Blueberry Lemon Scones

I keep waiting for the day I tire of scones, but it ain’t here yet.  Brunch at home today.  How can you have Saturday brunch and not have scones? 
BlueberryScone1Cmed

This is just my basic scone recipe, with some blueberries added.

BlueberryScone2Cmed
mmm…..can you see all that yummy lemon zest in the glaze?

 I’ll just link to the existing recipe. For these booberry ones, you skip the pistachios.  After you mix the dry/liquid, split the dough in half and make two  7″ flattened discs.  On top of one, spread out 3/4 c frozen or fresh blueberries, then lay the other dough disc on top and smoosh it into shape.  Slice bake and glaze like the other – remember! Brush on the glaze layer one right out of the oven.
If you’ve never baked w/ blueberries, you might be asking “why the two disc method? why not just stir them in the dough?” Blueberries seep out their color something fierce, and you’ll wind up with an unappetizing grey dough. Gotta keep ’em separated – especially if they’re the frozen kind.

BlueberryScone3Cmed

 

Mmmm. Scones. Bon apétit. Try these quick delicious bits, and share your results!

Nectarine Sorbet: Hello, summer!

 

Another three-ingredient miracle thanks to magic of the season.

NectarineSorbet5med
Ever have one of those recipes in your mind, and you can just imagine and taste how it will be. And then you make it, and it’s good. It’s yummy.  It is just not the mind-blowing deliciousness you had in mind? Yeah – that’s me this week.  But this was still a yummy treat, and it froze and reserved beautifully.

Nectarine Collage

My only complaint is I thought this would have a deeper nectarine taste. Then I remembered the ice cream Alton Brown lesson – d’oy – if it’s going to be frozen, it needs to be super-saturated in flavor and sweetness or it won’t taste right at the end.

Nectarine1med
See how the color lightened up, and it looks fluffy? That’s done!

 

That said, we totally ate this. It was delicious. Next time, I might try roasting the nectarines like the pears.

NectarineSorbet3Bmed

Or maybe leaving the fruit out until it is almost too ripe. Time will tell – stay tuned!

I am just not happy with shots for this post. Dammit. The pear shots turned out so great, and these are….meh. 

Kvetching aside, Bon apétit.
For the frozen nectarines
6-8 just ripe to almost too ripe nectarines.
1 lemon, washed and chopped in to chunks.
¼ c sugar.
For the sorbet
You *may* need a couple Tbsp of simple syrup or fruit juice.

DIRECTIONS
Blanche/peel the nectarines. Cut in to chunks (Mine were not free-stone, so I cut them up like a mango). Squeeze the lemon chunks with the sugar in a big bowl. Toss in the nectarines, and mix to coat with the lemony sugar mixture.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment. Spread out the coated nectarine chunks in an even layer. Put the tray in the freezer, and freeze until they’re hard. Remove from the parchment, and keep in a zip bag in the freezer for up to a couple months. (Ha! Yeah – like they’ll last that long)
OK – to make it, set in the cuisinart for 10-15 mins.
Once you’v tempered the frozen fruit, you just pulse it until it is creamy and lightens in color. You may need to add a couple tablespoons of simple syrup (or apple or orange juice).
Be sure to pulse – because one second you’ll have crumbles and then whoosh it comes together.
Fantastic fluffy texture using this technique
Could you do this without peeling the fruit? Totally – it will just have tiny flecks of skin throughout. I’ve tried it that way, but didn’t like the texture.
I thought this would be awesome in a bellini, btw. Haven’t tried it yet.

Servings 4
Calories 54
Fat 0 g
Sodium 1 mg
Carbs 14 g
Protein 0 g

Roasted Pear Sorbet

Dude – this has four ingredients. Four. And it is AMAZING. Remember those roasted pears from last week?

PearSorbet2Cmed

 

So, I put some in the freezer. Yes, fine, so I wouldn’t just eat all of them in one sitting. You got me. Then I started to think of that awesome banana “ice cream” you can make with just frozen bananas, and thought, “Hey! I wonder if I could do that with that bag of frozen roasted pears?”

 

 PearSobet3Cmed

The answer is YES.  It was amazing. But himself was not impressed. So, I added some minced candied ginger – and pop! He liked it!  I’ve read about this flavor combo tons, but never thought I’d like it so didn’t try it. This is delicious!

