Thursday, January 8, 2009

Rosemary and Mandarin Muffins

I've never really been a fan of rosemary. My Giagia used it only in her revithia (that's Greek for chickpeas) and my mom ... well, I don't think my mom has ever used rosemary. Needless to say, it's never been an herb I've gotten excited about. I used it with some lamb chops a while back (it may even be four years already), but there weren't any oohs and aahs emanating from the dinner table that evening and I haven't bought another bunch of rosemary since. That is until last week.

I decided to give this fragrant herb another shot. I used most of what I had purchased in a pork dish, which--I must admit--turned out great (stay tuned next week for that recipe). And then I got to thinking of what I could do with the rest. For some reason unbeknownst to me, my thoughts turned straight to muffins. Plus, having just glanced over at the crate of mandarins my husband brought home a day earlier, it was really a no-brainer--Rosemary and Mandarin Muffins it would be.

The muffins were moist, with a hint of rosemary and sweet mandarin. I imagine they'd be perfect with brunch. I personally enjoyed two today--one with my morning coffee and one with my mid-afternoon cup of Chai (which I just started drinking and--much to my surprise--really like).

Rosemary and Mandarin Muffins
Makes about 18 muffins

1 stick of butter, softened
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup thick Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
1 tablespoon rosemary, finely chopped
Zest and juice of 1 mandarin

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with baking cups.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in rosemary, mandarin zest and juice.

Blend in one third of the flour mixture, then half the yogurt, alternating between the two until done. Fill the muffin cups 1/2 to 3/4 full and bake until golden (I didn't pay attention to the exact timing, but when they start getting some color, just insert a toothpick into the center, make sure it comes out clean and voila!).


Anonymous said...

These sound delicious! I love the combo of the rosemary and mandarin. I love chai, too!

Peter G said...

What an unusual combination...I would have never thought to combine the rosemary in a muffin! Love that you use greek yogurt to keep them moist.

Mediterranean kiwi said...

lovely moist muffins, maria, perfect for hungry children - i'll let you know if i try them out

btw, my culinary adventures don't always get 'wow'ed weither, but i persevere!

Laurie Constantino said...

Mmmm. I love rosemary, and this is such a creative use for it. My husband will be very happy if I make them for Sunday breakfast!

Ivy said...

This is indeed a very unusual combination of ingredients and I would neither have thought to use it in muffins. I use rosemary in baked potatoes, kleftiko or in Eliopsomo but I use it here and there quite often. The muffins do look very good.

Hopie said...

That sounds like an interesting and delicious combination! I love rosemary, but have never put it in muffins.

Peter M said...

I love rosemary and remember, a little goes a long way.

This combo is unusual but I'm know I'll try everything once.

gastroanthropologist said...

Never been a huge fan of rosemary but this combination has got me intrigued. I think it's a flavor combination I must explore!

Bellini Valli said...

This sounds like a winning combination Maria:D It is not something I would have thought of on my own:D

Anonymous said...

I love this combination Maria! I will definitely give it a go, asit must be very uplifting indeed.

Anonymous said...



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