Out of the Jar

 
 

Cinnamon has really been on my mind lately.  I know, I know, it's such a common little spice, and most of us know precisely what to do with it.  Toss it with sugar on buttered toast or shake it onto a bowl of oatmeal.  But listen, it is not what you think.  First, I like its ubiquitous quality and I like the idea that we all think we know how to use it.  But I've been adding cinnamon to so many unusual dishes lately and with much success.  Let's think outside the jar for a minute and talk about new uses for that perfect, accessible spice you've been taking for granted.

Few folks would think of adding cinnamon to their tuna and tomato salad but not me. Cinnamon pairs well with tomatoes and you can feel free to throw a half-stick of it into a tomato sauce when you're feeling clever and strange.  (And don't forget to add a whole, peeled carrot to the sauce for added sweetness.)  Cinnamon doesn't strike the sauce as you might think but is subtle and smoky.  Think of that traditional combination of nutmeg and red meat and tomatoes in a ragu sauce.  It's not too far fetched to consider using cinnamon in the same way.  Throw a cinnamon stick into your next pot of beef stew and see if you can pick up that wonderful flavor.  What else?  Cinnamon loves lemon and you could make a smooth lemony, cinnamon sauce and toss with fresh pasta noodles.  Think of the Moroccan tagine and find the scent of cinnamon, along with many other aromatic spices, accompanying things like chicken and chickpeas.

Best of all is that cinnamon is considered one of the most healing of spices.  It can relieve diarrhea and nausea, counteract congestion and aid circulation.  It warms the body and enhances digestion, especially the metabolism of fats, among other uses. 

You can see now why I've had cinnamon on the mind.  You read a lot about unusual, exotic spices like saffron and cardamom, but we all know cinnamon and have a bit of it on the shelf.  It's important now more than ever to take a look at some of the most common foods that sit patiently in your fridge door or in the pantry and consider them in new ways.  Start with that jar of cinnamon by adding it to a tomato-based sauce or to a chicken and lemon dish.  Here's a recipe get started:

Pasta w/ Tuna and Tomatoes

Serves 4-6

MARKET/PANTRY LIST

1 small fennel bulb
1 small red onion
Extra virgin olive oil
Ground cinnamon
Fresh thyme leaves (or dried)
Red pepper flakes (optional)
Kosher or sea salt and black pepper
1 pound favorite pasta
1 X 28 oz can chopped tomatoes
2 cans oil-packed tuna
1 lemon (optional)
Refer to notes and variations

Look closely for a sustainable canned tuna at your grocer; it has a massive impact on your health and that of our oceans. Although it’s not in the recipe, I often will add a can of white beans to this dish, to give it even more texture and substance; play around and make it your own.

Flavorful Sauce

Put a large pot of water on the boil, and cover. First, chop off the long stalks from 1 small fennel bulb, and set aside. Wash the bulb itself under cool water, then halve it lengthwise on a cutting board. Slice it as thinly as you can, into half-moons, or chop it as you would an onion. Chop 1 small red onion, then put your widest and sturdiest skillet over medium heat on the stovetop. Once it’s hot, add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and then your fennel and onion. Add 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or ½ teaspoon dried), and a pinch of red pepper flakes (optional), and a good pinch of kosher or sea salt; stir and partially cover.

Is your pasta water ready? If so, add 1 pound favorite pasta, and cook according to the package instructions. Meanwhile, once your onion mixture is tender, add 1 X 28 oz can chopped tomatoes and 2 cans of oil-packed tuna (drained); break up and stir. Add another good pinch of kosher or sea salt and a twist of black pepper. Simmer for about 10 minutes, uncovered.

Coming Together

Combine your pasta and sauce together, either in the large skillet (if it will comfortably fit) or back into the empty soup pot. Add the zest and juice of 1 lemon (optional), a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and another pinch of kosher or sea salt and black pepper. Stir gently again, and check for seasoning. (If you did have fennel stalks set aside with fresh fronds on their ends, you can fold in some fronds to your dish too.)

NOTES & VARIATIONS

  • In the summer use fresh basil in this dish, rather than or alongside the thyme.
  • If you cannot source oil-packed tuna try using the best quality, firmest canned tuna you can find. It will work of course, but won’t give the sauce the richness it has otherwise.
  • This can be a tangy sauce/dish, with the amount of tomato and lemon; add as much or little lemon as you and your eaters may appreciate.
  • Rather than combining the sauce and pasta, you can serve them separately, especially if you’ve picky eaters at the table!
  • Add some shredded Parmesan cheese to each bowl of pasta before serving.

