It will be Michelle’s birthday at the end of the week. Now that we are all fully vaccinated, she came down to spend the Memorial Day weekend with my family and I wanted to make us a good treat and to celebrate her natal day.
I had a recipe for chocolate cherry scones but I wanted to use my sourdough starter so I had to do a bit of experimenting as I didn’t want them to be too heavy.
We ate them out on the porch with coffee (Mom and Dad) and tea (Michelle) and juice (me). The scones are very flavorful and quite beautiful. The egg wash and cinnamon sugar made a lovely crunchy exterior and the interior was moist and filled with chocolatey cherry goodness.
Chocolate Cherry Sourdough Scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate morsels, roughly chopped
1 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, frozen
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sourdough starter
¼ cup milk
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and baking soda. Grate in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the chocolate chips and cherry pieces.
Add vanilla and milk to the sourdough starter and stir to loosen it up. Gently stir the mixture into the dry ingredients until dough forms a ball.
Turn onto a well-floured surface; knead very lightly and press together with your hands to form an 8 inch round. Cut into 8 triangles and place on a buttered baking sheet. Chill for 15 minutes.
Remove from refrigerator and brush with beaten egg wash and sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar.
Bake at 425° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and serve warm.
To freeze baked scones, let them cool completely and then wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Freeze up to 3 months. When ready to eat, let thaw at room temperature. Heat them up in the microwave for about 30 seconds to eat them warm.
As we get into late May, I begin to long for gazpacho. I’ve posted other recipes here and here but my current dilemma is that tomatoes haven’t come in locally yet. The ones available in the grocery store are from Florida and are varieties designed for transport. They just don’t have the juice or the flavor of those coming from the local U-Pick farm or farmer’s market.
Sometimes you have to improvise. In my case, that means a can of V8 juice, fresh squeezed limes and some ketchup.
When boiling shrimp, I recommend using the liquid Zatarain’s Crab and Shrimp boil but a tablespoon of plain kosher salt works just fine.
You’ll notice there is no salt added to the dish – the many flavors mean it isn’t necessary for taste but I put some on the table, in case the other diners wanted it (they didn’t).
This dish is amazing with the crunchy veggies, tender shrimp, creamy avocado and the lovely tomato based sauce. I could feel myself getting healthier after eating a bowl but, more importantly, the way the flavors complement each other made all of us go for seconds.
1 small head of garlic
1 small onion (red, white, yellow – any works)
1 ½ lbs small to medium shrimp, deheaded with shells on
1 tablespoon Zatarain’s® Concentrated Shrimp & Crab Boil
1 hothouse tomato
1 green bell pepper
1 – 11.5 ounce can V8 juice, cold
Juice of 2 limes (¼ cup lime juice)
½ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the top off the head of garlic. Place it on a piece of aluminum foil and drizzle generously with olive oil and seal the foil around the bulb. Put garlic package on a baking sheet. Quarter the onion and separate the layers. Toss generously with olive oil and place on the baking sheet with the garlic. Roast for about 30 minutes or until tender, flipping the onions layers over midway through cooking. The onion may finish roasting before the garlic so be prepared to remove it early. Transfer onion to chopping board and chop roughly. When the garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze out the softened garlic and place in a large mixing bowl with the onion to cool completely while the shrimp boils.
Bring a quart of water to boil in large saucepan over high heat. Stir in shrimp and Zatarain’s Concentrated Shrimp & Crab Boil. Cover and return to boil. Turn off heat and let stand 2 minutes or until shrimp turn pink and done. Pour off the water and place shrimp in an ice bath for up to 5 minutes. Drain and peel. Cut the peeled shrimp into bite size pieces – cut small shrimp in half and medium into three pieces.
Cut an X into the base of the tomato. Place in boiling water for 30 seconds and remove to a water bath for a minute. Take from the water and peel off the skin. Dice the tomato and place in the bowl with onion and garlic. Peel cucumber. Scrape the seeds out with a spoon and cut the cucumber into small chunks. Core and seed the bell pepper and dice. Take out the pits from the avocados and make slices into the flesh both length and widthwise. Peel the pieces from the skin. Place all the vegetables in the bowl and stir to combine. Add in the shrimp and stir well.
Whisk together the V8, lime juice, ketchup and olive oil. Pour over the veggies and turn to coat. If not eating immediately, place in the refrigerator to stay cold. Stir well before ladeling into bowls.
Serve with crusty bread – I had garlic bread on hand that worked well, too.
Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in Pueblo, Mexico as a victory over France in the battle over Puebla and what better way to join the celebration than to eat a traditional street food of the region.
Chalupas (also known as sopes or tostadas) consist of a fried tortilla base topped with meat, salsa and cheese. They are a quick and easy meal to put together, especially if you cheat with a grocery store rotisserie chicken. Picked from the bone and mixed with some mild salsa verde (I use a can from Herdez), means you really elevate the chicken to the next level.
With a slathering of refried beans, a generous amount of shredded chicken and topped with cheese and avocados – this is super flavorful and delicious meal.
Sala Verde Chicken Chalupas
10 corn tortillas
2 cups shredded chicken
1 – 7 oz can of Herdez salsa verde
1 can refried beans
8 ounce block of pepper jack cheese, grated
sour cream or Mexican crema
2-3 sliced avocados
Fry the corn tortillas in a little vegetable oil. Turn over as they start to brown and remove from the oil when crispy. Drain on a wire rack over a paper bag or paper towels.
In a mixing bowl, combine shredded chicken and Herdez Salsa Verde. Stir to coat chicken well and microwave until warm, stirring after 30 seconds to a minute.
Warm refried beans in a saucepan.
To serve, spoon refried beans onto each of the fried tortilla shells. Top with the salsa verde chicken. Sprinkle on cheese, add some sour cream and top with avocado slices.
Chorizo is a slightly spicy pork sausage seasoned with chili powder, garlic, cumin, oregano and other Mexican herbs and spices. As it can be a little spicy for me, I serve it with grits so I can cut the heat with the corn meal.
This is also the perfect scrambled eggs to put in a flour tortilla for a breakfast burrito.
I totally forgot to take a picture of the finished dish. Take my word for it that it tastes better than it looks.
Chorizo Scrambled Eggs with Cheese Grits
1 cup old fashioned grits (not instant)
2 cups water
2 cups milk
8 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
1 lb Mexican chorizo sausage
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
For the grits, bring water and milk to a boil. Whisk in the grits and stir vigorously to remove all the lumps. Once it comes back to a boil, cover the saucepan and lower heat to a simmer. Stir occasionally to keep clumps from forming. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until water is absorbed and grits have thickened. Add in cheese by the handful, stirring constantly until cheese is melted. Taste for seasoning and add salt, if desired. Remove from heat but keep covered to stay warm.
Remove the casing from the chorizo and add it to a skillet. Cut the sausage into pieces and cook all the way through, about 4-5 minutes until the color has browned. Once the meat is browned, add in eggs and let sit for minute without stirring. Using a fork, scramble the eggs with the sausage until at desired doneness.
Place together on a plate and dig in, eating a bite of chorizo eggs with a bite of the cheesy grits.