Saturday, August 7, 2010

Mid-day Getaway

Yesterday was a very busy day, to say the least. It was the last day of my internship and I was preparing for the ceremony and showcase when I received the cutest message from my sweetie: "My friend cancelled our lunch date. Can I come home and eat with you?" Now, how could I feed him random leftovers after that? For the past 2 weeks I have been promising to make scallion, jalapeno, cheddar scones but with all the lunch and dinner meetings, I just haven't had a chance! So I got to thinking, what if I made them as part of a delicious, summertime lunch?

I got the recipe from this blog and this Ina Garten Recipe but, as usual, made a couple modifications:
What You Need:

2 cups flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks butter, cut into very tiny pieces
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 cup New Zealand Cheddar
3/4 jalapeno, with seeds removed and minced finely
3 scallions, chopped

Mix the dry ingredients. Cut in pieces of butter until they are the size of peas. This is easier to do since you've cut the butter into small pieces already.

Mix the wet ingredients.

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the wet.
Stir to combine. Then add the scallion, cheddar, and jalapeno and mix enough to just incorporate them. Turn this out onto a floured surface and knead about 6 times.
Roll out into a rectangle about 1/2 an inch thick and but into rectangles - between 8 and 9.
Place onto a baking pan and sprinkle with a little grated cheese. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 400 degrees and bake for another 10 minutes. The cheese should be melted and the tops should be golden.

Tips from the Chef

If you don't have buttermilk, which I didn't, you can add 1Tbs white vinegar per 1/2 cup of milk. Let this sit for about 15/20 minutes and the milk will curdle, which you want. Now you have buttermilk.

Use a cheddar cheese with body and flavor, otherwise you won't be able to taste it!

Using cold butter is key here because when it is Incorporated into the mixture and then hits the hot heat, the butter will pop and that is what makes the scones super flaky, not crumbly. You don't want to over-mix either because then they'll be dense and stiff. Over-mixing develops the gluten in the flour and so the mix becomes a stiff sticky.

I served the scones with a few slices of farm-stand tomatoes which we bought at the Farmers Market.

I also cut some corn off the cob and sauteed it with butter and added a little salt and pepper - VERY simple. Sometimes it is just better to remain faithful to the honest flavors of your ingredients.

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