Tag Archives: garlic

Cheddar Jalapeno Scones

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I’m going to start this off by saying I’ve never been a good bread baker.  I’m just too impatient, I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before.

I have this huge prejudice against baking bread.  It recalls to me memories of flouring a surface, rolling out bread, and repeating.  A cycle that seemed to go on and on and on and on For Hours.  And then there is my lack of an upright mixer, and thus a bread hook, which most bread recipes call for.  I’m not a muscular person, I’ve felt tired after poking bread dough, and I can’t imagine trying to do the kneading by hand.  Shudder.

My sister in law though.  Man she can bake some bread.  She’s great at it; she really puts me to shame.  I spent a week at her house and we had fresh bread every day, which of course had nothing to do with how we would eat all of it by the end of the day.  And of course, like someone who’s just enjoying a good thing, I never thought to pay attention to her while she worked.  So, for now at least, her bread secrets are safe.

Until then, I’ve managed to find a bread that has limited kneading and no rolling out with flour.  And you mix it with your hands, so as a bonus, you get to play with your food and eat it too!  I’m thinking this is a win win.

Enjoy!

Ingredients

2 cups flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

If you use salted butter, leave out the additional salt

1 cup Cheddar Cheese

2 green onions

2 tablespoons diced jalapenos, or other green chilies

You can also use 2 fresh jalapenos finely chopped

2-3 tablespoons minced garlic

Or 6 cloves fresh garlic finely chopped

1 egg

½ cup whipping cream

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Preheat the oven to 425OF

In a large bowl, and I mean one with tall sides because this is going to be messy, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Mix that once or twice, and then take the butter and cut it into the smallest pieces you can manage.  Mixing in the butter is the hardest part of this recipe.

You can either, take a knife in both hands and pretend you are an automaton by cutting the flour/butter mixture repeatedly.  The aim is to continuously cut the butter into smaller and smaller pieces, which is best achieved by just cutting the butter against the walls of the bowl.  Takes about 15 minutes.

Or you can get a hand mixer and make a mess by just beating it for the 15 minutes.  A small amount of flour will fly everywhere, but you don’t have to do the robot.

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Either way, the result is the same and it takes about the same amount of time.  Will look like ground graham crackers.

Yah, the hard part’s over!

Finely dice your green onions and add them and the remaining ingredients (the egg, cheese, green onions, jalapenos, garlic, and heavy cream).  Now put away your knives or your hand mixer, and mix this by hand.  Yes it will be sticky and slimy and flour will get under your nails, but isn’t it also fun!  And trust me; it’s easier than trying to mix it with the hand mixer or a spoon because, yes, I tried.

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By hand, it takes about 5 minutes to fully mix everything together and you should have a pretty sticky  dough that’s a lot more like chocolate chip cookie dough than bread dough.  I guess that’s the power of scones.

Pull off a section of the bread dough and roll it around in your palms until it makes a smooth ball, poking in any stray pieces of green onion or jalapeno.  You’re ball should be about the size of a ping pong ball, so add or subtract as necessary.  Repeat with the rest of the dough.

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If you end up with the last ball being smaller than all the others, instead of trying to bake it too, pull it apart and add a little bit to all of the other balls.  Try to keep them all about the same size.

Take a baking sheet and line it with a piece of wax or parchment paper.  This is to prevent the scones from burning on the bottom before they cook completely.  Place your bread balls on the baking sheet so that they are evenly spaced and there is space between all of them.

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Using the palm of your hand, press down gently on each bread ball until they just spread out a little, but do not squash them.  If necessary, readjust the placement so there is still space between them.

Bake for 10 minutes.  Be careful with these, they burn pretty quickly.  As soon as they come out of the oven, pull the wax paper off of the baking sheet.  This will keep the scones from continuing to cook.

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Start to finish, takes about 30-45 minutes and is a great addition to any dinner.  They taste a little reminiscent of Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits, and yes, unfortunately that means they’re not that good for you.  It’s okay, you bought that wii for a reason, or use milk instead of whipping cream for a significantly healthier but not as moist (and much more prone to burning) scone.

I served them drizzled with a little bit of oil instead of butter.  I hat to cut the calories down somewhere.

Enjoy!

