Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Savory Pie!

On Sunday we went over to our friends house for a breakfast pajama party. Riva made some awesome hand-held cheddar and broccoli pies ...something like these. They were crazy good, and watching Riva easily make pie dough, fill it, and bake it right in front of me made me wonder why I wasn't eating everything inside of pie dough! ...it's also been getting cold and rainy here, so perhaps the season also has sometime to do with my sudden lust for pies. Anyway, Monday night I made Italian sausage pot pie with a regular pie dough, then on Tuesday I decided to mix it up and use a biscuit dough.

I just used the standard Joy of Cooking recipe, cut in half:

1 cup All Purpose Flour
11/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1/3 cup Milk

Meanwhile, I made a stew out of what we had lying around...

Pork cutlets seasoned with Alex's chili powder

Once the pork was good and brown, I deglazed the pan and added chopped onions, garlic, carrots, and peppers. Then I diced the cutlets and put them back in the pan with some chicken stock, cumin, paprika, and cinnamon. Everything simmered until the pork was tender and the stock had reduced down to a sauce.

While the stew stewed, I rolled out the biscuit dough about as thin as I could get it and laid it a baking dish. Then I finished the stew with a ton of chopped cilantro and transferred the it to the dough covered dishes...

...I wrapped the dough around the stew and liberally brushed the tops with garlic oil.

These baked at 375 until the tops began to brown!

Mmmmmmm pie!

P.S. Biscuit dough totally still tastes like biscuits even if it's disguised as a pie shell.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Roasted Garlic Scones

I swear if it weren't for my culinarily inclined department I would have nothing to post on my food blog during this first year of grad school!  A grad-student club, the Plant Student Group hosted a Garlic Festival a few days ago. Considering I have a garlic plant tattooed on my back, I felt rather obligated so show up.

At the last minute, I decided to attempt some roasted garlic scones to contribute to the garlicy potluck, and they turned out to be a great success! I peeled two whole bulbs worth of garlic, submerged the cloves in canola oil, and roasted them in the oven for about an hour. By roasting garlic in oil, not only do you end up with roasted garlic, but also roasted garlic oil! 

I strained the roasted cloves out of the oil, mashed them up, and added them to my favorite scone recipe, which I've blogged about before (here). Below is the full recipe, which originally comes from Chef Jones, who taught pastry classes at the CIA:

20 oz. All Purpose Flour
1.25 oz. Baking Powder
6 oz. Butter
4 oz. Sugar
4 oz. Milk (maybe more)
2 Eggs (okay to use extra milk instead of eggs)
pinch salt

Start with cold butter and cut it into the flour and baking power - mix just until everything is evenly combined, you don't want the butter to melt! (see my previous post for my favorite method for cutting butter into flour).

In a separate bowl combine the sugar, milk, eggs, salt, and any other ingredients (i.e. roasted garlic, fruits, nuts, etc.). The original recipe says to mix these together until it has a "shiny" consistency... I've never quite figured out what this means, just thoroughly mix these ingredients together! Also, I sometimes add an extra splash of milk if all the dry bits are not getting moistened.

Then mix the wet stuff into the dry stuff, being careful to just combine these and not over-mix it. You want an even consistency without kneading the dough too much - the more you knead it, the tougher your end product will be. I like to rigorously mix everything together with a fork, then squeeze a handful of dough in my had to see how it holds together. If it falls apart easily, add another 2 oz. or so of milk and mix it in with the fork and do the squeeze test again. To avoid kneading, just press the entire dough together in the bowl, then flip the bowl over on a floured work surface so the dough falls out. Press the dough together in any places where it's crumbling apart, otherwise proceed with rolling out the dough!

As you roll out the dough, keep it moving to ensure it's not sticking to the surface. Roll it out to about 1/2inch thick and then cut out scones. The chef I got this recipe from always cut his into circles (using a circle cookie-cutter), but you can cut yours into whatever shape you want.

Bake at 350F until they are golden brown on the bottom (about 30 minutes?). 

After my garlicy scones came out of the oven, I tasted one and though it did not taste garlicy enough (or were my senses just saturated by garlic at that point?). Anyway, I brushed the top of each scone with garlic oil and sprinkled them with some Murray River Salt.