When Easter is on its hippity-hoppity way, I often research and make some scrumptious Easter bread if only because there are so very many and they’re all so individually addictive. Once or twice, I’ve looked for a Scots version (as some of my folk come from Scotland), only to be disappointed because there really isn’t a Scots Easter bread unless you include Hot Cross Buns, which I guess you could in a pinch. (I think Hot Cross Buns are more Good Friday-ish. By the way, I made Nigella’s scrumptious version this year with a few easy twists I’ll share next Lent.) Last Sunday morning, I woke feeling a little sorry for myself –for both me the baker and me the Scot. Until I realized just WHY the Scots have no Easter bread. Who needs Easter bread when you’ve got God’s perfect bread — scones — hither, thither, and yon? (FUN FACT: Most folks in Scotland pronounce the word scone to rhyme with our pronunciation of the word done, by the way. So that’s skuhn to you and me!)Continue reading
It just happens that a lenten Friday Fish and St. Patrick’s occur on the same day this year. This is no lie: if you live in Chicago (and several surrounding areas) and are Catholic, you have special dispensation from the archbishop to eat corned beef instead of fish:
Ours is a merciful God. Chicagoland Catholics may enjoy the traditional corned beef and cabbage this Friday, despite the church’s practice of avoiding meat on Fridays during Lent. Cardinal Blase Cupich, leader of the Archdiocese of Chicago, has granted a dispensation. So have the bishops of the Joliet, Rockford and Gary dioceses.
This is also A Week of St. Pat’s Recipes, Friday…
There’s nothing like a scone. You can pronounce it skone or skahn, as does my friend, Marie, who’s from South Africa:
- “I asked the maid in dulcet tone
- To order me a buttered scone
- The silly girl has been and gone
- And ordered me a buttered scone.”
Long or short “o,” however you say scone, make a pot of tea while the scones bake and be sure your butter is softened–or your cream whipped, if you like that. My barely sweet little scones are a good foil for a savory frittata without moving all the way to sugar-high coffee cakes or Danish, which are more time-consuming at any rate. Along with some sliced (or grilled) tomatoes or a bit of salad, they round out a gorgeous brunch or lunch. If it’s brunch, you might stretch the occasion to include an Irish coffee for St. Patrick’s Day or another special Sunday.
Today’s frittata, laced with smoked salmon (an Irish specialty) and sautéed shallots and mushrooms, is topped with a horseradish yogurt sauce to highlight 38 Power Foods tribute to healthy, luscious yogurt:
|1/4 cup Greek yogurt + 1 tablespoon grated horseradish–Lovely for an omelet or grilled salmon.|
One cup of yogurt provides nearly 45% of your daily calcium needs, plenty of protein, many B vitamins, and minerals such as potassium and phosphorous. Best of all, though, is yogurt’s rich and healthful assortment of live bacteria that may help maintain the digestive system, boost the immune system, prevent yeast infections, and lower cholesterol. Calorie counts, as well as many other things, vary greatly between brands, but Chobani plain Greek yogurt is about 130 calories per cups and has 15 grams of protein.
smoked salmon frittata with horseradish yogurt
4 generous servings or 8 smaller ones
I used potatoes cooked the night before. If you need to cook potatoes, start with that. A quick way would be to microwave for 2 minutes or so and thensauté them with the shallots and mushrooms.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Pinch crushed rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped shallots
- 4 ounces thickly cut mushrooms (any)
- 1/2 cup chopped cooked potatoes, sweet potatoes, or a mixture
- 8 large eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 ounces smoked salmon, cut into 1/2-inch x 1 – 2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup Irish cheddar, shredded; divided (1/4 cup in the frittata and 1/4 cup for garnish)
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt/ I like Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon grated horseradish
- 2 large tomatoes, sliced
In a large sauté pan (12-14 inches in diameter), heat over medium flame the butter, oil, rosemary and pepper for one minute. Add the shallots and mushrooms; cook until softened, about three minutes.
Add cooked potatoes and cook another minute or two until potatoes are hot.