Bacon Awe

 
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This all began with the cancellation of Sunday waffles.

I bought two pounds of bacon in preparation for one of our regular rounds of Sunday Waffles. That’s a gathering we often host for friends and neighbors: we provide the skyscraper of waffles, scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, and strong coffee, not to mention a backyard trampoline (for the kids) and leafy deck to eat on, and our guests bring themselves and a bowl of fruit. But a couple weekends ago we were at the ready to host, groceries bought, linens washed, and then our friends cancelled due to a fever in their house.

Over the course of the next week I found myself working around the log of bacon. Meaning a crisped slice found its elegant way into just about everything. I am already working through our steady harvest of garden vegetables: tomatoes, zucchini, green beans, and didn’t realize how a bit of bacon could transform these vegetables and their dishes continuously.

I get it, bacon is already adored enough, but it’s a food I never really gave stature too. And now…and in summer of all seasons.

Bacon on top of homemade pizza with fresh tomato and zucchini—check. Bacon added to garden vegetable frittata—check. Bacon tucked in to tangy potato salad—check. Bacon peppered over green bean casserole—check. Bacon slipped in to a wild summer minestrone—check. Bacon to crumble over crunchy green salad with fresh corn—check. And so very many BLTs, what can I say. An ode has begun shaping itself.

This unexpected suitcase of bacon has positively surprised me by repeatedly smiling on my seasonal fare. We love these vegetables on their own (a warm handful of cherry tomatoes) and giving them center stage during their season (penne with seared zucchini). But bacon comes in like a little rouge on the lips, gently sharpening these already lovely things.

Tzatziki

 
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It’s time. Harvest. My arms overfill each time I walk through the vegetable garden, which is each day. It’s that time of year, when everything is voluptuous and a bit wild. A short row of bush beans is excitable and wishes me good luck with all the beans. Constellations of cherry tomatoes in and around each bed; they hide too. The zucchini, well you know. Peas, I can’t keep up and now most of you are swollen on the vine. But I love it. Beets and their greens, kale soldiers, chive fountains, basil and mint draping over it all. My favorite garden motion, tugging the hair of the carrots and twisting them up and into the lit world.

And then there are the cucumbers. Only a single plant this year, since I have learned that one happy cucumber plant can get overwhelmingly fruitful. Now that it’s mid-August our vine produces at least a single cucumber each day; that’s a lot of cucumbers, even for a family that loves them. Beyond pickling and slicing them into salads, I am always looking for ways to make most of our cucumber harvest.

Tzatziki, a cucumber and yogurt sauce, does the seasonal trick, since most of the foods (like grilled fish or meat, or fresh vegetables) it pairs well with are the foods of summer. Rooted in Greece, tzatziki is a traditional accompaniment to falafel, gyros, kabobs, baked potatoes, vegetable and pita platters, and is a refreshing partner to spicy dishes. If anything, this dish is fun and uplifting to pronounce.

I encourage you, especially this time of year, to build your meals around these seasonal aspects. Build around a seasonal sauce, such as this one. Why not?

Tzatziki

Makes about 2-3 cups

MARKET LIST

1 large English-style cucumber
Kosher or sea salt and black pepper
2 cups Greek-style yogurt (thick, and preferably whole-milk)
1-2 garlic cloves
Fresh lemon juice (1 tablespoon)
Fresh mint or dill (about 2 tablespoons)
Sugar
Extra virgin olive oil (optional)
Ground paprika (optional)

Salting Cucumber

Peel, seed (if necessary), and dice 1 large English-style cucumber. Place the cucumber into a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl and sprinkle over 1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt. Let the cucumber sit for 15-30 minutes, allowing the salt to draw the moisture (and any bitterness) out.

Meanwhile, stir together in a medium bowl: 2 cups Greek-style yogurt (thick, and preferably whole-milk), 1-2 garlic cloves (minced or finely grated), 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, about 2 tablespoons of fresh mint or dill (chopped), a pinch of sugar and a twist of black pepper.

Coming Together

Once the cucumber has relaxed pat it dry with paper towels, or gently squeeze it in a paper towel, removing any excess moisture. Stir the cucumber into the yogurt mixture and taste for further kosher or sea salt, or any other flavors. To serve, drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil (optional) and dust over some ground paprika (optional). Serve immediately, or chilled from the fridge.

