Saturday, February 23, 2008

Raisin Scones

I don't know why I never tried making scones before. I guess I haven't really been into baking for long, and I generally bake for events rather than for myself, and really, what would people think if I showed up to a potluck dinner with a basket of scones? But I might have to do just that sometime soon, because these scones are too good and too easy not to make often.

I started with Alton Brown's recipe and tweaked a few things: butter for the shortening (vegetable shortening grosses me out) and milk for the cream (just because I didn't have any cream), a bit of extra salt for that great salt/sugar balance, and there's no way I'm rolling out dough this wet, so I did them like drop biscuits and they were awesome. Unfortunately, I forgot to preheat the oven, so mine turned out rather flat because the egg and baking powder reacted too long before they went in the oven. Don't be like me.
Raisin Scones

2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt (less if using iodized salt)
1/3 cup sugar
6 tablespoons very cold butter, cut into small bits
3/4 cup 2% milk
1 egg
Generous handful golden raisins
Cinnamon sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, mix together the first four ingredients. Add butter and combine with your fingers until the mixture (as recipe authors always say) resembles coarse meal. This means smooshing all the butter pieces as you mix. In a separate bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the egg and milk, then add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine. Throw in the raisins and mix again. Drop onto a cookie sheet or two (I used nonstick foil on mine, but the batter is buttery enough that they probably didn't need it) in roughly 10-12 biscuit-sized pieces. Sprinkle tops with cinnamon sugar. Bake for 15 minutes.
I'm sure there are plenty of awesome variations on this recipe, but I have such a weakness for raisin scones that I may never try them.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Smoked Sausage Thingamadoo

I've been eating the same thing for dinner pretty often recently, and as it's delicious, healthy and easy as pie, I figured I should mention it. I have no idea what to call it, but here it is. Core and thinly slice one apple (I used Fuji apples) and 1/4 of a large sweet onion. Throw them in a nonstick skillet with about a teaspoon of butter and cook over medium-low heat for about five minutes. Toss or stir occasionally so that nothing sticks, but keep a lid on the pan most of the time so the apples soften faster. While the apple and onion are cooking, slice two Johnsonville Smoked Turkey Sausages on the diagonal into bite-size pieces. Add them to the pan, turn up the heat to medium, and cook everything together, stirring every minute or so, for about five more minutes.

That's it. No seasoning except what's in the sausage. Takes ten minutes and very little thought, and since it's so easy to make in individual portions, no leftovers. (I hate leftovers.)