Party Food : Pizza Mini Muffins with Dipping Sauce


Hello!

Here's a recipe for a vegetarian hors d'oeuvre that everyone seems to really like. These "Pizza Mini Muffins" have green olives in them, but, in my experience, even bona fide olive-haters enjoy them, happily accepting seconds. In fact, this recipe is being posted here at the specific request of one of them!


Pizza Mini-Muffins
Makes 24
Time : About 30 minutes prep + 20 minutes baking

Ingredients:

- 3/4 C. flour
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp each of dried oregano and dried basil
- 1/8 tsp onion powder
- A dash of cayenne pepper
- A pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 3/4 cup chopped green pimiento stuffed olives (about 40 of the small ones that come in a jar)
- 1 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (about 125 grams)

Directions:

- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 24 hole mini-muffin pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, oregano, basil, onion powder, cayenne pepper and salt.
- Add milk, beaten egg and olive oil, and whisk until just combined.
- Add cheese and olives and stir.
- Spoon into mini-muffin cups. (There should be just the right amount of batter to make 24, so divide it evenly.)
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

Serve warm or at room temperature, with about 1/2 cup of warm Pizza Sauce for dipping.

The sauce can certainly be store bought, but if you'd like to make some from scratch, here's how.
(If using store bought, heat gently on the stove in a pot or use a microwave oven.)

Pizza (Dipping) Sauce
Makes about 1/2 cup
Takes about 30 minutes

Ingredients:

- 3 to 4 medium sized or 2 to 3 large tomatoes
- About 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1/4 tsp each dried oregano and basil
- salt to taste

Directions:

- There's no need to peel the tomatoes, however, if you'd prefer to, cut a shallow cross into the skin and drop them into a pot of boiling water. Boil for about a minute and remove. Cool under running water. Peel should come right off.

- Cut tomatoes in half and remove seeds (squeeze halves over a bowl and they should drop right out). Chop tomatoes.
- Heat a frying pan and then add the olive oil. Add onions and garlic and saute until cooked through, making sure they don't burn (burnt garlic tastes remarkably terrible!).
- Add tomatoes, oregano and basil and simmer until thickened. Add salt, a bit at a time, stirring and tasting, until it is as salty as you'd like it.
- If required/desired, blend sauce with an immersion blender or in a blender or food processor.
- If required, further reduce by returning to pan and simmering a bit longer.

The Pizza Muffins keep for a few days, wrapped and refrigerated. Or they can be frozen. To serve, place frozen on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and heat in 350 degree oven for a few minutes until thawed and warmed through.



I last made these for a gathering of friends over Labour Day. Here's our lovely friend Leslie, having some (psst, she's one of the people who don't like olives!) ...



I hope you try making some yourself!
Thanks for reading,
xo loulou





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