 

Blueberries at Rush River

 
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Although we grow many berries on our condensed city lot: serviceberries, honeyberries, raspberries, alpine strawberries, I have never had the wherewithal or luck in growing blueberries. They are stubbornly particular about their living conditions, and I haven’t been the most hospitable gardener when it comes to keeping up. But even though our property blesses us with fruit, we are gluttonous, and so each mid-summer we pack a picnic and sunhats and bug spray, and drive an hour southeast of the city to the enchanted Rush River farm in Maiden Rock, Wisconsin.

Once we bend away from Hwy 10 things start rolling, green hills contouring, and all things lighten, including traffic. The car climbs steadily, up into the atmosphere of the Mississippi River Valley, where the bluffs are surprisingly majestic. Rounding a wide bend we take the familiar turnoff, and snake our way along the gravel road that eventually ends at the distinct white farmhouse. It is here where we gleefully pour out of the car, stretch our limbs, smell the air, and nod past the rows of gooseberries and currants.  We are here for the blueberries, and there are nine acres of them, soldiered endlessly down the hill.

My young daughter grabs her long and shallow cardboard box and darts into the berries. I won’t see her for a while, and when I do she’ll be flushed and a little lightheaded from eating too many berries too quickly. It’s inevitable and traditional; it is always hot when we pick and she can’t help herself. I like to pick alone too, and listen to the stories people tell one another while they pick nearby. I have heard some of the most tender things in those fields.

After the sun has overly-cooked us we have a picnic beneath an ancient tree, and sigh. Another year of blueberry picking is over, we lament. Time for heading back along the contours, where I’ll resolve what to do with our harvest. Always my first thought: clafoutis.

Blueberry Clafoutis

Serves about 6

The rustic clafoutis is a sturdy custard pudding that is studded with fruit. To me, it is delicate and refreshing, and a most elegant summertime dessert. Each year, at the height of blueberry season, after we’ve picked boxes of blueberries from our favorite U-Pick farm, this is the first dish our blueberries fold into. I bring this dessert to summertime potlucks since it is so simple to pull together, and is a bit of a nice surprise to those at the table.  Although this recipe asks for blueberries, any berry or any fruit really, can be substituted. Also, I ask you to bake this in a casserole dish, but you can always bake this into individual ramekins if you like. So much room for play! 

MARKET LIST

4 large, sustainable eggs
All-purpose flour (2/3 cup)
Fine sugar ((1/2 cup)
Vanilla extract
¾ cup cream
1 cup milk (preferably whole)
Kosher salt
Kirsch, cognac, or orange-flavored liqueur (optional)
2 cups blueberries
Powdered sugar

Making the Batter

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Liberally butter a ceramic or earthenware baking dish (about 2-quart size), or a 10-inch cast-iron pan or heavy pie pan. In a blender (or food processor, or large bowl) add 4 large, sustainable eggs (preferably room temperature), 2/3 cup all-purpose flour, ½ cup fine sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 3/4 cup cream, 1 cup milk (preferably whole), pinch of kosher salt, and 1-2 tablespoons Kirsch, cognac, or orange-flavored  liqueur (optional), and blend until combined.

So Simple

Add about 2 cups fresh blueberries into the baking dish in an even layer, and pour the batter over. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until it has evenly puffed and is golden, and is just firm to the touch. Allow it to cool on a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes; watch for the clafoutis to deflate a bit.

Once it’s cooled down, dust over some powdered sugar.  Serve it either in wedges, or spoon servings out. Serve this dish at room temperature, but store in the refrigerator, well-covered, for up to a few days.

Wake Up at the Farmers Market

Wake Up at the Farmers Market

It starts at the corner brat stand, where my tired senses come to life. Each Saturday morning, we funnel in to the rows at the downtown farmers market. The earthy stink of the raw milk sheep cheese pulls me to the right, but then I am jolted into a field of lavender baskets. Across the aisle is the small woman who fries egg rolls, and then all I want to eat is a paper cup of egg rolls. Most alluring are the tables of Hmong growers with their unidentifiable wares, and I flirt with their English-speaking children who tell me what is what. Amaranth, I’ll take some, Malabar spinach, what to do with that.

