Friday, October 3, 2008

Coffehouse Scones

(from Karen)

2 cups (280 grams) all purpose flour
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
2/3 cup (160 ml) buttermilk

Egg mixture for brushing tops of scones:
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and place rack in middle of oven. Stack two baking sheets together and line the top baking sheet with parchment paper. (This prevents the bottoms of the scones from over browning during baking.)

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Add the buttermilk to the flour mixture and stir just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix the dough.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough gently four or five times and then pat, or roll, the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches (18 cm) round and about 11/2 inches (3.75 cm) thick. Cut this circle in half, then cut each half into 3 pie-shaped wedges (triangles).

Place the scones on the baking sheet. Make an egg wash of one well-beaten egg mixed with 1 tablespoon milk and brush the tops of the scones with this mixture.

Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and then turn your broiler on high.

Sift confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar heavily over the tops of the scones and place them under the broiler. Broil for just a few seconds, turning the pan as necessary, until the sugar has melted and turns golden brown. Make sure to watch the scones carefully as the sugar will burn very quickly. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Serve with jam or lemon curd and whipped cream.

Easy Black Bean Corn Casserole

1 10-oz. pouch Trader Joe’s frozen brown rice (or vacuum sealed brown rice)
2 cups salsa
1 16-oz. bag Trader Joe’s Frozen Roasted Corn
1 can black beans
5 green onions, chopped
tortilla chips
shredded Mexican cheese blend

Mix first 5 ingredients and set aside. Grease a glass casserole pan and line bottom of pan with a thin layer of crushed tortilla chips. Add prepared mixture. Top with shredded Mexican cheese. Finish with a thin layer of crushed tortilla chips and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.

Easy Sloppy Joes

½ lb. ground beef
dry minced onion
1 scoop brown sugar (about 1/3 cup)
¼ cup ketchup (1 really long squirt)
1-2 Tb. prepared mustard (1 big squirt)

2 (16 oz.) cans pork & beans
hamburger buns

Cook beef and onions. Drain. Dump and squirt remaining ingredients until you like the taste. Simmer a bit and serve on hamburger buns.

Curried Chickpeas in Coconut-Cilantro Broth

(from Karen)

Don’t touch the seeds when seeding the jalapeño pepper. If you touch them they can burn your skin.

1 tsp butter or stick margarine
1 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
2/3 cup canned coconut milk (we use the entire can)
1 tbsp seeded minced jalapeño pepper
1 to 2 tsp. curry powder (we go heavy on this)
1 (19-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 can of pre-cooked chunk chicken (optional)
(5 cups rice)

Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in tomatoes and next 3 ingredients; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Add chickpeas (and chicken); partially cover, and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro. Serve over rice.

Yield: 5 servings

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Southwest Corn Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

(from Jennifer L.)

Makes about 5 cups.
For an easy late-summer supper, stir in some cooked black beans, and serve with a basket of steaming tortillas, extra cheese and avocado.


2 c corn kernels

½ c diced red onion
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 red bell pepper, diced
½ c crumbled cotija or feta cheese
Fresh cilantro garnish

Combine vegetables in a medium bowl. Toss with ½ c vinaigrette, or to taste. Let sit for 30 minutes to let the flavors combine. Just before serving, top with cheese and fresh cilantro. Pass remaining vinaigrette.


2/3 c lime juice (5-6 limes)
½ c apple cider vinegar
2/3 c fresh cilantro leaves
1-2 T minced garlic
1-2 t Tabasco-type sauce
1 T ground cumin
½ t salt
¼ c vegetable oil

Combine all ingredients but oil in blender. Whirl until smooth. With blender running, slowly add oil. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Black Bean and Lentil Salad

(from Jennifer L.)

Serves 6 main dish servings.

2 c cooked black beans
2 c cooked lentils
1 t dry mustard
3 T minced garlic
1 T minced fresh parsley
1 T minced fresh cilantro
½ c rice vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 t salt, or to taste
2-3 T olive oil
1 t cayenne pepper
1 head butterleaf lettuce, washed & torn
2 red bell peppers, sliced into rings
2 large red potatoes, cooked and thinly sliced
½ c grated carrots or raw beets

Place the black beans in one bowl and lentils in another. In a third bowl, whisk together mustard, garlic, parsley, cilantro, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, oil, and cayenne pepper. Divide the mixture equally between the beans and lentils, cover with plastic wrap and marinate 1 hour in the fridge.

Line 6 plates with lettuce leaves, then top with rings of bell pepper. Arrange small piles of potatoes, carrots, beans and lentils on each plate, then drizzle the remaining marinade over all. Serve at once.

Plum Cake (Pflaume-Kuchen)

From Jennifer L.

Serves 8-12

4-6 sliced plums (or peaches)
10 T (25 g) butter
2 c (250 g) flour
½ c (80 g) sugar
2 t baking powder
1 egg
3-4 t water

Topping: vanilla sugar or white sugar & vanilla extract

Oven temperature: 390 degrees F.

Assemble with biscuit method: combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Cut in cold butter. In a small bowl, thoroughly whisk together the egg and 3 teaspoons water. Gently stir into flour-butter mixture, just until moistened. If needed, add extra water.

Set aside one-third of the dough. Press the rest into a greased square baking pan. Arrange plums on dough.

Bake for 20 minutes, then when the plums get juicy, remove from oven. Dab remaining dough over top the plums. Sprinkle with vanilla sugar (or white sugar and sprinkles of vanilla extract).

Return to oven for another 20 minutes, or until dough is done.