PearSorbet4Cmed

 

There isn’t really a recipe for this – take the Roast Pears post from last week, freeze it and then puree it in the Cuisinart. Stir in some candied ginger and serve. I can’t tell you if it freezes well at this time because….uh…..there wasn’t any left. Yeah. Try it, tell me what you think. 

PearSorbet1Cmed
And, hey! That garnish is those Martha pear chips I linked to last week.

 
Ingredients
1 batch roasted pears (peel/core/cube 4 pears, toss w/ lemon juice & sugar & roast 375* 40m), frozen
2 Tbsp. minced candied ginger
Instructions
Put the frozen pears in the food processor. Spin till a beautiful soft serve is formed. Stir in the ginger, and serve in frozen dishes.
Servings 4
Calories 2
Fat 0 g
Sodium 1 mg
Carbs 7 g
Protein 0 g

Roast Pears

Damn you, Costco. Damn you and your cute food. I can never resist the bags of those dainty and delicious Forelle pears. They beckon me, in their out-of-season-shipped-from-Chile voices. Pear bastards.

RoastPear2Cmed

Next to nectarines, pears are my favorite fruit. Fresh, they are a dream. But when it comes to cooking, they just lose their essence. Their delicate flavor is lost and a mealy texture remains. I thought when I discovered Pear Honey it would be the solution, but that’s just so damn sweet. (Yes, I see the word honey in the title. That stuff is amazingly delicious, btw, and you should make some immediately. But I digress.) 

RoastPear3BCmed

 

So, I’m walking past three pounds of pears on the dining table for a week, waiting for them to ripen. The magic day arrives – and I realize I have to eat three pounds of pears in the next 48 hours or they will go bad. What to do, what to do. 

RoastPearCUPbCmed
With spoonful of plain yogurt, a drizzle of honey and some fresh thyme. (Himself called that gilding the lily, and prefers them plain.)

 

So last night, I got out the mandoline and made some pear chips. (Thank you, Martha.) Yum! Need some chèvre to eat ’em, though.  This morning I woke up and said, chuck all – I will just toss them in lemon juice and sugar and roast them all. 

RoastPear1med

 

All in all, this was pretty easy. Any pear would work for this, although personally I wouldn’t use a Bosc. Mainly because they are a pain in the ass to peel and cube with that long skinny neck. D’anjou and Bartlet will do just fine, or the Farelle.

So, why roast? It cooks out some of the liquid in the fruit, and concentrates the flavor. That, with that tinge of caramelization makes for a more pear-tasting pear. Trust me, this is delicious.
Ingredients
4 large or 6 medium pears, just barely ripe
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ c sugar
Instructions
Heat oven to 375*.
Line two baking sheets with parchment.
Peel, core, and cube the pears.
Toss with the lemon juice and sugar.
Spread out evenly not touching on the baking sheets.
Bake about 40 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through. The bottoms of the pears should be just barely caramelized, and the top edges tinged golden.
Ways to eat them
By themselves, straight off the tray.
With plain greek yogurt (or crème fraîche), thyme and honey.
With whipped cream and sprinkled with chopped candied ginger.
On top of vanilla ice cream.
On top of yogurt.
Frozen and pulsed into a sorbetto/granita hybrid in the cuisinart with chopped candied ginger.
Baked in to a coffee cake.
Pulsed with some fresh pear cubes and a little simple syrup and made in to popsicles.

Servings 4
Calories 182
Fat 0 g
Sodium 3 mg
Carbs 48 g
Protein 1 g

Avocado, Blood Orange & Fennel Salad

Could you hear me squeal all the way to your house on  Saturday? That would be when I saw the blood oranges had arrived at Sprouts.  I just love their color. Of course I had to wander around the produce department after that, looking for something to make with them. The avocados looked amazing, and that sealed the deal. 

A blood orange, a bulb of fennel and thou....
A blood orange, a bulb of fennel and thou….

This is a delicate salad, with very subtle flavor.  Make sure your avocado is absolutely prime.  

AvocadoFennel1cMED

This is rich and smooth with the lovely anise crunch of the fennel. I liked it best after it had sat for about an hour, to let that nice heat from the jalapeno really soak in.  We have some left, and I am on my way to the store to get some shrimp to grill and serve with rest. Dang I wish I’d thought of that first.

