Savory Bites: Meals You Can Make in Your Cupcake Pan

April 15, 2013 10:11:30 AM PDT
Hollis Wilder, the first two-time champion of Food Network's Cupcake Wars takes the traditional sweet cupcake in a new direction, with fresh flavors and a new savory look.

The trusty cupcake pan works just as well for satisfying mini meals as it does for decadent sweets. Small, uniform portions make it easier to avoid overeating, and the meals are perfect for making ahead of time and freezing for the week in single or family-size portions. Hollis provides tips for having children help with the cooking to make a more enjoyable family mealtime. With 100 exciting recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, such as Apple-Sausage Breakfast Cakes, Fig and Blue Cheese Tarts, Pumpkin Risotto, and Curried Chicken with Mango, Savory Bites proves a cupcake pan isn't just for sweets and is sure to please any palate or budget.

Spinach & Mushroom Quiches
Oven: 350°F (175 degrees C) Prep time: 25 minutes
Baking time: 20 to 25 minutes Yield: 12 quiches

5 large eggs
1/2 cup (120 ml) whole milk
1/2 cup (120 ml) half-and-half
Pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups (300 g) button mushrooms, wiped clean and finely chopped
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 (8-ounce / 230-g) package turkey bacon or ham, chopped
Nonstick cooking spray, for the pan
11/2 cups (150 g) grated Parmesan
12 thin slices white bread, such as Pepperidge Farm's
Very Thin White Bread
1 cup (115 g) grated Gruyere, Swiss, provolone, or mozzarella
1 (10-ounce / 280-g) package frozen spinach, thawed and chopped
1 bunch chives, snipped with scissors

This unconventional "Real Man" quiche is a meal in itself that offers hearty, robust flavors. My husband doesn't like quiche. As a matter of fact, none of my male clients ever really did?too much crust and not enough gusto! This recipe solves that problem because the wells of a cupcake pan are deeper than a pie pan, so you can really fill it to the brim with lots of good-tasting ingredients. Save time by prepping the ingredients the night before you plan to bake these.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with the milk, half-and half, salt, and pepper until thoroughly combined. Set aside. In a medium saute pan over medium heat, saute the mushrooms in 1 teaspoon oil until all the liquid has cooked down, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a medium bowl and set aside. Using the same saute pan, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat until crispy, about 6 minutes. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 F
Spray a 12-well classic cupcake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon Parmesan in the bottom of each well. Top with 1 slice of bread, pushing down to fill the well. Sprinkle each well with 1 heaping tablespoon Gruyere, then divide the mushrooms and bacon among the wells, using up all of each ingredient. Top with equal portions of spinach, then sprinkle with chives. Using a 1/4-cup (60-ml) measure, fill each well with the egg mixture, then sprinkle with an additional tablespoon of Parmesan. Bake until the center is slightly jiggly, 20 to 25 minutes. Let the quiches rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then loosen the sides of each quiche with a table knife and insert the tines of a fork between the pan and each quiche to lift it out. Serve right away or at room temperature.

Store the quiches in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Enjoy the leftovers at room temperature or reheat at 350.F (175.C).