Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘an american family cooks’

Griddle Scones_DSC_7141

 

This recipe comes from An American Family Cooks, my family cookbook which is published by Rizzoli. I will, from time to time, share recipes from the book. If you enjoy them and would like more, the book can be ordered from your local bookstore, Barnes and Noble, or Amazon.

This is my oldest family recipe. Unfortunately I did not know my mom’s mother who brought the recipe with her from Scotland where it had been taught to her by her Aunt Ann. The recipe card still reads “Gram’s Aunt Ann.” These scones would not be recognizable as such in modern bakeries that bake giant, fluffy fruit-filled mounds called scones. Most scones today have absolutely no relation to these flat, griddled gems which are somewhere between pancakes and biscuits. In fact, the recipe card says “Have griddle same heat as for pancakes and fry on a dry griddle.” They should be eaten hot off the griddle with sweet butter and homemade jam.

 

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 scant teaspoon baking soda

Sugar to taste

Salt to taste

2 tablespoons butter

Enough buttermilk to make a soft dough, usually about 1 cup

 

Combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. Add the sugar and salt – I use about 2 tablespoons sugar and no more than ¼ teaspoon salt. Cut in the butter using your fingertips.

Slowly add the buttermilk, beating with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms.

Lightly flour a clean work surface.

Scrape the dough onto the work surface and divide it in half. Pat each half into a fairly neat circle about ¼-inch thick and then cut each circle into 6 wedges.

Heat the griddle over low heat until very hot.

When hot, add the scones, a few at a time, and cook for 3 minutes to just set. Then, increase the heat slightly and cook for another 4 minutes or until the dough begins to puff up a bit and the underside has begun to color. Using a spatula, turn and cook for an additional 6 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Watch carefully, adjusting the heat as necessary, to keep the scones from burning.

Remove from the heat and serve hot with butter and jam.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

MickeyChoate

 

It is with deep sadness that I share with you the loss of our son, Mickey. His joy and enthusiasm in the kitchen filled our lives with great meals, stimulating conversation, and engaging laughter. He was diagnosed with 4th stage lung cancer in June and passed away in February after a valiant struggle that he (and his family) thought he could win. He was a runner, life-time non-smoker, and in perfect health when the cancer struck. For those of you who have read our recent cookbook, An American Family Cooks, I hope that I was able to share his grace in the kitchen and his love of cooking in a way that will keep him alive for generations. He is deeply, deeply missed.

Read Full Post »

Beef_G10_IMG_0363

 

Now doesn’t that sound a lot fancier than plain old beef stew or beef in red wine sauce?  Those French sure know how to make a culinary mountain out of a mole hill, don’t they?  However you say it, hunks of beef braised in red wine is one of winter’s most comforting meals.  I have a special method of making my version that helps give it a French-style, deep-dark rich sauce.  I chop a few handfuls of portobello or cremini mushrooms and add them to the braising liquid.  This adds an intense depth of flavor, but it also makes for a sauce with lots of little bits in it so before I add the whole or halved or quartered mushrooms and pearl onions, I strain the sauce so it is perfectly smooth.  We don’t have a photo for the finished dish ‘cause it is just too hard to make it look pretty – a photo of dark sauce and meat just doesn’t look very tasty to me. But, since I love my mushrooms they get a photo all their own.  If you have any interest in the “real” boeuf bourguignon, Julia Child and Simone Beck gave us the real deal in 1961 when it appeared in Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  If you don’t own the book, buy it – no cook should be without it.
The following recipe should feed 6 hungry people.