While the veg cooks: In a medium bowl, beat or whisk eggs with salt and stir in salmon and cheese. Pour egg mixture into pan and cook 3 minutes or until eggs are about half-set.
Meantime, in a small ramekin, whisk together the yogurt and horseradish; top with a grind of black pepper. Set aside.
Place pan in oven and let bake another 3-5 minutes or until eggs are set to your liking. Watch carefully at this point. Remove to a large cutting board, by banging pan on the counter a time or two to loosen eggs, and turning over quickly with a gentle slam to get the frittata onto the board upside down. Sprinkle with the other 1/4 cup of the cheese and let sit a minute before cutting into fourths or eighths, like a pie. Serve hot, warm, at room temperature, or cold with yogurt sauce and sliced or grilled tomatoes.
|Just out of the oven–the top is barely firm.|
|Bang and turn it out upside down onto a large board. Top with cheese.|
|Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm, at room temp, or cold.|
Notes: Frittata is an Italian word for omelet and is usually an open-faced omelet with vegetables and/or meats. While frittata ingredients are often cooked from scratch, it’s useful and expedient to use leftovers such as sliced ham or prosciutto, cooked shrimp, sautéed potatoes or asparagus, etc. Many people cook their frittatas totally stovetop; I prefer to start them on the stove and finish them in the oven–watching carefully to make sure they’re not over-cooked.
Frittatas are lovely leftover, julienned, for snacks with drinks or on an antipasti platter. They also make a great sandwich for someone just starved at next morning’s breakfast.
|I spent some time once on a sheep farm in Ireland. Lovely. Green.|
irish fruit scones adapted for American kitchens
original recipe by Edmund Cronin, THATCH COTTAGE, County Kerry
- 8 ounces all purpose, unbleached flour (1 3/4 cups approx.)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 50 g (2 ounces or 4 tablespoons) butter
- 50 g (2 ounces or 1/3 cup) granulated sugar
- 75 g (3 ounces or 1/2 cup) sultanas (raisins)–I used currants
- 1/4 pint/ 125 ml (1/2 cup approx) milk
- Preheat oven to 220 degrees C (425 F/ gas mark 7)
- Lightly grease a small baking sheet.
- Mix together flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in sugar and raisins or currants.
- Add milk and mix to produce a soft dough.
- Turn the dough onto a floured board or counter and knead about a minute until well-combined and holding together.
- Roll out dough to about 3/4-inch thick. Using a floured 2-inch cutter, cut scones into rounds and place on baking tray.
- Brush with milk to glaze.
- Bake 12 minutes or until done to your liking; I like them a bit crisp on the outside.
- Remove scones to a wire rack and serve warm or at room temperature with soft butter. (The Irish might serve these with whipped cream rather than butter.)
Buy a little package of Irish butter for these scones. You’ll be glad you did. Cows in Ireland are happy, happy campers and they make transcendent butter.
|Patted out dough waiting to be cut with a floured cutter or knife.|
Baker’s notes: I used a food processor fitted with a steel blade for steps 1-4, but I turned the mixture out and did the rest by hand, including working in the last of the milk. The dried fruit would be chopped finely if you continued in the food processor much longer. To do the whole thing by hand or with a pastry cutter would be fairly quick and simple, as well. Some cooks would just use their hands to get the butter into the flour; I find it melts too much from the heat of my hands and prefer a metal cutting force of some sort–either the pastry cutter or the food processor blade.
I made these scones Thursday for lunch (we need natural light for photography) and we –well, mostly Dave — gobbled them right up. You could eat a lot of these; mine were small. I’m making them again for Dave’s monthly men’s breakfast at church. I made the dough, patted it into a round, wrapped it tightly in plastic, and refrigerated it. My plan is to bake them and send them warm to the guys. I’ll let you know how it turns out. I, however, have no butter to go with them because I stupidly left out butter on the table from having friends over. Miss Gab ate all of it and then got into the soft cooking butter I keep on the counter in the kitchen.
|aka BUTTER GIRL|
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People always talk about the green in Ireland; I loved the oh-so-blue sky:
You can order smoked Irish salmon via Burren’s (North County Clare) from anywhere in the world here. or call T: +353 65 7074432.
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