Sweet Strawberry Scones

strawberrysconesScones are so civilized. Don’t you think?

I mean they aren’t puffy airy sugar cubes.

They aren’t dried up old bran muffiny things

They are scones.

They have dignity.

So have a dignified breakfast.

Make some scones.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
  • Milk or heavy cream, for brushing the scones
  •   sugar, for sprinkling on scones

INSTRUCTIONS:

     1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Whisk together the egg, buttermilk, lemon juice, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add the ricotta cheese and whisk until combined. There will still be a few lumps. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Rub together with your fingers until fragrant. In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon sugar mixture. Add the butter pieces to the flour mixture and toss with a fork just until the butter is coated with flour. Using a pastry cutter, fork, or your hands, cut the butter into the flour until you have a mixture of pea-sized or slightly larger clumps of butter and flour.

4. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir with a spatula until just combined. Don’t overmix the dough. Gently fold in the strawberries. Turn out the dough onto a well floured space and gently and shortly knead the dough. If the dough is too sticky, you can add a little bit of flour as you knead. Pat the dough down into a disk, about 1/2 inch thick. Cut the dough into 8 wedges or cut into rounds with a biscuit or cookie cutter.

5. Transfer the scones to the prepared baking sheet and brush with milk or heavy cream. Sprinkle scones with turbinado sugar. Bake for about 15-20 mins, or until the scones are golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack and serve.

Note-the dough is sticky due to the ricotta cheese. You might have to add more flour when kneading. Just try to be gentle and not overwork the dough.

SERVES: 8

NOTES: Try not to overwork this dough. Just bring it together, pat it out into a circular shape and cut. Could be used with other fruits. but ones with high liquid contents will probably not work well.

SOURCE: Two Peas and their Pod

Cinnamon Sweet Bread

CinnamonBread2This is so good.

I mean bounce in your chair good.

Old-fashioned cinnamon good.

Easy too.

Did I say easy?

Then you have no excuse not to make this for tomorrow’s breakfast.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Using a loaf pan, grease with shortening and flour. Preheat the oven to 375°
  2. In a bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon, mix and set aside.
  3. Melt the butter and let cool briefly. Add the wet ingredients, the sugar and then the egg. Whisk until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl, add  the flour, nutmeg, baking soda, optional salt, and whisk until distributed evenly.
  5. Add the wet to the dry and mix just until incorporated. There will be lumps.
  6. Pour half the batter into prepared pan.  Sprinkle about 3/4 of the cinnamon-sugar mixture  over the surface of the batter.
  7. Top with remaining half of the batter. Sprinkle remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture, distributed evenly over the surface.
  8. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until top is set and firm, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow bread to cool in pan for about 15 minutes before inverting.
  9. Invert bread over the sink or a paper towel to catch some of the non-adhered cinnamon-sugar and sprinkle it back on the bread. Place bread on wire rack to cool completely. Bread will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days, or may be frozen for up to 3 months.

SERVES: 12 slices

NOTES: This is nice topped with butter or not as you wish. Some great apple butter would be fantastic.

SOURCE: Averie Cooks

OVEN TEMP: 350-375° depending on your stove. I find that 350 is almost always too cool for baking.

OVEN TIME: 50-55 minutes

Jamaica-Mon, Beef Stew

jamaicanbstewOh some times you just must stretch.

Your taste buds.

Fire up those spice centers!

This one will do it. If you dare.

We dared. Sorta.

Don’t get me started. A normal person wants a habanero pepper. Nobody wants a dozen, and when your supermarket packages them in dozens, well, no way I’m buying that marketing ploy.

So I used two Serranos. So sue me.

It was plenty warm. And good.

