Lemon & Thyme Scones

lemon thyme scones

Lemon and Thyme Scones
2 cups Flour
2 tablespoons Sugar
2 tablespoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon Lemon Zest
1 tablespoon Fresh Thyme Leaves
1 1/2 sticks Cold Butter
2 large Eggs
1 cup Heavy Cream
Egg-wash (1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water)

Pre-heat Oven to 400 degree.

Cut the butter into cubes and set aside in the fridge to keep it cold.
In the bowl of an electric mixer add the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, lemon zest and thyme.
Stir it together with the paddle attachment.
Add the cold butter cubes and stir until the butter is distributed into the flour and the size of peas.
Mix the eggs with the cream and pour into the flour and mix until you have a shaggy loosely incorporated dough.
Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and kneed until it holds together.
Pat it into a rough rectangle shape, about an inch thick.
Cut with a knife or with a cookie cutter. Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
Brush with egg wash.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
Cool then drizzle over Lemon Glaze.

For the Lemon Glaze:
1 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Cream
Mix together well.
Drizzle over scones and allow to set for 5 minutes.

Paprika Chicken

paprika chicken

There’s nothing better than a pot of something yummy bubbling away on the stove when it’s rainy out.

Paprika Chicken
6-8 Bone-in Skin-on Chicken Thighs
Salt & Pepper
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 large Sweet Onion
1 teaspoon Sugar
3 tablespoons Sweet Paprika
2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
1 cup White Wine
3 cups Chicken Stock
1/2 cup Heavy Cream

Slice onions into thin half moons then set aside.
Heat a large stew pot or brazier with a lid over medium heat and add the olive oil. Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper and brown skin side down for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the onions and sugar and stir to make an even layer. Don’t add anymore salt, as the onions won’t caramelize properly. Saute for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add the paprika and tomato paste, stir to combine with the onions.
Add the wine and stir, allow to reduce for 5 minutes.
Add the chicken stock and stir well.
Add back in the chicken and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. (Temp 165 internal)

When the chicken is cooked remove it from the pot and set aside. Turn the heat up and boil the sauce to reduce and thicken. About 5-7 minutes.
Whisk in the heavy cream.
Add back the chicken and garnish with fresh herbs and a final sprinkling of paprika.
Serve with a crusty loaf of bread for dunking.

Sophia Spritzer

sofia spritzer

I thought it impossible to make Rose wine any better. This was very refreshing last weekend, as we finally got to experience a warm evening.

In a glass mix:
1 part Sophia Rose (or your favorite)
2 parts Berry flavored sparkling water (I used Talking Rain)
1 ice-cube (optional)
Add a spring of thyme for garnish

Weekday Cassoulet

Hearty, comforting fare for a winter’s night.

Weekday Cassoulet

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
10 Rashers of Bacon (Diced)
2 Packages Adel’s Chicken & Apple Sausage (or you choice)
1 Small Onion (Sliced)
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Pepper
2 Cloves Garlic (Minced)
1 Tablespoon Flour
1/2 Cup White Wine
1 16oz. Can Chopped Tomatoes
1 Tablespoon Fresh or 1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
2 Cans Great Northwest or Cannellini Beans
1 Can Black Beans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

On the stove top, heat an oven proof casserole pan or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil and the diced bacon. Cook until the bacon is crispy then remove and set aside.
Add the sausages and cook until just browned then set those aside too. (You’ll finish cooking them in the oven; you just want them pretty right now!)

Add the onion and cook until soft and slightly brown.
Add the garlic, pepper, thyme and a tablespoon of flour. Cook the flour for a few minutes, until it’s soaked up all the bacon drippings.
Whisk in the wine and the diced tomatoes, including the juice, until well combined and slightly thickened.
Drain and rinse the beans and add them to the pot. Stir gently to combine everything. Add a little more wine or water if the mixture seems too thick.

Add back in the bacon, stirring to combine. Add back in the sausages.

Cover and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Serve with baguette.

Salmon En Croute

I’ve simplified this seemly fancy schmancy dish for the week night. But really, it’s just plain simple from the outset.

