Monday, July 30, 2012

Summer Cooking

This summer, I found an electric juicer at a thrift shop for $3.  A good juicer.

I also had a hard time choosing watermelons.  No matter what, they all seemed a bit spongy or mushy.  Sweet, juicy, but with an unappealing texture.

The result was that I enjoyed a lot of watermelon juice.  "I" instead of "we" enjoyed it because my children are freakish changelings who for some reason don't like watermelon juice.  Weird.  Thankfully, they have redeeming qualities.

With my watermelon juice, I invented and modified other recipes to create watermelon limeade, watermelon-lime granita and tasty watermelon margaritas.  I have a thing about lime juice.

Watermelon Margaritas
Four reasonably-sized margaritas, or two Saturday-Night-At-Home sized margaritas
(As usual, my measurements are approximate.  If I ever write a cookbook one day, I'll get it more down to a science.)
3 cups fresh watermelon juice
2 tbsp - 1/4 c lime juice (to taste)
2 tbsp simple syrup
4-5 oz good tequila (or however strong you want it)
2-4 oz triple sec

Amounts of simple syrup and triple sec will adjust how sweet it is (plus a little alcohol).  If you don't like super-sweet drinks, you could probably leave out the simple syrup altogether.
Serve over well-crushed ice.  I think a sprig of mint would be nice, too, but I didn't have any.

Apple Buttermilk Scones with Apple Spiced Caramel Glaze
I made these on a day my kids asked me to bake something for them like muffins.  Then out of nowhere after morning tennis camp, one of them said, "Actually, I feel like a scone."  I thought that was a funny thing for them to crave, given how limited their scone-sperience is.  So, although it heats up the kitchen miserably in the summer, I baked.

Apologies to Nigella Lawson, who would slap me silly for making her simple, beautifully textured buttermilk scones into a complicated American-style mess.  However, they still aren't too sweet (the sin of many coffee-shop scones) and we really enjoyed them.  Plus, I can't follow a recipe.  I start getting ideas along the way, and I can't hold back, which is why I did the following in the first place, and I think Nigella could appreciate that.

So, I started with her recipe:

I mixed the dry ingredients as listed, substituting brown sugar for white, adding a bit of salt and adding an additional 1 tbsp flour 

I prepared apples:
  • Dice 1 large apple (I used red delicious because that's what we had but a tarter apple would add more flavor.
  • Grate about 1/2" of fresh ginger over the bowl and scrape all the juice and pulp into the apples (probably about 1tsp fresh ginger; the recipe could have taken even more)
  • Grate about 1/4 tsp nutmeg into the apples
  • Add about 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Toss lightly with fingers so the spices coat the apples
When preparing wet ingredients, I added about 1 tbsp honey, just because I had some and it couldn't hurt.

Before mixing wet into dry, I tossed the apples throughout the dry ingredients to coat them with flour.

Shaped and baked as directed.

For the glaze I started with this recipe because it was a caramel glaze that called for buttermilk, and hey, I had buttermilk from making the scones:,186,159187-229197,00.html

While cooking, I added the same spices to the glaze as were in the scones:  Cinnamon (maybe 1 1/2 tsp), nutmeg and ginger.  Instead of grating the ginger, I sliced a thick coin of it and cooked it in the glaze mixture.  The fresh ginger lent a great little punch of true spiciness.  I almost eliminated the vanilla, but I'm glad I included it because it adds to the caramel side of the flavor and lends a caremelly color. I cooked the glaze extra long because it didn't seem to develop much caramel color with the cooking time specified.  

When the scones came out, I let them cool a few minutes and then glazed them, let the glaze cool a little and gave them a second drizzling.  The glaze was really, really good, though pretty gooey.  I would love to get these flavors but figure out how to get more of the texture of a powdered sugar glaze.  It might have hardened up better if we hadn't eaten all the scones so soon.

I did freeze some unbaked ones, and they baked up nicely a week later.  The glaze kept in the fridge and I rehydrated it with some buttermilk and warmed it in the microwave. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

I appreciate your response: