Monday, April 18, 2011

Give Us This Day...My Way

Sometimes you get to do it your way.  Put your spin on it.  Make it your version.  Your own.   

Words are like that.  They give the writer the opportunity to make something extra with the ordinary.  Sometimes even the errors turn into a tiny bit of genius.  My daughter is an emerging writer and incredibly clever.  She has very definite ideas about things and is surprisingly observant.  She drew some pictures on cocktail napkins a few weeks ago and she did them her way.
A musical score is like that.  The notes are printed on the page, but the music is now...the moment it is performed.  Each time is a unique experience.  This weekend, the Father was the maestro.  Of the Brahms Requiem.  With over 100 voices and a full orchestra.  It was spectacular.  Glorious!  And he did it his way.
Life can be like that, if you let it.  Extra in the ordinary.  Little bits of wisdom in the daily motions.  Making something your own.  This weekend, I was the hostess.  And the mom.  And the chef.  And the bartender.  And the audience member.  And the party guest.  I enjoyed every moment of it (and consequently did not get my bread post up in a timely with it!)  I was quite spectacular...or at least my scones were!  And I did it my way.

Corn Bread Scones
These scones originally appeared in Cooking Light magazine, but over the years I have learned a few tricks, changed a few things and made this recipe my own.  Because I make a lot of scones, and they typically call for buttermilk in the ingredients, I have started using the powdered version which can be found in the baking aisle of your grocery store.  It keeps for months in the refrigerator...much easier than running out for buttermilk if you get the hankering for a batch of scones.  The directions here include the use of actual buttermilk, but if you go the powdered route someday, just add the powder to your dry ingredients and add water when the directions indicate to add the liquids.
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour, plus additional
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher
4 1/2 tablespoons chilled butter
1/2 cup corn salsa OR corn kernels
2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeño pepper (nacho style from a jar works great here but fresh is good too)
1 cup nonfat buttermilk

Optional topping
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Lime powder

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.  In a medium bowl, combine the 2 1/4 cups of flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.  Whisk until combined.  Cut the butter into small pieces and drop them into the bowl of dry ingredients.  If you have a pastry blender, use it to "cut in" the butter.  What you're doing here, is mixing in the butter with the dry ingredients, but not actually using a spoon to stir.  You can achieve nearly the same results by using two butter knives and slicing into the piles of butter pieces and the flour in a crisscross pattern (think kitchen ninja!) until you can barely see any pieces of butter left.  Stir in the corn salsa (you can also use frozen corn kernels or canned corn that has been drained) and the jalapeño pepper and mix with a spatula until the corn and peppers are coated with the dry ingredients.

3.  Add the buttermilk and mix well, adding pinches of additional flour until you can form a ball of dough that will not stick to the bowl.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly forming a ball.  Add more flour here if it is annoyingly sticky.  Scones are a very crumbly, floury baked good anyway, so you don't have to worry about adding too much flour.  Pat the dough into a 9 inch circle and place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray (or a silicone mat, or a piece of parchment paper).  Cut the circle into 12 wedges by pushing your knife into, but not all the way through the dough.  The process here is really more like "scoring" the dough rather than cutting it.

4.  At this point you have the option
of adding the sprinkle of flavor to the top.
These scones are fabulous with AND
without this extra step.  I have found a
powdered lime flavoring in drink aisle
of my grocery store that I mix with a
pinch of kosher salt.  Brush the top of
each scone with a bit of the milk and
sprinkle on the lime powder and salt
if desired.  You could also just use the
salt if you can't find the lime stuff.

5.  Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.  If you have used frozen corn, plan on your cook time being closer to 30 minutes or more.  Leave the circle of baked scones intact and move to a wire rack for cooling.  Gently cut them apart just before serving.

6.  Be prepared for your eaters to go wild over this clever alternative to classic cornbread and don't turn into the "Monstro" when they start picking at them before dinner is ready to be served.

1 comment:

  1. So when does Marge in Charge get her own blog?