Archive for July, 2011

Rum Raisin Scones

July 23rd, 2011 by hafford

I call this grown up scones because the raisins are soaked in dark rum before cooking.    The longer the raisins soak in the rum the more intense the flavor gets.    The raisins will keep 8-10 weeks in the refridgerator so I make a large batch and have them ready.  The recipe below is enough for 12 scones. 

 Ingredients:

  •  1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 dark rum (I use Meyers)
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 granulated sugar
  • 1/2 kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream + 2 tablespoons to brush the scones with
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons demerara sugar

Place the raisins in a small saucepan and cover with water.   Bring to a boil then strain.   Now place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with the rum and let it set for at least an hour.     

In your mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, granulated sugar, and salt.  Toss in the cut up butter and place the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes.   Using the paddle attachment mix on low until the butter is broken up into pebble sized pieces (3 minutes). 

Strain the raisins reserving the rum.    Add the raisins to the flour mixture and beat just once or twice and evenly distribute them.   With the mixer still on low speed and add the 1/4 cup of rum and the heavy cream until the dough comes together.   Using your hands, knead the mixure in the bowl until the dough comes together completely.

Turn the dough out to a lightly floured surface and roll it into a 7-inch round – about 3/4 inch thick.   Using a sharp knife cut in 12 equals wedges – like a pie.    The wedges will look small but they will spread and rise in the oven!

Place the pieces on your baking sheet at least 1/2 inch apart.  Cover with plastic wrap and freee for 15 minutes. 

Preheat your over to 375.   Brush the scones with heavy cream and spinkle with the Demerara sugar.  Bake the scone for 20 minutes turning the baking sheet halfway through.   Transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Serve warm.

Hawaiian Waffles Recipe

July 20th, 2011 by hafford

Macadamia nuts and shredded coconut aren’t the only things that make this dish a summer time favorite.   I serve a tropical salsa along side it to finish it off.     Use whatever fruit is ripe and fresh at the supermarket.   Some of my favorites include mango, pineapple, & kiwi.   Don’t be afraid to try something different like starfruit or papaya to wow your family or guests.

For 6 Belgian Style Waffles

  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking power
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cups coarsely chopped raw macadamia nuts

Whisk the eggs until foamy and then whisk in the butter and milk.    Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the egg mixture and whisk until smooth.    The batter should not be so thick that you cannot run your whisk through it.   You can thin it out by adding a tablespoon or two of milk.      Fold in the nuts and coconut.    I like to let the mixture sit for 10 minutes before using.

Follow the instructions for your waffle iron to cook.   But a general rule of thumb is when the steaming from the iron stops your waffles are done!

Tips:

Instead of maple syrup, which can overpower the flavors of the coconut and macadamia nuts,  try a light or amber agave nectar.

Chop your fruit salsa into small bite size pieces just like a salsa and serve a heaping mound with each waffle.

Dinners at the Farm, Madison Connecticut

July 19th, 2011 by hafford

Dinner Madison CTWhat happens when great personalities come up with an idea to generate awareness of the importance and vitality of our local farming community?  Things like Dinners at the Farm happen.    And they’re happening right here on the Connecticut shoreline at Madison’s Barberry Farm and East Lyme’s White Gate Farm.

Beginning this weekend and continuing for several weeks you have the opportunity to eat delicous food prepared by some of the best chefs in CT and at the same time reconnect farming, cooking, and eating.  Each event includes a tour of the farm followed by a 6 course menu including paired wines.    And that’s not all.    Dinners at the Farm also strengthens our community by helping to raise funds for local agricultural and humanitarian non-profit organizations.

There are still limited tickets available so check out the schedule and tickets page today.  

Barberry Farms is just 2 minutes and White Gate Farm is just 30 minutes from our door.   Make your farm dinner an overnight stay and enjoy a continuation of great local food during breakfast at the Scranton Seahorse Inn.

It’s great to be in good company.

Strawberry Jam

July 6th, 2011 by hafford

As I mentioned in a previous post we’re very excited about our part in the CSA at Bishop’s Orchards.    Part of our share last week was a few quarts of strawberries.   Because we had such terrible weather this spring our strawberry crop here in CT was not abundant.  In fact the season lasted just a few short weeks and I didn’t even get out to pick any.   This is why the CSA is so perfect! 

Strawberry jam on the cooktop...

Strawberries are my favorite berry so I need to make homemade strawberry jam at least once a year.   Yesterday I made my champagne strawberry jam.    The perfect sweetness of the local strawberries, the sweet champagne and tart fresh squeezed lemon juice produced several jars of perfect jam.   

 My guests went crazy spreading it over my homemade buttermilk biscuits this morning.

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