When I saw these muffins featured on one of my favorite blogs, 101 Cookbooks, I immediately thought of this project: the recipe didn't seem to need much modification to fit it. The ingredients make me wonder, though: a savory cheese tart with almonds screams Moorish influence to me. I did a search of Spanish websites for an almond requesón tart (requesón is the Spanish version of ricotta) and found only sweet versions. Poring over Moroccan sites, the cheese tarts were similar to what most Americans know as spanakopita, and while there are many chicken dishes with almonds, I found no little tartlet or tart with the same main ingredients of this one. After making them, while I still wonder about their progeny, but I deeply appreciate their deliciousness and convenience (they are a terrific quick breakfast on-the-go, kind of a cross between a quiche and a souffle.)
At any rate, once you've assembled the ingredients, these are relatively simple to make - I recommend using muffin liners in your pan and spraying the inside with cooking spray; these do stick like there's no tomorrow. The muffins are excellent warm for breakfast, or cold packed in a lunchbox.
1 cup low fat cottage cheese
3/4 cup parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup reserved for topping
1/4 cup flour
1 cup almonds, ground
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes or dried tomatoes*
1/4 cup minced canned red pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 cup water
4 eggs, lightly beaten*
1/2 teaspoon salt
Prepare a medium-size muffin pan with paper baking cups, sprayed well with cooking spray on the inside. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
*If you can't find sun dried tomatoes in oil, do what I did: chop your dried tomatoes finely (or grind them in the blender) and rehydrate with the olive oil for 10 minutes. (Otherwise, just mince your tomatoes in oil.)
Combine cottage cheese, flour, 1/2 cup of parmesan, flour, ground almonds, baking powder, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, salt and water in a large bowl. In a separate container, beat the eggs (if you use a product like eggbeaters, this can be a one-bowl recipe*) and then pour them over the first mixture and combine thoroughly.
Pour carefully into 12 muffin cups and top each with some of the remaining parmesan cheese. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and set in the middle: cupcakes will rise a bit. Nutrition information