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Honey Ginger Chicken

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I love cookbooks.   Just about any kind of cookbook really.  The silly little paperback ones in the grocery store that you thumb through while you wait and try to decide is it really worth $5, for me it never is.  The really old cookbooks you can sometimes find at Goodwill where the families all have 4 people and they call for monosodium glutamate.  And I really like cookbooks from the library.

It’s like the best of all worlds, you get to try the recopies, copy down the ones you like, ignore the ones you don’t, and then you return it.  You don’t have another cookbook in your house taking up space with recipes you’re never going to try and you don’t have to spend any money to buy it.

But there is one drawback to working with recipes from books.  Unless it tells you, you never can know where a recipe comes from.  Even though the recipe has some Asian ingredients, I just assumed it was an American recipe, I mean; Food Network has started to suggest using soy sauce as a salt alternative, that’s totally Asian.  By the way, have you ever looked at how much sodium is in soy sauce, I don’t think it’s an improvement.

But where things come from is important.  It puts things in cultural context, it helps you understand a lot more about the food, for instance, when I first got this recipe it called for breast meat, which made it really dry.  Since I like dark meat better, I had already started substituting sliced thigh meat when I was talking to some people from Vietnam and realized that this was a made-easy version of Ga Kho Gung.

I really want to try the authentic Vietnamese recipe, coming soon, in addition to what the Amrican version calls for it also has coconut water, and coconut is one of my favorite things.

But this is still one of my favorite recipes.  It cooks really fast, within 30 minutes if you’re using cut chicken, while the authentic recipe calls for an overnight marinating step, and it re-heats really well,.  I almost always have all these ingredients in my house so it’s something, not from a box, that I can really easily cook up just about any time.  And one time I took it to a BBQ and the kids kept coming back wanting more.  If the kids like it over hotdogs, you know it’s good.

Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 onion

1 lb chicken, or 4 legs

2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste

If you don’t have ginger garlic paste you can use 1 tablespoon each of fresh garlic and ginger.  If you want to use powdered ginger, use 2 tablespoons.

½ teaspoon five-spice powder

1 tablespoon fish sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons honey

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 fresh chili

Oil

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Traditionally this recipe should be cooked with boned chicken, but you can also use 1 inch pieces of boneless.  If you decide to do that, you might want to add a little more soy sauce because boneless chicken will dry out much faster.

First finely chop the onion.  I really like onions a lot, so I used an extra onion, another reason is that by the time you’re done you end up cooking your onions down to practically nothing and a little bit more is a good thing.

Deskin the chicken legs.  An easy way to deskin chicken, which is something I hate to do and usually make my boyfriend do, is to deskin it under running HOT water.  Hold the leg firmly in one hand, and take the loose skin around the thickest part of the leg and pull.  As long as you keep it under the hot water, it’ll be a little like pulling of a tight boot.

Heat around 3 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan until it is hot.  Fry the onions for about 30 seconds or until they are just translucent.  Add the chicken legs and cook, stirring and turning the chicken occasionally, until the onions are golden.

Add the ginger garlic paste and sprinkle the five spice powder over the chicken.  Stir well, try to coat the chicken.  Cook on high heat for about 2 minutes or until the chicken starts to brown and it can be pierced with a fork easily at its thickest part.

Add the fish sauce, soy sauce, honey, and black pepper.  Stir well; especially make sure the honey gets well incorporated.  Turn heat down and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.

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At this point, the chicken should be done, and since the leg bone insulates heat, it’ll cook pretty fast.  At the same time, since I can’t actually see if the chicken is done I tend to go for the cooked to death approach instead of risking eating undercooked chicken.  When the chicken starts to pull away from the bone you can be pretty sure that it’s done cooking, and it’s time to enjoy.

Just as a note do not use this recipe to cook chicken that has been frozen unless it has been defrosted for several hours.  You are depending on the bone in order to cook the chicken from the inside out, but if the chicken bone is cold, then it won’t insulate the meat and the inside won’t cook as fast as the outside.

Finely dice the chili and use as a garnish.  Personally, I’m a fan of my food being pretty spicy so I used 3.

Eat with rice and serve with any remaining onions.

In total, takes about 30-45 minutes.  This honestly has to be one of the fastest cooking dishes I’ve ever made.