Salmon En Croute

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

4 4oz. Salmon Pieces (skin off)
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon Fresh or 1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
1 package Puff Pastry (thawed)
Egg wash (1 egg beaten)

Start by patting the salmon dry. Then season with salt and pepper, spread each piece with Dijon mustard and, sprinkle with thyme.

Sprinkle your counter with flour; use enough so the dough does not stick. Gently unfold the puff pastry and sprinkle with flour. Roll out the dough so that it is about 2-3 inches wider and longer. Cut the dough in half, brush with the egg wash.

Place the salmon in the middle of the dough then, wrap the long sides around the salmon. Turn your little salmon packages over and slit the top several times to allow steam to escape. Crimp the open sides closed with a fork. Use the rest of the egg wash on the tops of the pastry.

Place your little “en croute” on a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until your puff pastry is golden brown.

Vegetable Tian

Lovely, cheesy, baked vegetables; enough said!

Vegetable Tian

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

1 Onion
1 Clove Garlic
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
2-3 Yukon Gold potatoes
2 Summer Squash
2 Zucchini
2-3 Tomatoes
1 cup shredded Gruyere Cheese
1 tablespoon Fresh Thyme
Salt and Pepper

Slice the onion and garlic, and, saute over medium heat, in the olive oil, for about 10 minutes.
Place the onions in the bottom of a baking dish.

Wash then slice all the vegetables to about 1/4 inch thick. Arrange the vegetable slices alternately in a fan or pin wheel shape over the onions, sprinkling each layer with salt and pepper.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.

Uncover the vegetables and sprinkle the top with the shredded cheese and thyme. Put it back in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until the potatoes have cooked through and the cheese is brown and bubbly.

The great thing about this dish is you can make as much or as little as you want, which makes it great as a side for a crowd or for just a few.

Dinner Tonight: Beef Sauvignon

I can never find Burgundy wine. Maybe it’s the same thing? Maybe I’m not looking hard enough. Whatever the case, I’ve always used Cabernet Sauvignon in my version of Beef Bourguignon.

Let me tell you a secret about this classic French stew. It’s cheap eats. It’s what you want to have when you are pinching pennies as hard as you can. I made this for six people for $6.34 per person.
Also, this is a great seduce a man or impress the in-laws meal.

Beef Sauvignon

1 large (7-10 lbs) or 2 small: Beef Chuck Roast
10 rashers of Bacon
8-10 medium Carrots
1 large Sweet Onion
1 bottle Cabernet Sauvignon
2 cups water
10 sprigs of Fresh Thyme
Salt & Pepper

Cut up your roast into large chunks, about 1 1/2 inch cubes. Trim off most of the fat. Season the beef with salt and pepper. (I’ll let you decided how much)
Snip the bacon into 1 inch chunks.
Peel and dice the onion.
Peel and cut the carrots into 1 inch rounds
Wash and strip the leaves off the thyme.

Heat a heavy bottomed stew pot over medium high heat. Brown the bacon until crispy, then remove and set aside.
Brown the beef in small batches on all sides. You’re not going for fully cooked just a browned crust on the outside.
You should be developing a browned stuck on mess on the bottom of your pot. This is good. Yur doin it rite! If the bottom is getting black, turn down the heat your pot is too hot.
After all your meat is browned, place it on the plate with the bacon and set aside.
In go the diced onions. Saute on medium heat for about 3-5 minutes.
Turn up the heat to high for just a moment and then add about a cup of the Cabernet and scrape the bottom of the pot freeing the lovely browned bits and stirring them into the wine until dissolved.
Turn the heat back down to medium and toss in the carrots.
Toss back in the beef and bacon and stir everything together.
Add the rest of the wine. Yes, the whole bottle.
Add about 2 cups of water or enough to barely cover the meat.
Bring the stew to a boil, Then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover.
Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the meat is fork tender. Skim the fat off the top of the stew every 1/2 hour or so.
If the finished sauce is not thick enough for your liking, mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 or 3 tablespoons of water. Stir this mixture into the sauce. It’s cheating yes, yes I know!
Sprinkle the thyme over the top before serving with a nice baguette.