Scones

I’ve made scones a few times using this recipe and it’s a keeper. Light on the inside, crunchy on the outside and quick and easy to make.  A bit decadent with the cream but it seems to do the trick.

It’s probably easier to do this with the food processor as the recipe calls for but I like using an old fashioned pastry-cutter-in-thingy-do. It is very satisfying.  Plus everyone is still sleeping when I have made these.
pouring in the cream
et voila

Dreamy Cream Scones
America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook via www.smittenkitchen.com

2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, preferably a low-protein brand such as Gold Medal or Pillsbury
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup currants (Deb Comments: “I used dried cranberries, and chopped them into smaller bits”, Patrick Comments: I used raspberries once and blueberries once – both were good.  I bet chocolate chips are good… or heath bar bits )
1 cup heavy cream

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425°F.

2. Place flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in large bowl or work bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade. Whisk together or pulse six times.

3. If making by hand, use two knives, a pastry blender or your fingertips and quickly cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few slightly larger butter lumps. Stir in currants. If using food processor, remove cover and distribute butter evenly over dry ingredients. Cover and pulse 12 times, each pulse lasting 1 second. Add currants and pulse one more time. Transfer dough to large bowl.

4. Stir in heavy cream with a rubber spatula or fork until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.

5. Transfer dough and all dry, floury bits to countertop and knead dough by hand just until it comes together into a rough, sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds. Form scones by either a) pressing the dough into an 8-inch cake pan, then turning the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, cutting the dough into 8 wedges with either a knife or bench scraper (the book’s suggestion) or b) patting the dough onto a lightly floured work surface into a 3/4-inch thick circle, cutting pieces with a biscuit cutter, and pressing remaining scraps back into another piece (what I did) and cutting until dough has been used up. (Be warned if you use this latter method, the scones that are made from the remaining scraps will be much lumpier and less pretty, but taste fine. As in, I understand why they suggested the first method.)

6. Place rounds or wedges on ungreased baking sheet and bake until scone tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Butternut Squash Soup with Cider Cream

A tasty recipe for butternut soup

Butternut Squash Soup with Cider Cream

Bon Appetit, November 1998

Ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 2 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
  • 2 cups chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only)
  • 1/2 cup chopped peeled carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 small Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried sage leaves
  • 5 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 2/3 cup sour cream

1/2 cup whipping cream
Chopped fresh chives

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add squash, leeks, carrot and celery; sauté until slightly softened, about 15 minutes. Mix in apples, thyme and sage. Add stock and 1 cup cider and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until apples are tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly.
Working in batches, purée soup in blender. Return soup to pan. Boil remaining 1/2 cup cider in heavy small saucepan until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Cool. Place sour cream in small bowl. Whisk in reduced cider. (Soup and cider cream can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately and refrigerate.)
Bring soup to simmer. Mix in whipping cream. Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle with cider cream. Top with chives.

Mint Ice Cream

What’s better in this  awesome heat than ice cream.  I tried a new recipe for home made mint ice cream on saturday and it was a hit.  I used lots and lots of mint and it tasted great.

even though we recently cleaned up our mint patch as it had gone crazy wild we still have lots of mint in the garden.
making the mint infused cream
such a pretty color
such a pretty color
into the ice cream freezer it goes
I didn’t have a chance to take a good picture of the final product as it disappeared in two seconds flat. I’ll just have to make it again 🙂  We served it with brownies and it was really good.

Recipe from davidlebovitz.com

As you can see I left the chip part out, but followed the recipe pretty much for everything else.

Mint Chip Ice Cream

Makes about 1 quart (1l)

Adapted from The Perfect Scoop (Ten Speed Press)

The bright taste of fresh mint is marvelous with the little bits of bittersweet chocolate. If you are unsure of the quantity of mint leaves, weigh them to the get the exact amount. I just stuck a few mint springs in my rooftop garden box and within a week, they took root and are thriving nicely. It’s not enough to make a batch of mint ice cream quite yet, so for now, I’m buying my mint at the market. Depending on where you shop, you might want to buy two bunches, to make sure you have enough.

For the mint ice cream:

1 cup (250 ml) whole milk

3/4 cup (150 gr) sugar

2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream

pinch of salt

2 cups packed (80 gr) fresh mint leaves

5 large egg yolks

For the chocolate chips:

5 ounces (140 gr) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

1. In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream, salt, and mint.

2. Once the mixture is hot and steaming, remove from heat, cover, and let stand for an hour to infuse the mint flavor.

3. Remove the mint with a strainer, then press down with a spatula firmly to extract as much mint flavor and color as possible. (You can also use well-washed hands to do it as well, making sure the mixture isn’t too hot to safely handle.) Once the flavor is squeezed out, discard the mint.

4. Pour the remaining heavy cream into a large bowl and set the strainer over the top.

5. Rewarm the infused milk. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, then slowly pour some of the warm mint mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan.

6. Cook the custard, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. If using an instant read thermometer, it should read around 170ºF (77ºC).