The farmer market is an adventure, a place to wake up, certainly a place to eat. Turns out, this week’s meal plan is a tribute to the farmers market. Nearly all on the shopping list can be found there, beyond your pantry staples. Here is a recipe from this week’s plan that goes to show, the simple and utterly flexible spring roll. A perfect dish for a long, quiet holiday weekend like this one; a communal dish to put together and eat together.   

Endless Spring Rolls

Makes 8 rolls (or as many as you like…)

Endless because there are too many ideas for fillings, and there are endless rolls to make. My eyes are usually wider than my belly when I sit before a long platter of spring rolls. This is a communal dish, to make and eat and share. My young daughter can fill hers with whatever she fancies, and they are so enjoyably clumsy to put together (at first). Rolling these takes a bit of practice, but after you’ve made one or two, you’ll get the hang of it. Keep in mind, these rolls aren’t ideal for storage, and so make them close to when you’ll be eating them.

MARKET LIST

Rice wine (or white wine) vinegar
Chili oil
1 garlic clove
3 tablespoons of roasted peanuts
Sugar
Rice vermicelli noodles (2 ounces/ 8 rolls)
Your Fillings (refer to the Endless Fillings section)
Rice paper roll wrappers (8 ½ inch)


Peanut Dipping Sauce

Make your sauce first; it will want to relax anyhow and allow the flavors to mingle. Combine in a bowl: 2 tablespoons of rice wine (or white wine) vinegar, 3 tablespoons of water, 1 teaspoon of chili oil (consider, this will add significant heat), 1 garlic clove (minced or shredded), 3 tablespoons of roasted peanuts (chopped), and 1 teaspoon of sugar.

Rice Vermicelli

Rice vermicelli noodles give these rolls a foundation and substance, but you can always omit them if you prefer. Soak and drain about 2 ounces rice vermicelli per the package directions, and set aside.

Endless Fillings

Consider that you’ll be using a handful of filling per roll. Here is a just an off-the-cuff list of spring roll fillings; please mix and match and make them to your and your eaters’ taste. Ready your fillings now and lay out on a platter or plate.

Protein: cooked (perhaps leftover) pork, lamb, shrimp, fish or seasoned tofu

Vegetables, etc: carrots (peeled strips, or matchsticks), mushrooms (sliced), cucumber (peeled strips, or matchsticks), avocado (sliced), spring onions or scallions (sliced), chilies (sliced), kohlrabi (matchsticks), radishes (sliced or matchsticks), Asian greens (shredded), cabbage or lettuces (shredded), summer squash (matchsticks), cress or sprouts, fresh ginger (matchsticks)

Herbs: Chopped or whole leaves of cilantro, basil, mint

Spring Roll Wrappers

Prepare to soak 8 rice-paper roll wrappers (8 ½ in.) individually, right before you are ready to fill and roll each parcel; this only takes a moment. (You are simply trying to rehydrate these dried sheets, and make them pliable for rolling.) Fill a wide bowl or deep plate that has a larger diameter than the wrappers with warm water, and soak the wrappers one-by-one by sliding into the warm water. Leave the sheet there for a few seconds—any longer and it will become too soft and sticky; you are really just dipping it into the water. Remove the moistened (but still slightly firm) sheet and place it on your cutting board; leave it for a moment before filling and rolling.

Let’s Roll

Arrange a generous amount of your fillings in a rough line about an inch away from the edge nearest you. Fold that shorter edge over and tightly tuck it below the filling, then roll again to secure it. Bring up the left and right sides of the paper and fold them over. Carry on rolling until you’ve rolled it entirely. Set the finished roll on a plate covered with a lightly-dampened tea towel while you perform the same theatrics with the rest of your spring rolls; protect the other finished rolls beneath the moistened towel.

You’re Done

Well, unless you’d like fancifully plate your rolls. Choose to slice them down the middle on the diagonal, and arrange them just so. No matter, serve with a small dish of dipping sauce. Voila!

Icebergs & Flip Flops: Spring in MN

 
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April in Minnesota is comic. Stubborn icebergs of snow along city boulevards we soon walk over wearing flip flops. Suddenly it is warm, very warm. But only after a historic blizzard swathed two weeks ago, we find ourselves propelled into the spirit of summer.

I sat surprised in the warmth of the new sun on our front porch, watching passers-by skipping and smiling along in their release from our brand of winter prison. I felt it too, I admit. Cold beer in hand, dusted-off sandals, a warm and familiar wind disarranging my hair.

