On our way back east there was a night spent in New Orleans. In less than 24 hours we took in a classic dinner, po’ boys for lunch the next day with bread pudding and beignets squeezed in between not to mention a fair amount of bourbon. Enough with the wine we were in New Orleans after all bring on the cocktails. Dinner was the highlight of our tour of gluttony where I had Shrimp Tchefuncte from the Palace Cafe. I can’t even describe it because broken down into its individual ingredients it sounds rather average and it is not average. So a couple bites into this dish I’m panicking. Can I recreate this? I must have this in my life and often! With no plans to live in New Orleans (although that is one solution) I was filling a little desperate. A quick internet search came up with both the recipe and a little history about the dish. I’ve tackled Shrimp Tchefuncte twice now and while it doesn’t match the real thing…it is my current favorite for savory spicy comfort food. Try it for yourself.
Scones. If apple pie is American then scones are all New Zealand. On a picky side note they are pronounced ‘scahns’ here. Do those of Brit decent not know what a long O sounds like?
I’ve payed close attention to these goodies since arriving last November. By close attention I mean eating as many of them as possible. They are very different to the same named product back home. I made a decent cinnamon scone in Lexington. Ate a few really dry ones at different cafes until I learned better than to order them. Here though the scone is like a buttermilk biscuit plus something. That something could be dates, raisins or perhaps cheese with a bit of spice.
So of course now I must learn to make these treats as I can’t go back to America with out keeping perfect New Zealand Scahns in my life. Luckily we are house sitting for some Kiwis who know food. We spent a couple weeks with them before they left us here with their house and perfect scahne making kitchen. Advice was given.
“My mother used only butter knives to mix the dough.” “You MUST sift the flour and baking powder!” “Keep the dough cold.” “Mum grated in the butter.”
Various recipes were consulted. Different baking temps tried. And finally magic: yummy, buttery date scones. Here is the basic scone recipe from Edmonds, the historic, iconic New Zealand cookbook. •
Best Ever Scones Preparation Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 15 minutes
3 cups Edmonds standard plain flour 6 teaspoons Edmonds baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt 75g butter 1 – 1 1½ cups milk, approximately extra milk for glazing
Preheat oven to 220C. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Cut butter in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 1 cup milk and mix quickly with a knife to a soft dough, adding more milk if needed. Knead a few times. Lightly dust an oven tray with flour. Press scone mix out on floured bench or tray, cut into 12 even-sized pieces. Place on oven tray, brush tops with milk and place in top half of oven to bake. Bake scones for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Once golden brown with crisp crusts, remove from the oven and allow to cool. Cooling on a rack will give you crisp crusts, while covering them with a clean tea towel will give a soft scone. For Date Scones add 3/4 cup chopped dates, 1TBS sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon to flour before adding milk. Before baking sprinkle scones with mixture of cinnamon and sugar.