Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Scones to die for

I love bread! Freshly baked baguette dipped in cafe au lait, Irish soda bread spread thick with Irish butter, a crusty dinner roll on white linen, my mother-in-law Fran's brown bread spread with her homemade raspberry jam, OH!

The following beauties are more easily reproduced, infinitely variable depending on what goodies you add, and dress up any salad, soup, quiche, or leftover to make a more than passable dinner for friends (though I can't see any need to share, as far as I'm concerned this recipe serves 1). Indebted to my friend Memet and her friend Klinky for the recipe.

2 1/4 cups flour
2 Tbsp sugar (use 1 for savory version)
2 1/2 tsp baking Powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking Soda
1/2 cup butter
1 cup buttermilk
(*or* 1 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar in 1 cup milk
*or* 1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt + 1/2 cup milk)
1 beaten egg for glaze

variation ideas:
2 tsp lemon rind + 1/2 cup raisins
cheese (parmesan, cheddar, etc)
herb (rosemary, dill, sage, tarragon, etc)

Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine dry ingredients; cut in cold butter; stir in buttermilk till soft and sticky (add raisins, cheese, etc). Knead a maximum of 10 times; pat into a circle (8" x 2") on parchment; cut into pie shaped wedges and spread wedges apart. Brush top and sides of each wedge with beaten egg. Bake in 425 degrees oven for 12-15 minutes till golden brown.

Now, if you don't happen to have any leftover soup in your fridge you might also want this recipe for my favourite carrot soup, adapted from Judith Finlayson's Vegetarian Slow Cooker recipes so that you don't need a slow cooker and can whip it up in half an hour:

2 cups red lentils
diced onion
diced carrots (~4)
diced garlic
2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin
couple tsp veggie bouillion powder
1 large can diced tomatoes
~6 cups water
1 can coconut milk
splash of lemon juice

Put lentils in a colander/sieve and rinse. Put sieve into a bowl, fill whole thing with water and let sit.
In a stock pot, cook oil and diced veg (smaller dice cooks faster), after a bit add garlic, spices (to taste) and tomatoes.
Whizz with a hand held blender till smooth.
Drain lentils and add to pot. Add water & coconut milk. Simmer till lentils soft, ~20 mins. Add lemon juice and spice again to taste.

Need a salad to go with that? This dressing from my friend Nanci will make anything you've got in your fridge or garden shine and keeps well in the fridge:

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup flax seed oil (or other oil)
titch of ordinary hot dog mustard

Shake vigourously.

There you go, dinner!

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