7. Immediately strain the mixture into the cream, then stir the mixture over an ice bath until cool.

8. Refrigerate the mixture thoroughly, preferably overnight, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

While the mixture is freezing, melt the chocolate in a small bowl over a pot of simmering water, or in a microwave oven on low power, stirring until smooth. Place a storage container in the freezer.

9. When the ice cream in the machine is ready, scribble some of the chocolate into the container, then add a layer of the just-churned ice cream to the container. Scribble melted chocolate over the top of the ice cream, then quickly stir it in, breaking up the chocolate into irregular pieces. Continue layering the ice cream, scribbling more chocolate and stirring as you go.

When finished, cover and freeze until firm.

 

Fettuccine with Ham, Mushroom and Peas

This is a weekly stand by that we have been making for years and years.  It’s not really much of a recipe, but we base it on a recipe from a cookbook that I think somebody gave us as a wedding present – almost 23 short years ago.  Everybody likes it and it couldn’t be easier to make.  (Jack always gripes about the mushrooms but tough luck Jack.)

We made this last Sunday and made it even better because we made homemade pasta.  We haven’t made pasta in a super long time and me and Sophie had fun doing it together.  I don’t think she ever made it before.

The pasta dough recipe we use is from the New Basics. It makes about the equivalent of one pound of dried pasta:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs

Place the flour in a food processor, and with the motor running, add the eggs one at a time.  Continue processing for 15 seconds.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until it has formed a smooth, firm ball.

Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

Divide the ball into 5 pieces.  Use pasta maker to roll out each ball for whatever kind of pasta you want.

Back to the ham, mushrooms and peas: in goes the butter:

Adapted from 365 Ways to Cook Pasta, Marie Simmons

Paglia E Fieno

  • 6 T. butter (we usually use much less)
  • 12 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 1 cup heavy cream (we usually use skim milk because it’s in the fridge and it works fine…but of course tastes better if use use whole milk or half and half)
  • 1/2 cup slivered cooked ham
  • 1 lb fettuccine
  • lots of parmesean
  1. Heat 3 T. butter in skillet; add mushrooms and saute for about 5-10 minutes.  Add the peas and cook for a few minutes.  Add 1/2 cup of cream, heat to boiling and simmer until thickened.  Add the ham and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the fettuccine in boiling water until cooked al dente.  Drain when done.
  3. Throw the fettuccine in the skillet with the mushrooms, ham and peas – put in more butter and cream if you want it.  A scoop or two of pasta water is good also.  Add lots of parmesean cheese and more salt and pepper if you want.

Enjoy

Burro Rosso

Evie Davis

Red Butter sauce for pasta – or for anything.

  • ½ lb. butter
  • 2 t. tomato paste
  • 4 T. heavy cream (milk works fine too!)
  • ½ t. dried sage
  • 1 t. paprika
  • salt
  • 4 T. grated parmesan cheese

bowl of grated parmesan cheese

In a small saucepan melt the butter.  Whisk in the tomato paste and cream.  Add sage, paprika, a little salt to taste, and 4 T. of cheese.  Heat but do not bring to a boil.  Makes enough for 1 lb. of pasta.  Pour over freshly cooked pasta and serve with the bowl of cheese on the side.

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Kirsten Gail

10 servings

  • 2 boxes Uncle Ben’s Wild rice
  • 8 oz. Mushrooms
  • 1 onion chopped
  • ¼ butter or margarine
  • salt and pepper (make sure you put some in because it will need it)
  • 4 cups diced chicken
  • 2 cups canned chicken broth
  • ½ cup blanched almonds
  • ½ pint heavy cream

Sauté mushrooms and onions in butter.  Cook rice according to package directions.  Mix all together.  Bake uncovered for one hour at 350.

Freezes well before or after cooking.

Chicken Pot Pie

Williams Sanoma

decadent!

Pastry

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ t. salt
  • 8 T. chilled, unsalted butter
  • 4 oz. Cream cheese
  • 1 T. water

Combine flour and salt.  Add butter and cheese until coarse crumbs.  Add water and stir with fork.  Add up to 1 T. more water to make cohesive dough.  Pat into smooth cake and chill for 1 hour.

Filling

  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • ½ lb. carrots, peeled and sliced
  • ½ lb. large mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 oz. Unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups diced, cooked chicken
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped

Boil chicken stock in large stock pot.  Add vegetables and simmer, covered 15 minutes until vegetables are tender.  Remove vegetables and set aside.  Strain stocks into 4 cups measure, add water if necessary to make 4 cups.
Return saucepan to heat.  Melt 4 oz. Butter, then add flour.  Cook and stir 2 minutes to make roux.  Add stock and boil, whisking constantly.  Reduce heat, add cream and simmer for 2 minutes.  Stir in chicken and reserved vegetables.  Add parsley, season with salt and pepper.
Roll out dough to top 4 individual pies.  Vent tops.  Place on baking sheet and bake for 20 -25 minutes at 425.