Maple scones and clotted cream

I’ve loved scones for years now, but when I found this recipe my appreciation for scones went to the next level. The texture of Maple Tea Scones is amazing. They’re easy to make, too.

Maple Tea Scones
Ignore the part of this recipe about the Devonshire Cream, though. The one below is much better. I much prefer cream cheese over sour cream.

I nabbed the Mock Clotted Cream recipe from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette a year-plus ago; the clipping states that the recipe is from Lynne Rossetto Kasper, host of The Splendid Table, Minnesota Public Radio’s national food show.

Mock Clotted Cream
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until thick and smooth. Will keep, refrigerated, about 4 days. Makes about 1-1/5 cups.
Nutrition information: Each tablespoon contains 46 calories (92 percent from fat), 5 grams fat (3 grams saturated), 17 milligrams cholesterol and 13 milligrams sodium.

Clotted cream is also sometimes called Devonshire or Devon cream; it is a thick cream traditionally made by slowly heating cream until it thickens. It is used as a spread for bread or as a dessert topping. According to Wikipedia, Mongolia, India and the Middle East also have versions of clotted cream with different uses.

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Wild Rice Soup

Earlier this week I thought, a wild rice soup sounds good. So I looked around, and I found out such a thing exists. I checked out a few recipes — this one and this one seemed the most promising and the most like what I was seeking.

I ended up basically following the first one — I doubled the recipe, and I just used one package of chicken, about 1.5 pounds.

Wild Rice Soup

Wild Rice Soup
1 cup uncooked wild rice
6 tablespoons butter
2 onions, chopped
2 cup chopped celery
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste
2 (10.75 ounce) can chicken broth
4 cups milk
1.5 pounds chicken, diced

Prepare rice according to package directions. Cook the chicken in a large pot. Transfer the chicken to a bowl and melt the butter or margarine in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and saute for 5 to 10 minutes, or until almost tender.
Stir in the four and salt and pepper to taste. Add the broth and milk and stir until soup thickens.
Add the rice and the chicken and allow to heat through, about 10 minutes.

It’s quite tasty!

Oh, one more note: I made this with our wild rice mix, not straight wild rice. Not sure what the recipe intended, but I do like it this way. This wild rice mix consists of wild rice and brown rice.

Jambalaya

Jambalaya

I adapted this standby from a Better Homes and Gardens recipe for Chicken Jambalaya, but that company apparently tweaks its recipes and doesn’t have all its versions online.

Here’s my version:
Jambalaya
2/3 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green sweet pepper
1 pound smoked sausage, cut in bite-sized pieces
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/3 cup long grain rice
2 teaspoons drived basil, crushed
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Tobasco sauce
1 cup water, if needed

In a large skillet cook celery, onion, and green pepper in olive oil. Add sausage. Continue cooking until vegetables are tender but not brown.
Stir in undrained tomatoes, chicken broth, uncooked rice, basil, garlic powder, pepper and Tobasco. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer about 15 minutes or until rice is tender, stirring occasionally. If the mixture gets dry, add some or all of the water. Remove lid for last 5 minutes of cooking time, stirring more frequently.

Spaghetti with meat sauce

This is my own recipe, I’ve never followed a recipe and it feels like I’ve made this all my life. Today we had it with penne.

Spaghetti sauce
Brown 1.5 pounds lean ground beef in a large skillet, over medium(-high) heat. Chop and add 1.5 onions. Add 4 teaspoons of minced garlic. When onions are transparent and meat is cooked, add 3 8-ounce cans of tomato sauce and 1 can of diced tomatoes. This time I also threw in a small amount of leftover marinara sauce from the freezer. Add 1 tablespoon dried oregano, crushed, and 2 teaspoons dried basil, crushed. Add red pepper, black pepper and salt to taste. Simmer until ready to serve. Serve with pasta of choice.

Roast pork

Tonight we had oven-roasted pork with rice.

P put the roast in a pan with 2.25 cups of uncooked jasmine rice and enough water for it, plus 3 medium onions, roughly chopped. He topped the meat with prepared yellow mustard, garlic powder. He salted the rice (kosher salt) and peppered the whole pan. Toward the end he also added a can of cream of celery soup. Bake at 325° for 2 hours or until meat reaches temperature.

“The flavor didn’t get into the meat very well, I should have rubbed it in or something,” P said upon tasting it.

Shepherd’s pie

The recipe I follow for this dish is actually titled Hamburger Pie, but I grew up calling it shepherd’s pie, and Wikipedia supports my name for it.

Shepherd's pie

The recipe I use is adapted here from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, but I couldn’t find the same version online, so I’ll reproduce it here rather than link. The ones I was finding at Better Homes and Gardens all had condensed tomato soup in it. Ew.

Shepherd’s pie
Bake time: 20 minutes

2 cups mashed potatoes (or more)
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
9 ounces frozen green beans or 2 cups loose-pack frozen mixed veggies (I like peas and carrots)
scant 1/4 cup water
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon-ish of dried oregano, crushed
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 8-ounce can of tomato sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon pepper
shredded cheese to top

Make the mashed potatoes. Set aside. In a large skillet cook ground beef and onion until meat is no longer pink and onion is tender. Drain if necessary.

Stir beans or mixed vegetables and water into beef mixture. Cook, covered, for 5-10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, garlic and pepper. Bring to boiling. Transfer the mixture to a 2.5-quart casserole.

Drop mashed potatoes in mounds atop hot mixture and spread to nearly cover. If desired, sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Bake in a 375° oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Makes 4 servings.

I grew up having this as a way to use up instant mashed potatoes. Now I wouldn’t make it without real potatoes. Traditionally, I think of it having peas and carrots, but I make it with green beans at this point in life.

Beef stroganoff, variation on the theme

Last night I was late getting home, so P was cooking. When I called saying I was beginning the 45-minute journey home, he said he was making beef stroganoff — without the mushrooms. He dislikes mushrooms, but whenver I’ve made beef stroganoff, he just has to pick them out. For me, it’s hard to call a dish beef stroganoff if it lacks mushrooms. Per Wikipedia, though, mushrooms apparently aren’t a requirement. I responded, that he was also making it without sour cream? He said yes, as if he wasn’t aware it was generally used. The aforementioned article states that sour cream was part of the initial iteration of this Russian dish.

Regardless, he at the least made a variation on the theme of beef stroganoff. It tasted remarkably like the dish I’m used to. Another substitution he made, this time quite intentionally, I’m sure, was to use frozen egg noodles instead of the traditional dried egg noodles. Clearly this changed the texture of the dish.

Chop two onions, 1 1/3 pound stew meat in skillet, covered, let cook 30 minutes. Cook two packages of the noodles according to package directions. Drain juice off meat and onions, remove meat and onions from skillet and return juice to pan to use for roux. Add 3 tablespoons butter, 1/3-ish cup flour, and 4 cups milk and 1/2 cup cream, along with 1 cup of shredded cheese and salt and pepper and cook to thicken. Combine the meat, noodles and sauce in a large bowl. Serve.

Doh! There’s also garlic in the sauce, of course.