AvocadoFennel3cMED

 

And, here’s a cheat on how to peel the oranges.
Ingredients
1 small bulb fennel, sliced in ¼” crescents
1 avocado, in ½ ” dice
3 blood oranges, peeled and sliced in ¼” crescents
1 tangelo, peeled and sliced in to ¼” crescents
¼ cup red onion, in ¼” crescents
1 Tbsp. jalapeño, in wafer-thin crescents
¼ c. minced italian parsley
Drizzle olive oil
Drizzle sherry or rice vinegar
S&P
Instructions
Assemble.
Chill for an hour.
Eat!
Notes
Would be amazeballs with some fat gulf white shrimp, grilled over mesquite. Served with a blood orange mimosa, of course….

Servings 4
Calories 202
Fat 8 g
Sodium 39 mg
Carbs 27 g
Protein 3 g

Purée de choufleur à l’ail et aux fines herbes

When I was growing up, mashed and vegetables together meant one thing: potatoes. Then I went to Paris – they call it a purée there. And you can purée lots besides potatoes – carrots were quite popular. Then I had a friend from New England tell me how her family always had mashed turnips instead of potatoes for the big feasts.  Food is so awesome – a virtual root cellar full of possible variations.

Take one bag of frozen cauliflower....
Take one bag of frozen cauliflower….

Forgoeing mashed potatoes when Himself had to change his diet was probably the most traumatic thing for me. Mashed potatoes are their own food group in my family. But, luckily there’s the interwebs. And friends.  Through some trial and error, I’ve come up with a great flavorful creamy purée that we look forward to at our house.  I’ve had a couple friends ask for the recipe, so here it is – Purée de choufleur à l’ail et aux fines herbes.  Although we just call this cauli mash at our house.  I was hoping if I fi-fi-chi-chi’d up the name a little, it would fancify things a bit.  Now, before you go any further please take heed: this is not mashed potatoes.  Let me repeat:  this. is. not. mashed. potatoes.  If you want something that tastes like mashed potatoes, you will need to actually eat mashed potatoes.

What this IS (caveat aside) is a delicious, rich, smooth purée that captures the slight sweetness of the cauliflower and garlic and which has a lovely creamy texture that goes great with roasted or grilled meats. 

CauliMash1MED
A little butter, a little garlic, a little sour cream, some herbs ….with and “h”.

 

Honestly, if we could eat real cheese in our house, I would totally put this in a buttered casserole and toss it in the oven with some cheddar on top. That would be freaking amazing. … …. if we could eat cheese. Not that I’m bitter or anything. Cheese. Damn my dairy-rejecting genes. Bastards.

CauliMash3MED
With a little daub of Kerrygold butter, of course. Because butter.

 

 

I really hope you try this one. If you like cauliflower, this is an awesome and fast side dish that will fill the craving for creamy spudnicks without a starchy overload. And remember it has herbs. With a fucking “H” in it. Try it!

Ingredients
1 20oz package generic frozen cauliflower
1 fat or 2 small cloves of garlic
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp sour cream or cream cheese (or, if you live at our house, Tofutti sour cream)
2 tsp. Penzey’s “Buttermilk” seasoning blend (or italian herbs if you don’t have Penzey’s lying about.)
Instructions
Put the cauliflower and the garlic in ‘wave safe bowl, covered, in the microwave on high until it’s quite soft and hot. That takes 9 minutes in my wave. Drain off any water that come out during cooking.
Put that and the rest of the ingredients in the food processor. (Or the kitchen robot, if we keep up our Frenchie trend.)
Pulse until it’s a delightful smooth concoction; you may need to stop and scrape down your sides. Don’t go too far, I’ve heard you wind up with a gluey mess. I’ve not experienced that, but best to stop before that happens

Servings 3
Calories 138
Fat 10 g
Sodium 66 mg
Carbs 11 g
Protein 4 g

Cucumber Watermelon Salad with Dill and Mint

CukeMelonSalad2Cmed
Sweet, salty, savoury, crunchy.

 

Are you ready to taste summer? I am. I have found myself daydreaming about the bounty to come – piles and piles of tomatoes and squash and melon. And the salads. Oh, the salads.  I find myself rejecting recipes of late if they involve turning on the oven.  Mind you, it’s not super hot yet. Not at all. It’s just that I’m ready.

So it’s safe to say the baking tornado of the last few months at The Yum are at an end. Which left me, well, idea-less for a post. After much guilt, I gave myself permission to say fuck all and go out for the day. Stop #1 – Za’atar for a falafel breakfast.  I fucking love that place.  Hopped over to Caravan while waiting for my order, and he had these gorgeous crates of mint and dill and cucumbers and eggplant and lemons and ……aaaaaah. I had to have some.

