Book Review: Savory Bites -- Meals You Can Make in Your Cupcake Pan

Good (and healthy) things do come in small packages. Get a taste for the yummy creations in the new book from Cupcake Wars champ Hollis Wilder.

Good (and healthy) things do come in small packages. Get a taste for the yummy creations from Cupcake Wars champ Hollis Wilder, author of the new cookbook, Savory Bites: Meals You Can Make in Your Cupcake Pan.

Not Your Typical Cupcake
Meals you can make in a cupcake pan? You might be able to envision a quiche neatly tucked into cupcake tin but how about French toast, risotto and lasagna?

While this book doesn't outwardly aim to be "healthy" the author is mindful of using fresh ingredients, trimming excess fat and calories when possible, and creating fun kid-friendly recipes. Cupcake-sized servings also help with portion control.

Cupcake Pan and the Family Meal

Can a baking pan help bring your family together in the kitchen? Hollis thinks so. She encourages bringing the little ones into the kitchen and letting them pick and chose the ingredients for their savory cupcake creations.  I must say, my kids love anything that comes out of a cupcake pan.

Recipes to Try

From breakfast to seafood dinners, the cupcake-inspired creations in this book are more mouth-watering with every turn of the page. One of my favorites is the Curried Vegetable Hand Pies – fresh and spicy, complete with a creamy yogurt sauce.

Curried Vegetable Hand Pies

Yield: 12 hand pies

For the Curried Vegetables

1 small russet potato, peeled and cut into ¼ inch (6-mm) dice, placed in a

bowl of cold water to avoid discoloring
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, cut into .1/4inch (6-mm) dice
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger or ginger from a tube

2 small cloves garlic, finely chopped, or 1.5 teaspoons garlic from a tube

2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons curry powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ small head cauliflower, cored and cut into small florets
3 carrots, peeled and cut into ¼ inch (6-mm) dice
1/2 red pepper, seeded and cut into ¼ inch (6-mm) dice
½ yellow pepper, seeded and cut into ¼ inch (6-mm) dice
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup coconut cream or sweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup frozen peas, Thawed

For the Yogurt Sauce
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup mango chutney

For the Assembly
Nonstick cooking spray, for the pan
12 (6-inch/15-cm) tomato or spinach-flavored tortillas
1/2 cup chopped roasted almonds
½ cup chopped pistachios
Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

Make the Curried Vegetables

Drain the potatoes. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, combine the oil, onion, and potatoes and saute until just tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in the ginger, garlic, cumin, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, curry powder, and cayenne, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the cauliflower, carrots, both kinds of peppers, and chicken broth and reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, tossing once halfway through, until all the veggies are tender and the mixture begins to thicken, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the coconut cream and continue to cook until the curry is the

consistency of a thick gravy with chunks of veggies. Turn off the heat and stir in the peas.

Make the Yogurt Sauce

In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt and chutney. Refrigerate until serving time.

Assemble and Bake the Hand Pies

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Spray a 12-well classic cupcake pan with nonstick cooking spray, then line the wells with the flour tortillas. Fill the wells to the top with the curried vegetables, leaving the tops of the tortillas open. Bake until the edges of the tortillas are golden and crispy, 20 to 25 minutes. With your hands, lift the hand pies from the pan using the tortilla wrappers as handles. Drizzle yogurt sauce on top of each mini meal, then Garnish with the chopped nuts and cilantro leaves.

Tell us: What do you use your cupcake pan for -- besides cupcakes?
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