anita May 29, 2011 at 8:27 am

What a beautiful looking recipe and what a great produce program! You should post it over on http://www.101usesfordatesyrup.wordpress.com

Not many in the US know about date syrup yet!

Amanda May 29, 2011 at 8:29 am

Anita – thanks for that link. I’m heading over there now for a look.

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