Friday, January 15, 2010

Kitchen Stuff

Chamba pots --- cool.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Soup & Scones

Sandy's Broccoli & Chicken Chowder

2 chopped onions
4 garlic cloves (building up immune systems and this is a BIG pot of soup!)
Olive oil
Frozen broccoli
Chicken breasts
Salt, Pepper, Seasoning blends
Sharp cheddar cheese
Cream Cheese
Parmesan Cheese

Drizzle olive oil into a stock pot and add a small amount of butter. Sautee' chopped onion in stock pot for a few minutes and then add grated/zested garlic cloves. Let cook for a few minutes and then sprinkle flour (just about any flour works) over the onions and stir. It should make a paste of sorts. Add a quart or two of chicken broth, a generous pouring in of milk, lots of frozen broccoli and all the seasonings. I put chicken breasts in a Dutch oven and partially covered them in water. Brought the water to a boil and then simmered until the chicken was cooked. Cut cooked chicken in bite sized pieces and add to the soup. Let simmer as long as needed without drying out and then add a generous amount of sharp cheddar cheese, 1/2 to 1 cup of freshly grated parmesan, and 3 or 8 ounces of cream cheese. Cook on low until desired consistency. I kept mine on a simmer mat to keep it hot and it did very well. Hint: I didn't like how little actual bites of broccoli were left by the time the cheese was added so I brought the chicken broth from cooking the chicken breasts to a boil, added a Dutch oven full of frozen broccoli and cooked for a few minutes at full boil. I lowered the heat to let it simmer until tender and then added the broccoli to the chowder.
Hit for all the ages here! Well, we didn't let little Hailey Hope try it (she is four months) but Caden Michael (two years old) all the way up to Nandy loved it. We ate it with the bread recipe below:

New Zealand Cheddar and Onion Scones
My changes: doubled all the ingredients and used whatever cheddar cheese I had in the fridge. I also shredded my butter for easier blending but won't be doing that again. For those in America, I found a place online to learn 50 grams of butter equals approximately 1/2 cup/1 stick. I also used 2 percent milk instead of whole since that is what I had. From the recipe on is from the blog it came from and has no notes from me.

Place in a large bowl

* 3 cups of flour
* 6 tspns baking powder
* 1/4 tspn of salt
* 50 grams of butter (chilled and cut into chunks)

Next rub the butter into the flour until it looks like fine crumbs; make sure there are no big chunks of butter left in the flour.


* one small brown onion chopped finely
* 1/2 cup strong cheddar
* 1-2 tspns parmesan cheese
* 1/2 tspn paprika

Stir through to mix


* 1 1/4 cup of whole milk (you can use 3/4 cup of milk and 1/2 cup of plain yogurt for a softer scone)

Stir with a knife - or metal spoon to just mix and no more - do not stir the heck out of it - resist the temptation.

It should look like this - a slightly sticky dough.

Place your dough on a floured bench and knead lightly, until it just comes together, flour your hands as much as needed.

Shape gently into a fat rectangle, with the dough about an inch thick - be gentle with the dough, just push it into position gently. You will notice I said gently three - err no 4 times in this little piece of instruction - that’s because I mean it!

Cut into rectangles. I like to make mine fairly large in size, I normally cut 12 or 16 scones. If you decide to cut them smaller, keep in mind they will not take as long to cook.

Place on an oven tray fairly close together, with a small gap between each one. You want to give them room to expand, but also close enough that they join together as they cook to force some height into the scone also. So roughly 1 cm or 1/4 inch. Sprinkle a little grated cheese on the top of each scone.

Bake in a 220 C or 428 F oven for 10-15 minutes. Every oven is different, so keep an eye on your scones and take them out when they are golden brown on the top and springy to the touch. You can cut one of the larger ones in half and take a peek if you are not sure. If you undercook your scones they will be doughy.

Serve while warm from the oven with butter and don’t feel the slightest bit guilty about eating several.