Monthly Archives: June 2020

26 June 2020: The Perfect Scone

Up until about a week ago, we have been without an oven for about two months. As you can imagine, that put quite a damper on baking during our self-quarantine; no home-baked bread, and no morning baked treats. Happily, we were able to resolve some installation issues in our kitchen and now have a working stove and oven at the ready.

One of my favorite breakfast pastries is a scone, so it seemed like the celebration of a return to baking should include a batch of them. This is my current favorite recipe, a guide really, for scone-making. It includes some really helpful techniques that result in flaky, buttery scones and can be adapted for different add-ins and flavors of sweet scones.

Sally’s Baking Addiction: How to Make Perfect Scones

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (FROZEN – this is key)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or buttermilk (plus additional for brushing)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups add-ins (chocolate chips, berries, fruits, nuts, etc.)
  • OPTIONAL: 1/2-1 tsp ground cinnamon, coarse sugar, toppings/icings etc.)

Method

  1. Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder together in a large bowl. Grate the frozen butter using a box grater. Add it to the flour mixture and combine with a pastry cutter (2 forkes, fingers) until the mixture comes together in pea-sized crumbs. Place this mixture in the refrigerator or freezer as you mix the wet ingredients together.
  2. Whisk 1/2 cup cream/buttermilk, egg and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. Drizzle over the flour mixture, add the add-ins of choice, then mix together until everything appears moistened.
  3. To make triangle scones pour onto counter and, with floured hands, work dough into a ball as best you can (dough will be sticky). If too sticky, add a little more flour, if too dry, ad 1-2 more Tbsp cream. Press into an 8-inch disk and cut into 8 wedges.
  4. To make 10-12 drop scones keep mixing dough in the bowl until it comes together. Drop scones, about a 1/4 cup of dough each, 3 inches apart on a (parchment) lined baking sheet.
  5. Brush with milk.
  6. Meanwhile preheat over to 400 degrees F. Drop scones or place triangle cut scones on parchment lined sheet and refrigerate while oven preheats.
  7. Bake for 18-26 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and lightly browned on the top. (Larger scones will take 25 minutes or so). Remove from oven and cool a few minutes before topping (optional).
  8. Leftovers will keep at room temperature for 2 day or in the refrigerator for 5 days.

15 June 2020: Broccoli Raab with Garlic, White Beans, Tomatoes and Parmesan

As we went into quarantine at the beginning of March, I began to consider making changes to food-sourcing. We were able to get food using food delivery or food pick-up services, but I wanted to go a step further in support of local food sources by joining a CSA or Community Supported Agriculture distribution. We bought a summer vegetable share at our local farm, Farmer Dave‘s which we just began picking up each Saturday.

One of the challenges I found from our previous CSA membership was finding ways to use the distribution so that none is wasted. This year, I’ve been more able to do that with a published “what’s in the box” list that comes out well before weekly meal planning takes place. This was a suggestion for using the broccoli raab and it is not only delicious, it was quick to pull together – and vegetarian (vegan without the parmesan).

Recipe from Vegetarian Times, linked here.

Ingredients

  • 3 TBSP Olive Oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 12-oz. bunches Broccoli Raab, trimmed and coarsley chopped (or use Swiss chard)
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 14-oz can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese for garnish (or use pine nuts)

Method

  • In wok or skillet over medium high heat, heat 2 TBSP of oil. Add the garlic and saute until it sizzles, then add broccoli raab and red pepper flakes.
  • Season with salt and saute for 5 to 7 minutes until broccoli raab is wilted. Remove to a serving platter.
  • Add remaining 1 TBSP oil to pan. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the skins brown and tomatoes begin to split.
  • Stir in the drained white beans and cook 2 to 3 more minutes or until heated through. Spoon the tomato-bean mixture over the broccoli raab.
  • Garnish with Parmesan or pine nuts. Serves 5.


08 June 2020: Red Curry Cauliflower with Tofu

When you hear the name Joanne Chang do you think first of Flour Bakery’s fabulous baking and pastry? I do. But, because we also live near Boston, we have had the pleasure of visiting the restaurant, Myers + Chang and long-admired the wonderful dishes coming from the M+C kitchen.

When we moved from our rental to our condo, Adrien bought the Myers + Chang At Home cookbook for us as a house-warming. I’ve played with trying out a few of the recipes and they are incredible. With more at-home cooking going on these days – and more plant-based eating – I decided to give this recipe, Red Curry Cauliflower With Tofu, a try.

The recipe calls for a Vegetarian Curry Sauce which can be made ahead. In pre-retirement days I would have found some off-the-shelf substitute for the curry sauce, which would have been a huge mistake. Combining the elements (red curry paste, lime, coconut milk, Madras curry powder, oil and brown sugar) was easy and flavorful. The rest of the cooking involved stir-frying tofu, cauliflower florets and a quick simmering in the homemade curry sauce.

Delicious then, and delicious as leftovers the next day!


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