Thursday, November 27, 2008

Yolkless Milkless Butternut Squash, Peanut Butter and Raisin Muffins

Restricted cooking. Boy, don't we all hate it?

In a perfect world, there will be no restriction. But my world is a gigabazillion (ref: no such word) miles away from perfect. Out of the 1000000001 variations of different restrictions (or lame excuses), the typical restrictions can be summarized into the following categories:
Especially those which are rarely used, thus, rarely available in Hong Kong. I could probably only get them in luxury supermarkets nowhere near me (a bus, a train, and a boat ride away to get a piece of fresh duck meat???!!! No way, Jose!).
Kitchen Accessories
Sometimes I select recipes to try based on...whether or not I have the appliances/gadgets required. I normally select recipes measured in cups, rather than grams, cos I don't have no kitchen scale, my friend! (Thank God for online converters ^_^). Sometimes it is fun trying to figure out a creative way to get away with not using the required using normal bowls instead of muffin tray...but it is NO FUN chopping my arms off before (just like before I had my food processor) or whisking the bejezuz outta me (just like before I tried a hand mixer).
Financial Resources
Some ingredients/tools/gadgets are so freakin' expensive, I might have to sell my soul to buy them (oh well, so I exaggerated it a little, sue me!). Ehm, maybe they are not really THAT expensive...but it is just my Chinese-Javanese super stingy nature. It's in my blood! I can't help it!
Human Resources
Namely culinary skills or lack thereof. My biggest problem inability to follow recipes. No, I am not an arrogant little bitch who only trust my own recipes. I just have a problem with following recipes. I guess this is just a nicer way to say that I am normally too lazy/impatient and always try to find shortcuts and skip some parts of the recipe (e.g. Oh, Come on! I really need to let the cookie dough chill for 1 hour? I think I can get away with cutting them NOW. Oppps, no, wait. It looks like I can't).

I never had to cook with dietary restrictions. This low iodine diet is something new to me. It is really challenging as well as interesting. If I had to name one ingredient that I miss the has to be soy sauce. It's like breaking up with someone you still like. You've taken the person for granted, and you don't miss him/her until he/she is gone. realized you can't live without this person and uh-oh! It's too late! Oh yeah, Mr. Soy Sauce. I miss you so so so much! I can't wait for us to get back together again in three weeks (I am counting the days).

Meanwhile, I will try the best I can to produce better-than-just-edible-despite-the-restrictions treats for sous chef, to facilitate his speedy recovery. This time, I am doing an adaptation of Jamie Oliver's Butternut Squash Muffins recipe...I call it an "adaptation" simply because...surprise, surprise! I can't follow the recipe exactly, as always.

Yolkless Milkless Butternut Squash, Peanut Butter and Raisin Muffins

I removed the egg-yolks from the recipe (low iodine diet), reduced the recipe to half (some of my regular guinea pigs are on business trip), added nutmeg (because I love nutmeg & cinnamon combo), added my home made peanut butter and raisins instead of walnuts (walnuts are expensive hehe), and removed the whole frosting part (no dairy products allowed - low iodine diet). Is there anyyyy part of the recipe that I still follow???

- 1 cup of butternut squash, leave skin on, remove seed, chop into chunks
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 2 egg whites (you can include the yolk)
- non iodized salt (you can use normal salt)
- 1 & 1/4 cup plain flour
- 1 heaping tsp of baking powder
- 3 tbsp home made peanut butter (you can use normal peanut butter or a handful of peanuts)
- lots of cinnamon, and a couple sprinkles of nutmeg
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- a couple handful of raisins

Preheat oven to 180C. I threw all ingredients into my food processor (I didn't even bother with the sequence, apparently, I blame it on my lack of attention to detail) and blend until everything's mixed. Pour batter into muffin tray lined with paper cups, bake for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

I was wondering what do egg yolks do for this recipe if I could just take them out and they still taste fan-bloody-tastic? Hmmm....interesssting. The skippy jar is just to show that I made these babies with peanut butter. I actually used my home made peanut butter....whose jar isn't as photogenic as skippy. My bad, it is probably now suffering from low self esteem. I am gonna submit this to Nick's Peanut Butter Lover’s Month

...and....let me just shut up and wish you all a...


Cakelaw said...

LOL Rita - I reckon it's more fun when you make a recipe your own, and if you don't have a gadget or ingredient, you can become creative. 'Tis good for the soul! Love your muffins - they look delish!

MiNDY said...

muffin-nya keliatan enak, Rit.

joanne @ frutto della passione said...

So impressive! I am always amazed by people that can take dietary restrictions and do marvelous things with what they are allowed to eat! Good for you!

Lina said...

Happy thanksgiving~! That looks great actually! I didn't know that yolk had so much iodine in it... your bf is too lucky to have you

Little Corner of Mine said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and sous chef! :)

Like you, I can't follow a recipe too, mostly cooking recipe, as for baking, I certainly try to follow it. :P

jesse said...

Hahaha, I think this restriction is turning you into a baking genius, dear! Happy Thanksgiving gorgeous girl!

Lisa said...

Thanks for the Thanksgiving wishes. My turkey is roasting as we speak...the muffins look . . . interesting. ;) Anything with homemade peanut butter can't be all bad!

Katie said...

What a great combination of flavors! Happy Thanksgiving.

Zen Chef said...

[Gasp] - you..err... you... arghh..on ... a d..d..DIET!????
My body is swimming in gravy and you're playing the diet card on me!?

Ok fine, i pardon you this time! Nice job on the muffins. They look delicious!

white on rice couple said...

I could eat this every day and not feel guilty Rita!
Thanks again for a great recipe and ....laughs!

Lidia Sianturi said...

tiap hr cr resep yg low iodine dong Rit? Good on ya!

Kevin said...

Peanut butter and squash muffins sound so good!

KC said...

I understand completely about how difficult it is to follow a recipe exactly. I call it editing the recipe.