Thursday, July 30, 2009

Chocolate Chip Scones

Family Review: ***** Absolutely yummy!*****

Chocolate Chip Scones
Yield: 32 scones

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 Tbls. baking powder
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into slices
1 cup mini-chocolate chips
2 large eggs
2 tsps. vanilla
1/2 to 2/3 cup whole milk

2 cups powdered sugar
4 Tbls. water or enough for a thin glaze
1 tsp. vanilla

1. Whisk together all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in the butter; it's okay to leave some larger pieces of butter. Stir in the chocolate chips.

2. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, vanilla and milk together. Add liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until moistened. Add additional milk if the mix won't hold together.

3. On a well-floured surface, roll the dough into an 8" x 8" square. Cut the dough into 2" squares, for a total of 16 squares. Cut each square diagonally to form 32 small triangles.

4. Transfer to a parchment lined (or well greased) cooking sheet. They can be close together.

5. While the oven is preheating to 425 degrees F, place the pan of scones in the freezer, uncovered.

6. Bake the scones for 19 minutes and allow scones to cool on the pan.

7. Prepare the glaze. I transferred the glaze to a sandwich baggie, snipped a corner, and drizzled the glaze over the scones while on the parchment (less mess). You could also spread the glaze over each with a spatula.

** Sorry no pictures. Take my word for it, though, these are incredibly easy to make and taste great! I think I may try substituting blueberries for chocolate chips. I like the texture of this scone. They are not dense like some recipes, and neither are they too much like quick bread.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Gryo Meat

Gyro's are another favorite meal. I got hooked on them in Kearney, NE where my husband and I lived during the first couple years of our marriage. I've always wanted to attempt making them at home, but hadn't found a recipe(s) until a few months ago. Then, it was searching for ground lamb! I looked near and far for fresh lamb; finally one store carried it in the frozen meat section ... success.

Traditionally made with a lamb and beef combination, gyro's also have a special sauce called Tzatziki. They are usually on pita bread and include wonderful fresh veggies. My favorite Greek restaurant, Santa Lucia's, makes their gyro's wrap style. I recently sampled their gyro's again at the Fargo Street Fair ... first a helping of shredded lettuce, then a sauteed mix of onion, zucchini, peppers, and lamb. It's all topped with a dollop or two of Tzatziki and wrapped up in foil. Messy, but yummy. They might be prepared differently in the restaurant; I cannot remember.

As gyro's require a couple ingredients with 'steps' and time to prepare, today, I'm only baking the traditional gyro meat. I plan to freeze it in thin slices for a future gyro meal.

Gyro Meat
Yield: Approx. 10 servings

1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 lb. ground lamb
1 lb. ground beef
1 Tbs. minced garlic
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground marjoram
1 1/2 tsp. ground rosemary
1 tsp. ground dried thyme
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. sea salt

1. In a food processor, process the onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, black pepper and salt until finely ground. Mix the meats and onion/spice mixture together in a bowl. Mix well with your hands until well combined. Pack the mixture into a 3x7 inch loaf pan. Wrap tightly and refrigerate overnight to let the flavors blend.

2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

3. Remove the wrap and bake the gyro meat until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F (approximately 1 hour). Drain all liquid that has accumulated in the pan. Remove the loaf from the pan and place it on a rack set above a baking dish, to catch drips. Continue baking until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F (approximately 15-30 minutes more). Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before slicing. The finished loaf will be firm and slightly dry. Slice thinly.

*I forgot to take any pictures during the 'making' of the loaf. So, you'll have to settle for the 'baked' and finished product photo!

** I wrapped both loaves in plastic wrap, sealed them in a freezer ziploc bag, and froze them for later (when I have all the necessary ingredients). I also read that it's easier to thinly slice the loaf when it is slightly frozen.