Recently I tried a new recipe that looked like the ideal snack or lunch food – chopped vegetables, feta and bacon placed in muffin pans and covered with beaten egg, then baked in the oven till puffy – the perfect gluten-free muffin with vegetable accompaniment! I climbed the kitchen ladder to retrieve the muffin pans which are banished to the top shelf of the cupboard (I try not to make these things, as it is so much easier not to eat something you don’t have!). They are non-stick pans, apparently, but just to be safe, I greased them lightly with a little butter. I duly cooked the bacon, then added little feta chunks, spring onion, peas and sweetcorn kernels and finally the egg. Into the oven for 20 minutes and out came delicious-looking baby souffles – which immediately sank back into rather rumpled muffins, but still the golden-brown, glossy look was mouthwatering.
I loosened the sides of the first muffin with a wooden spatula, not wanting to scratch the pan, but it wasn’t going to relinquish it’s hold that easily. I tried a rubber spatula, with not much more success and finally took the plastic thingy that comes with a fridge that you use to hack out the ice when your freezer needs defrosting. No matter how many muffins I tried to ease out of the non-stick, greased pan, the bottom and sides remained firmly stuck.
It then occurred to me that the egg was the problem. Egg sticks to everything – glass, porcelain, stainless steel and teflon. It doesn’t even come off in the dishwasher. Scrambled egg adheres to the tines of a fork and between the slots of a spatula. Perhaps egg is the basis of glue, I wondered, as I scraped in vain at the remnants of the egg muffins in an attempt to clean the pans. Nothing was going to shift it. I soaked the pans for a day – still nothing. Then I left them to dry, thinking that maybe it would flake off. Tomorrow, I will scratch it off with my fingernails, which fortunately are hard enough to undo screws.
Everyone wonders how teflon sticks to the pan it coats, seeing that nothing is supposed to stick to it. I have the answer. There is a layer of egg between the pan and the teflon!
PS the photo is of a more successful casserole version.