Suddenly I am skipping a couple of months, April and May, the dead-zone period in Minnesota when local produce is painfully absent. Strawberries are conjured in the imagination, rhubarb is there too. Something cold to beat back the teasingly warm sun. And there it came to me: a fruity granita. The grown-up slushy, with pureed fruit, a simple syrup, and maybe some booze, or herbs or ginger. Yes, this should resuscitate, if even for a moment or a single warm day in Minnesota in April.

Try out this refreshing and palate-cleansing treat. Not at all difficult to make, but it does need a bit of your attention while it freezes: make this when you’re around for an afternoon (particularly a warm afternoon), and include the kids in the process.

Rhubarb & Strawberry Granita

Serves about 4

MARKET LIST

1 cup water
½ cup granulated or fine sugar
½ pound rhubarb stalks
2-3 cups strawberries
1 lemon

 

Simple Syrup

A simple syrup is the result of boiling water and sugar together to create a sweet base for many a cocktail and in this case, for a refreshing dessert. In a heavy, medium saucepan combine 1 cup water and ½ cup granulated or fine sugar over high heat, and bring to a boil. Once it boils, turn down the heat to medium-low, and allow the sugar to dissolve; about 2 minutes. Stir in ½ pound rhubarb stalks (trimmed and coarsely chopped). Simmer until the rhubarb is tender, about 5-10 minutes. Then set aside to cool slightly.

Blend and Scrape

Meanwhile, chop 2-3 cups strawberries. Add the strawberries and the rhubarb mixture (all contents from the saucepan) to a blender. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon. Puree until smooth, and then transfer to a baking dish (9-inch is ideal). Cover with plastic wrap and freeze. Using the tines of a fork, stir every 30 minutes, scraping edges and breaking up any ice chunks. (This practice ensures that your granita doesn’t just freeze into a solid block, but is loose and flaky.) Do this for 2 ½- 4 hours, or until it is finally frozen and slushy.

To serve, scoop into small serving dishes, wine glasses, or shot glasses. The granita can be kept frozen for up to a week, but it is best eaten with a few days of making it.

 

NOTES & VARIATIONS

  • Experiment with additions to this granita. For instance, rhubarb pairs well with ginger, citrus fruit, honey, maple syrup, mint, raspberries, and if you want to add a touch of booze, consider brandy, vodka, or Grand Marnier. Also, if you have orange blossom or rose water on hand (we’ve used it in recipes past), add a teaspoon of either of those into the blender to accentuate flavors. 

Cupboard-Inspired

 
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A strong pantry is a sexy thing. Really, it says I’m ready to go and want for nothing. It says give me a few minutes, maybe a half hour, and I’ll make you something delicious. It says listen: I’m organized, resourceful, potentially frugal (if that sort of thing turns you on), and probably improvisational, which speaks to creativity and flexibility.

Maybe. At least that’s what I vibe when I see a well-armed cupboard, but that’s me. I believe that a strong pantry (and by pantry I mean something bigger such as cupboard, fridge, and freezer), with its ground cumin and smoked paprika, canned beans and bulk grains, and eggs and lemon for example, has the potential to see you through many scrappy (but satisfying) meals on its own. 

But there’s more. Not only is a strong pantry a self-sufficient thing, it allows us to enhance what else we bring into the house. A rotisserie chicken, for instance. Using our staples, let’s pair it with some rice. Or shred it into a chicken salad with olive oil, herbs and lemon. The carcass, along with stock vegetables, can gift us a pot of broth. Further, our pantry can extend what we already have, such as dull-looking leftovers reinvented with an over-easy egg on top and a drizzle of good olive oil. (We do this often enough in our house.)

With further zeal I'll say this: a strong pantry offers us a foundation. And foundation is what we need with any practice; we can always refer to it and use it to step forward. I have a built an entire page on the Basic Pantry and still believe in its magical powers. Visit that list, and see how your kitchen stacks up. Be imperfect about acquiring these things at first. Do what you can, gather some of them on sale, and others from a little spice shop you just happened into.

Want more? Register for my Cupboard-Inspired class at the Mississippi Market Natural Foods Co-op in St. Paul. We'll discuss the build of a strong pantry, how to make the most of it, and chatter about all its benefits.

