Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Scones and eggs with Londoners.

We had a couple of friends over for brunch this morning. I made oeufs en cocottes and cheese grits and cranberry-orange scones. They were all really good, and I feel boring (I'm watching 10 Things I Hate About You - boring enough for you?) so I'm just going to post the recipes (we didn't take any pictures.)

Oeufs en Cocottes:
Butter 2 ramekins and break 2 eggs into each one. Mince up some fresh rosemary (or whatever, though rosemary is my favorite, basil is also fantastic in the summertime) and sprinkle on top of the eggs; pour a couple of tablespoons of heavy cream over it and cover in freshly grated parmesan. Put into a bain marie of boiling water and bake for about 8-16 minutes (the timing is different every single time I do them, but they WILL still look jiggly when you move them, b/c of the cream.) (This is also good with a slice of prosciutto under the eggs, but the lady guest was a non-mammal eater, so I didn't.)

For the grits I just made them like normal (1 cup of well-salted boiling water to 1/3 cup of regular-cook grits; simmer for 20 minutes or so, put in a knob of butter or a splash of heavy cream and about 1/2 cup of grated extra sharp cheddar and a dash of texas pete or mustard.) Serve with more butter and plenty of salt and pepper.

Scones: (this is based on Mark Bittman's Cream Scone recipe in How to Cook Everything)
2 cups soft wheat flour
1 scant teaspoon salt
4 tbs baking powder
2 tbs sugar
5 tbs cold butter
2 eggs
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup dried cranberries
dash of Boyajian orange oil OR a couple tablespoons of orange zest, minced very fine
1 tbs water
1 egg
1 tbs water

Proceed as for biscuits or piecrust: mix the dry ingredients together and cut in butter; beat eggs with cream and mix into dry ingredients along with orange tasting items of your choice. Knead VERY gently (only about 10 strokes - it will still be sticky and wet, b/c it's a very tender dough), kneading in cranberries. Cut into scone-ish shapes (I use a knife and make retarded triangles, but Mark recommends cutting them into rounds like biscuits) and brush with the last egg beaten with the tbs water; sprinkle with the last tbs of sugar and bake for 20 minutes, till well browned. I make orange butter (moosh butter with orange zest and a little orange oil and chill for a little while) to serve them with.


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