INGREDIENTS:

  1. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  2. 2 1/2 pounds boneless beef stew meat (such as chuck), cut into 1 inch cubes
  3. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  4. 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  5. 4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  6. 2 habanero chilies, seeded and minced
  7. 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  8. 1/4 cup rum
  9. 2 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
  10. 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  11. 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  12. 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  13. 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  14. 2 bay leaves
  15. 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  16. 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  17. 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
  18. 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  19. 1 1/2 tablespoons steak sauce, such as A-1
  20. 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  21. 2 cups cooked long-grain white rice

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 300°F. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over high heat until smoking. Season beef with salt and pepper. Add beef to pan and cook without moving until well-browned on one side, about 6 minutes. Stir to loosen meat, and add onions and carrots. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, reduce heat to medium and add habaneros, garlic and rum. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes before adding chicken broth, allspice, cinnamon, hot pepper sauce, thyme, bay leaves, brown sugar, red wine vinegar, tomatoes, soy sauce, and steak sauce.

2. Return to a boil, cover and transfer to oven. Continue cooking until meat is tear-apart-tender when pierced with a fork,      about 1 1/2 hours longer.
3. When stew is done, remove from oven and discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves. If stew is not thick enough, reduce over the stove top until desired consistency is reached. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with green onions and serve immediately with rice.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: You can use whatever chiles you feel comfortable with. Also you can substitute beef stock for the chicken.

SOURCE: Serious Eats

Slow-Cookin’ Teryaki Chicken

teryakichickenFor years I seldom used a slow-cooker. I had one of those old ones I bought for a buck at a yard sale. Worked fine, but the whole thing was a unit, and thus it had to be washed by hand, and it was small to boot.

Given that I had a couple of recipes that I wanted to use, I bought a new one–one that all comes apart and is dishwasher safe. The heating unit even subs as a griddle!

Anyway, I find that I use it more, however I’m still leery of doing things like lasagna and cakes in it. Some things are done in a traditional way if you want them right.

Anyway, mostly I would agree with tradition with Teryaki chicken. But this recipe is actually pretty darn nice, and it made so much sauce that I froze a good cup and half for another time.

As you would expect, it’s quick to put together and worry free.

Take a look.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lbs chicken thighs (may use skinless)
  • 1 tbs oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs grated fresh ginger or 1/2 tsp ground dry ginger
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tbs honey
  • 2 tbs molasses
  • 1 tbs rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sherry (apple juice may be substituted)
  • 4 green onions sliced
  • 1/2 tsp dark sesame oil
  • To thicken:
  • 2 tbs cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. In a heavy large skillet, heat the 1 tbs of oil and brown chicken very well on both sides.  Place browned chicken in slow cooker.
  2. Saute garlic and ginger in the same pan you browned the chicken for about 1 minute.  Add the 1/4 cup water, scraping up all the browned bits at the bottom of the pan.  Add the soy sauce, honey, sherry, molasses and vinegar.  Stir well and pour over chicken in slow cooker.
  3. Cover slow cooker and cook on medium for 4-5 hours (or until chicken is done). Basically you want it to simmer slowly. Adjust to fit the heat your cooker emits.
  4. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker.  Add the sesame oil to the remaining slow cooker juices. Mix cornstarch with 1/4 cup water. With slow cooker set to HI, slowly add the cornstarch mixture and stir until sauce is thickened.  Let bubble about 1 minute to swell and cook the cornstarch.
  5. NOTE: You may want to remove the juice to another pan if you used skin-on chicken as there will be fat.  It will be easier to skim the fat if you remove to another pan.
  6. Preheat broiler to high. Place chicken on a broiler pan.  Broil about 3 minutes each side or until chicken surface is slightly caramelized and bubbly.
  7. Place chicken on serving tray and pour sauce over chicken. Garnish with sliced green onions.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: You may omit step 6 if you wish. I did since the meat was plenty browned up from the initial browning. I also used the old saute pan and crisp fried up some shredded cabbage and sliced carrots to add some veggies to the dish. I served the sauce on the side so you could drizzle what you wished over the dish.

SOURCE: The Midnight Baker

Roasted Red Pepper Linquine Alfredo

linguine-with-chicken-and-roasted-red-pepper-sauceI made this some weeks ago as one of those “don’t have a lot of time, throw it together” kinda recipes, and was rather surprised at just how good it was.