2 pounds lean beef stew meat, cut into large cubes
About ½ cup all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper
¼ pound piece bacon, slab bacon, guanciale, or other smoky cured pork product
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
½ pound cremini or portobello mushrooms
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
3 cups dry red wine
3 cups beef stock or nonfat, low-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 sachet (parsley sprigs, 2 bay leaves, 2 thyme sprigs or ½ teaspoon dried thyme tied in a
cheesecloth bag)
1 pound whole small mushrooms or halved or quartered larger ones
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
About ½ pound frozen pearl onions, thawed and well-drained
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Place the meat in a large bowl and sprinkle with flour and salt and pepper.  Toss to coat well.  Set aside.
If necessary, trim and discard the rind from the bacon and cut into cubes.  Place the cubes in a Dutch oven over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until most of the fat has been rendered out and the cubes are just beginning to be crunchy.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked bacon to a double layer of paper towel to drain.
Shake the excess flour off of the meat and then place the meat into the hot bacon fat.  Sear, turning frequently, until all sides are nicely browned.  You will have to do this in batches.  As browned, transfer to a plate.
Add the chopped onion and mushrooms along with the garlic to the hot pan and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms exude their liquid and the onions begin to color.  Drain off excess fat.
Add the wine, raise the heat, and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes or just until the alcohol begins to burn off.  Add the stock and tomato paste along with the sachet, stirring to blend.  Season with salt and pepper.  Return the meat to the pan, cover, and bring to a simmer.  Lower the heat and cook at a bare simmer for 1 hour or until the meat is just tender.
Remove the pan from the heat and, using tongs, transfer the meat to a plate.  Strain the braising liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl.  Wipe out the Dutch oven and return the strained liquid to it, along with the meat.
Add the whole or halved mushrooms and return to medium heat.  Bring to a simmer and cook for another 30 minutes or until the mushrooms are cooked and the meat is very tender.
During this last 30 minutes of braising, place the butter and oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.  When very hot, add the onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until the onions are golden.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onions to a double layer of paper towel to drain off excess fat.
Spoon the pearl onions into the braising liquid.  Taste and, if necessary, season with salt and pepper.
Spoon the stew into a large serving bowl and sprinkle with the reserved bacon bits and parsley.  Serve alone with lots of crusty bread to sop up the gravy or with noodles, rice, or mashed potatoes.

 

Beef

Read Full Post »

tuna Tartare

 

If you have followed my posts for a bit (or are the owner of our recent book, An American Family Cooks, Welcome Books) you will be familiar with (my son) Mickey’s passion for cooking.  Every once in awhile he shows up in my kitchen with his family (complete with dog, Lily) in tow and manages to turn it into a disaster area, using every pot and pan and dish that I have (and I have a goodly supply).  However, these photos will show you what results so you know that I don’t mind doing KP.  On the menu for his recent cooking marathon:
With our bubbly:  I made hummus (as always) as requested by Laurel, Mickey’s wife and Mickey decided that some baby Brussels sprouts I had would be just the right amuse – so he sautéed them with some pancetta and orange.
Then:  Tuna Tartare with Lime-Ginger Dressing followed by Seared Sea Scallops with a Melange of Purple Asparagus and Exotic Mushrooms followed by Hangar Steak with Balsamic Reduction, Gnocchi with Parmesan and Butter, Carrots and Snap Peas Poached in Butter.  For the kids, the big hit of the night seemed to be my mound of Vermont butter slathered on Italian bread.  Go figure……

 

scallops

Hangar Steak

Read Full Post »

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and that 2014 brings you all you wish for and more!!

2013_Christmas.IMG_0124

Read Full Post »

Company_Coming_MG_2625

 

If so, my son Chris pulled together an easy, but a so elegant and pretty dish while he was visiting us a couple of weeks ago.  We were having a big family cook-a-thon or actually a throw-down where every cook tries to out-do the others and Chris was nominated to do the fish course.  Often the recipes my sons create are extravagant and complicated, so it was amazing to see this simple dish appear.  I had purchased some opah (sustainable fish when caught by U.S. fisheries), a wonderfully dense, meaty fish that has a glorious pale pinky, salmon color when raw, but turns white once heat hits it.

First, Chris made mashed potatoes, but instead of making them buttery and rich, he beat in olive oil, the juice of one lemon, and some lemon zest along with sea salt and white pepper. They were smooth and almost refreshing.  He made a very light lemon vinaigrette flavored with chervil.  He cut the opah into small blocks and seared it briefly – or just long enough to make each side crusty while keeping the flesh moist and tender.  As you can see, I placed a mound of the potatoes in the center of our plates, Chris nestled a crusty piece of fish into the center of the potatoes and drizzled the vinaigrette all around the plate.  I fancied it up with a few tiny chervil leaves and Chris presented an elegant, easy, and wonderfully delicious fish course.

Read Full Post »

Willa

Along with a new book, our family has welcomed a brand new baby girl, Willa Elizabeth, who has just spent a week with her adoring grandparents (that be us!).  I even got to take her into the kitchen to help me cook.  It is thrilling to see the family line of cooks to continue.  Welcome to our lives and to the world, little Willa.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: