We also haven’t disavowed our expert training or award-winning status. Nor has our team forgotten all the hours they’ve slaved behind the stove in fine-dining restaurants over the years. Actually, all of that has put us in the perfect position to understand that good food, dare we say great food, isn’t a matter of where it’s eaten, what plate it’s on or what brand of silverware it’s eaten with.
It’s about the food.
And we’re not alone. Everywhere you look, world-renowned chefs, even some with three Michelin stars, are exploring the real world outside their lavish dining rooms and glistening kitchens, a world where the real people live, people who enjoy a more common fare.
What’s a muffin tin meal? Well, a muffin tin meal is basically some version of a main course dish prepared and baked in a muffin tin shape.
Typically, the muffin tin meal has a crust or outer shell of some sort and a filling, such as meats, vegetables or other savory (not sweet) fillings.
A cousin to the calzone, pastry, strudel, and Wellington, muffin meals are a kind of one-stop shopping experience for your appetite. You can even eat some totally out of your hand, which eliminates the plate and fork. That makes them a perfect solution for casual meals and people on the go.
For the same reason cupcakes became THE craze in the dessert world, muffin tin meals are poised to be the next unconventional and extraordinary food experience coming to a neighborhood (or a kitchen) near you.
Maybe YOUR kitchen?
If you’d like to get ahead of the curve, let us give you a couple of tips and some recipe ideas to get you started. Once you see just how easy they are to make, you can play around with some of the variables (like crusts & fillings) and find a few combinations you really like.
First, the BEST advice we can give you is what kind of muffin tin to use.
Hint: it’s not tin.
It’s not even metal.
Silicone muffin tins are absolutely THE best. They’re absolutely and unquestionably non-stick and by far the easiest to clean.
Buy one with large cavities (usually they’re called Jumbo) that hold anywhere from ¾ cup to 1 cup of product. We prefer using a 6-muffin tray rather than individual cups because individual cups tend to flex too much as you place your crust or ingredients inside. Second, keep your crust on the thin side. Otherwise, you’ll discover that the final meal is more dough and less filling than you’d like. Lastly, the more sauce you use, the more likely you’ll need a plate (or a bib). Just enough sauce is perfect.
The Crusts: Here are some suggestions on crusts you can choose from. Pick one that best suits your filling to make your muffin tin meal special.
Pillsbury “Grands” Biscuits: Separate each biscuit and roll out individually onto about a 6” diameter. Line the inside of your muffin cups from the bottom to the top rim.
Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Shells: They come in packages of 6. Thaw, stack two on top of one another, and like the biscuits above, roll out into a 6” diameter, and line your cups.
Wonton Wrappers: Use thawed and pliable. They should be 6” x 6”. Place one on top of another, at right angles to each other so it would look like an 8-pointed star. Spray the muffin cup and both sides of the wontons with vegetable spray, and press down into the cups evenly. Trim any excess that wildly comes out and over the edges of the cups.
Filo (Phyllo) Dough: Thaw and unfold. Lay approximately 6 sheets, one on top of another, after brushing melted butter or spraying each sheet with vegetable spray. Cut into 6” x 6” squares, and like the wonton wrapper, gently press down into the muffin cups.
The Fillings: This is almost the easy part because the options are nearly endless. You can almost always raid your fridge and find some suitable fillings to make a delicious meal. That’s a big reason we really love the concept of the muffin tin meal. Here are some obvious choices: