Chopped tomatoes – Jenny

My ingredient is a tin of Italian chopped tomatoes

My photograph is called “Italian Chopped Tomatoes”

I think it’s a tin my sister bought when she was staying with me. We use it in chilli mince usually. It’s too big a tin for me to use to cook something just for myself. It will probably stay in the back of the carousel until next time she comes.

Chef’s Suggestion

Cans of plum or cooked tomatoes can be cooked down with either onion or garlic and some herbs to make a passata that you could freeze in smaller portions. This is really useful as a basis for pasta dishes, for example. You can of course make tomato soups with them, including a version that I like inspired by Tuscan recipes that involve adding leftover bread at the end to thicken the soup.

Generally I think canned tomatoes are too wet for a muffin mix but if you did make passata then a small amount of that could be used to flavour a batter, so long as some of the other wet ingredients are reduced a little.

Bran Muffins – makes 6-9 muffins depending on the size of your tins/cases
Wet ingredients
1 large egg
50g oil or 60g butter, melted and cooled
75g grated vegetables or apples/pears
150g yoghurt or 90g milk

Dry ingredients
75g white self-raising flour
50g bran (if you don’t have bran, substitute with more flour)
50g sugar (if you are making sweet muffins)
1 tsp spice if using
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp bicarb
50g – 75g inclusions such as nuts, dried fruit, cheese

Preheat your fan oven to 190C (210C without the fan, Gas Mark 6-7).

Sift the flour and mix well with the other dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and then whisk in the other wet ingredients. Add the wet mix to the dry mix and combine using a spatula until they are only just combined. It’s crucial not to over-mix, even the odd streak of uncombined flour is fine.

Line your muffin tin with muffin cases, spoon the mix into the cases (no higher than the top of the case) and bake for 20 – 25 minutes at 190C. The muffins should brown a little on top and you can check they are cooked by inserting a skewer into the middle, which should come out clean rather than being coated in wet, uncooked mix.

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