Those, some olives, some fig jam and sesame candies for Himself and away I went.

CukeHerbCollage

When I saw the watermelon in the fridge as I was putting things away, I knew what to make. And then immediately consume.

This is fast, and should be served and eaten immediately.  I even got to feel all fancy-pants when I rolled the dill up in the mint leaves for a quick chiffonade.  (Thank you, Sarah Moulton and FoodTV!) This baby is all about the fresh and crunch. Mmmmmm. Chompa-chomp-chomp.

You could totally add some cubed feta and a wedge of bread and call this summer supper (just leave out the salt if you do).  I inhaled mine as a snack. Couldn’t even wait to grill some chicken or something to eat with it.

CukeMelonSaladCmed

Come on, Summer. This just has me wanting you more.
Ingredients
2 c. watermelon in ½” dice
1 c. jicama in ½” dice
1 c. cucumber in ½” wedges
1 thin slice red onion, separated in to rings
Drizzle of olive oil
Drizzle of white balsamic or wine vinegar
Four or five fresh mint leaves and a thumb-sized sprig of fresh dill, chiffonaded
Dash of S&P
Instructions
Toss together and eat.

Servings 2
Calories 83
Fat 1 g
Sodium 6 mg
Carbs 20 g
Protein 2 g

Spicy Sweet Curried Carrot Salad

The pretty carrots were SO worth the extra fifty cents!
The pretty carrots were SO worth the extra fifty cents!

Another carrot salad in time for Easter.  Hmm…..maybe if this happens again next year, we’ll have a real pattern.

Anywho….got this bag of pretty carrots at TJ’s to cook with the brisket for Saint Pat’s. Only thing is, the red ones lose the red when cooked and just look normal. So, a cold recipe would keep the prettiness.

That was the first time we’ve had carrots in the house since himself had to change his diet – they are on the verbotten list, along with peas and bananas.  But I digress.

CurriedCarrot1Cmed

 

Hey, Mikey! He liked it.  I went easy on the hot pepper at first; when I added more Himself was disappointed that he could taste the curry less. Sigh. Your tongue can only process so much data at a time.

 CurriedCarrot3Cmed

 Give this a whirl. If you don’t have curry paste lying about, use powder. It’ll still be yummy.
For the salad
3 carrots, peeled then shaved in to strips
½ shallot, cut in to thin rings
¼ c. craisins or currants or sultanas
¼ c. pistachio meats
For the sauce
2 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. dijon
1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger root
1 tsp. curry paste
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
S&P
2 Tbsp. red or white wine vinegar
3-4 Tbsp. avocado or olive oil
Instructions
Use your veg peeler to shave the carrots. Cut the carrots in half across the middle first, or you will wind up with a papardelle like salad.
Put all the salad ingredients in a bowl.
Whisk together the sauce in another bowl.
Dress the salad right before serving.

Servings 4
Calories 134
Fat 5 g
Sodium 44 mg
Carbs 23 g
Protein 2 g

Madeleines au Citron

madeleines au citron
madeleines au citron

Froggy fantastic times continue at the Yum. Marcel Proust aside(ugh, shoot me now Aunty),  this week Cuisine A-Z featured a bunch of madeleine recipes. I’ve had these pans for years, and never used them. Probably because of Proust. But, it is now time.

Pan at the ready, with the necessary obscenely thick layer of butter and flour.
Pan at the ready, with the necessary obscenely thick layer of butter and flour.

I know a sprinkling of powdered sugar is traditional, but I won’t be delivering these until the next day. So, a lemon juice glaze it is – that should keep them nice and moist until the grandladies get to take a bite. I think of them whenever I make something with lemon.

mmm....lemon glaze....
mmm….lemon glaze….