We really enjoyed it.

It’s quick and easy and yet perfectly elegant if you need it for a company dish.

Do try it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 ounces linguine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
  • 1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.
  2. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in milk, heavy cream, goat cheese and Parmesan until cheeses has melted, about 1-2 minutes. Add red peppers and puree with an immersion blender. Stir in pasta and gently toss to combine; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Serve immediately, garnished with Parmesan, if desired.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: You can vary the pasta as you desire of course. You could of course roast your own red peppers, two I would guess would be enough.

SOURCE: Damn Delicious

Green Olive Hummus

greenoliveHaving spent a lot of years eating lunch in Greek town in Detroit, I’ve become a real lover of hummus. Trust me, none of that store-bought stuff is worth using as paste. It’s not good, and you can whip up some fast enough anyway.

This idea came by way of a blogger, and then I started investigating and found several other recipes, and basically put together some of this and some of that, and made it the way I wanted it.

Try it.

This is a great party appetizer by the way, so think of it whenever you are setting up a snacking type of buffet.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed.
  • 1/3- 1/2 c green olives, pitted (if using the larger variety, more like 1/2 cup)
  • juice of 1/2 to one lemon, depending on how juicy
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded or not as you prefer (can be omitted entirely if you wish) It would be best to char the jalapeño, cool and then strip the peel before chopping.
  • 1 tbsp sriracha sauce (again, omit if you don’t like heat)
  • 1/4 c tahini sauce
  • 2 lg cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • dash of salt
  • olive oil only extra virgin (and the best you can afford for this) about 1/4 c and more for dressing the top
  • parsley, about 2 tbsp fresh, minced

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place everything through the salt into a food processor and whir until smooth.
  2. Drizzle the olive oil until it looks creamy and is of a consistency where it is still easy to scoop with a cracker, but not crumbly.
  3. Place into a serving dish, drizzle with additional EVOO and parsley.

SERVES: 1 cup

NOTES: you can omit the heat of course completely if you wish. You could buy dry garbanzos and cook them yourself. The tahini is really essential, but you could, if you can’t find it, try to grind sesame seeds into a paste. I think you could do this in a large batch and then freeze what you don’t use in this dish. Tahini is mixed with olive oil, so if you just put in ground sesame seeds, then you might need to add extra olive oil to get the right consistency.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

 

Chicken-Bacon Bites with Sriracha

chickenbaconThese simply make a simple, quick and quite tasty appetizer.

Perfect for the super bowl if you are inclined to party that day.

Can be made ahead and heated up fine.

What could be easier?

Not much.

So give them a try.

Don’t worry at all about recipe amounts. Once you read the recipe that will be clear. Just take whatever amount of chicken you are using, add enough hot sauce to marinate, and so forth.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb of chicken breast, cubed
  • 1/2 lb bacon, (approx)
  • 1/2 c canola oil
  • 2-3 tbsp of Sriracha sauce
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 c brown sugar

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Put the cubed chicken in a plastic bag.
  2. Add some oil, the hot sauce, and the lime juice, and massage the chicken, making sure it’s all covered.
  3. Place in fridge for about an hour minimum, longer if you wish.
  4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400°.
  5. Working on a cookie sheet, covered with foil or parchment, lay out a strip of bacon. Place a chicken piece on the end, and roll just until it overlaps, slice off with a knife, and then toothpick in place. Each strip will make about 3 pieces. Do this for all the chicken pieces.
  6. Put the pieces standing up so the chicken is visible. Spoon over a bit of the reserved marinade if there is any, letting it soak down.
  7. Put a generous pinch of brown sugar to “cap” each one.
  8. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until chicken is done.
  9. You can place under a broiler if you want to crisp up the bacon if it needs it.
  10. Serve warm.

SERVES: 20 appetizers

NOTES: As I said, you can eyeball the amount of each ingredient, based on how much chicken you are using.

SOURCE: Adapted from The Gunnysack

OVEN TEMP: 400°

OVEN TIME: 30 minutes