Meal Planning with Chef Kristin: Cupboard-Inspired

$18-22
Tue, May 22, 2018
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM CDT

Mississippi Market- East 7th
740 East 7th
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55106

REGISTER HERE

Ireland Revisited

 
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I arrived in Cork City, Ireland, on a spring day in 2005. But my luggage had not, nor my kitchen knives, or anything that tethered me to home. I was bare, and on my way to begin an adventure in cooking at the tiny and perfectly quirky Ballymaloe Cookery School for a spring/summer immersion course.

That program changed me. I walked in a little arrogant, expecting some affirmation of my culinary expertise. And then I let it all go. I really had to since the course was impressively rigorous, reaching far beyond my current scope. The school sits on its own working farm, where animals pasture and vegetables grow in abundance, all beside the shores of the Celtic Sea. All is collaborative and integrated, and that is the point.

The small group of us international students milked cows before dawn and baked bread in early ovens. We cooked difficult dishes in cramped kitchens, all under the serious eyes of instructors, including the matriarch, Darina Allen. This woman, in this unassuming place, really offered up the big picture on sustainable eating and cooking, down to saving kitchen scraps for the chickens who, in turn, provide compost for the garden beds.

I’ve been rereading her book Forgotten Skills of Cooking, and feel particularly soft since it’s March when St Patrick’s Day (a day, by the way, that is deeply unrecognized in Ireland) awakens our fascination with this faraway place. I always make a few proper Irish soda breads this month and bring them along as gifts. In Darina’s honor, here is my soda bread contribution in the way of scones.

Buttermilk Scones: Sweet or Savory

                        Makes 8 scones              

We make these all the time in our house; I could make them blindfolded, if it wasn’t for the hot oven. Whether or not they are sweet or savory, we always smother them with salted butter. This recipe looks long but that’s because I’ve folded in a bit of baking wisdom!

 

MARKET LIST

4 cups all-purpose flour (or in combination with whole wheat pastry flour; plus extra flour for dusting)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 large egg
15 oz buttermilk
Refer to any notes and variations

 

Apron On

Preheat your oven to 425°F. In your largest and widest bowl sift 4 cups, of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Mix well with your hands or use a whisk. Look below for ideas on adding any additions. Mix or whisk well again once you’ve added any addition. (Of course, you can also make these plain, without any addition; they are just as delicious.)

Into a large measuring cup (or bowl), break one large egg and whisk briefly. Add 15 oz of buttermilk to the cup (or bowl), and whisk well. Make a well in the dry ingredients, and add in most of your buttermilk, leaving behind  ¼ cup or so. (This leftover is insurance, in the case your mix is too dry, and also can be used to glaze your scones before they go into the oven.) Place your largest cutting board (or use a clean counter space) and dust it liberally with flour. If you are using a baking stone, make sure it is on the middle rack of your oven, or ready a cookie sheet with a length of parchment paper (not wax paper), or if you don’t have parchment, dust the sheet lightly with flour.

Now, using your hands (a fun, messy, and more direct approach) or a wooden spoon, patiently and little-by-little incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet, working from the inner reaches, circling outward. (This may be clumsy at first, but the more your practice it the more at ease you will become. The idea is to not overmix your dough, but to be light-handed; this will be at first an imperfect process. Overmixing diminishes the lightness of the final product). If your dough is still too dry and not coming together into a shaggy ball, add just a bit more of your buttermilk to tidy it up. Roll it out onto the edge of your cutting board, and then flip it over one more time to the middle of your cutting board; the flour on your board should prevent sticking. Rinse and dry your hands. Flour your hands and pat your dough gently into a circle with 1-inch height.

Oven-Ready

Divide the dough into 8 triangles, as you would for a pizza. With a brush, or your fingers, glaze each scone lightly with any remaining buttermilk and egg mix. Place each scone onto the baking stone, or your cookie sheet, and bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven down to 400°F and bake for a further 5-10 minutes, until they’re golden. Let them rest on a cooling rack.

NOTES & VARIATIONS

  •  For sweet scones, consider adding to the dry ingredients ¾ cup of dried fruit or crystallized ginger (chopped, if the fruit is large-cut), ½ cup chocolate chips or chopped bittersweet chocolate. For savory scones, consider adding to the dry ingredients a few tablespoons of a finely chopped fresh herb, such as dill or rosemary, or a seed such as cumin or fennel.
  • Store your scones in a Ziplock-style bag, well after cooling, or freeze any for later.
  • Beyond triangles, you can stamp your scones into any scone-favorite shape.