These take less than ten minutes to mix and then ten to bake. Twenty minutes to tea time temptation – not bad, ya’ll. Not bad.
for the pan
1 Tbsp melted unsalted butter
¼ c AP flour
for the batter
3 eggs
½ c sugar
heaping ¼ tsp salt
¾ tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup AP flour
2 tsp lemon zest
6 Tbsp melted unsalted butter
for the glaze
½ tsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 c. powdered sugar
Instructions
Thoroughly butter the pan with the 1Tb melted butter, then using a flour sifter dust with the ¼ flour, jostle the pans a bit to get the flour in every nook and cranny. Tap out the excess. THIS STEP IS VERY IMPORTANT.
Heat oven to 375*
Whip the eggs, sugar and salt on high in the mixer for about two minutes, until it is barely pale yellow and super fluffy. Sift in the flour, then pour on the butter, lemon zest and vanilla. Mix quickly for acouple seconds until it’s homogenous.
Scoop heaping tablespoons of batter in to your prepped pan. Go evenly to the top or just below – don’t overfill, you’ll have a mess.
Bake 10 minutes until just *barely* golden at the edge, and they spring back when touched. After cooling for just a minute or two, test the edges of the cookies to make sure they are not stuck, and invert the pan.
Glaze when cool.
Consume immediately.
Notes
You can skip the glaze and just dust these with powdered sugar.
If you do glaze and don’t eat them immediately, the glaze will melt in to the cookie making the top slighlty sticky but ridiculously delicious.

Yields 24
Calories 94
Fat 4 g
Sodium 34 mg
Carbs 13 g
Protein 1 g

Cauliflower Bacon Bisque

So a couple Saturdays back, I needed to do something with some leftover bacon in the fridge. (I know, right?! How the HELL did THAT happen? I do not know), and that made me think of my mom’s potato soup when I was a kid. Only we don’t do potatoes now, but we do cauliflower and….wait! That’s it! And there you have it, another snap shot of the way my brain works. 

CauliflowerBisque3BCmed

Regardless of brain workings, this soup is delicious. And easy. And filling. And fast. Plus, bacon.
When I made this again for the blog, I had to cook the bacon. This added some time – so plan ahead and make extra bacon at breakfast, then hide it.

Three main ingredients.
Three main ingredients.

Ya’ll know we can’t do dairy so much, so I made this with cashew cream. And really, you should make it that way the first time because it is AMAZEBALLS. Or, wimp out and use heavy cream – because I am not your dairy police. That’s between you and your intestines.

BACON!!!
BACON!!!

Hey, look! There’s a slice of that homemade bread featured a few weeks ago!

Give this bad boy a whirl, and share your results!
For the cashew cream
½ c. raw cashew pieces
¾ c. warm water
½ tsp. corn starch
½ tsp. nutritional yeast
For the Soup
20 oz. pkg frozen cauliflower
6 slices thick-cut bacon (about 6 oz)
2 Tbsp. bacon fat
½ white onion, coarsely chopped
¼ tsp thyme
¼ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
1.5 qt. chicken stock
S&P to taste
Instructions
If you are doing this with cashew cream: put cashews and water in your blender, set aside to soak the cashews.
For the soup
Cold pan fry up that bacon. Chop 5 of the slices and reserve the 6th to crumble as garnish. (Now, this is assuming you can control yourself around bacon. If you cannot, cook extra slices accordingly.)
Take 2 Tbsp of the bacon grease and use it to sweat the onions in a big soup pot.
Once they’re clear, add the thyme, nutmeg, cauliflower, chopped bacon and chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
Simmer about 20 minutes, until the cauliflower is fall-apart soft.
At this point, if you are using the cashew cream, put the corn starch and the yeast in the blender and set it on high/liquefy for about two minutes. You may need to stop/scrape midway. You should end up with a super-smooth mixture that looks like cream. Rub a drop between your fingers – it should not feel grainy. If it does, give it another minute or so until it is super smooth.
Scoop the cooked cauliflower (and whatever onions and bacon make it along for the ride) in to the blender. Keep the lid open a crack (so you don’t have a soup explosion) and puree until smooth. You may need to add a little broth to make it work. Pour all that back in to the soup pot with the broth and simmer about ten or fifteen more minutes. (If you eschew the cashew, put enough liquid in the blender with the cauliflower to puree it; then you can add 1 c. heavy cream and simmer for the same amount of time.)
Serve it up, garnished with some of that bacon and a sprinkle of more nutmeg.
Notes
This reheats great – I have not tried freezing it, but the next day for lunch? Super deelish.
And – this is soup consistency soup. If you want a super-thick, stand up your spoon kinda purée, cut the liquid in half. And use the food processor to purée instead of the blender.
Bon appétit!

Servings 8
Calories 197
Fat 12 gg
Sodium 430 mg
Carbs 14 g
Protein 10 g