Bacon Scallion Scones

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I grew up in a household where both my brother and I were asked at the dinner table whether we liked any boys or girls at school. No, this doesn’t mean did my brother like girls and did I like any boys. It meant, simply, do either of you like anyone of any gender? My mom was probing to say the least. As I got older, I rolled my eyes at her and ran off with my football player boyfriend.

A few months ago when I told my mom I was dating my co-worker Erika, she exclaimed over the phone, “Oh, I have always wanted a lesbian in the family.”

Was the fact that I nursed until I was two years old a self-fulfilling-prophecy for my love for boobs or love for food?

I am dating my co-worker lady best friend at a food delivery company. Heh.

Last fall, I took my favorite sweet scone recipe and tried to make it savory. It turned into a confused pastry that was strangely endearing and impossibly addicting – not unlike my relationship.

Erika and I ate nearly the whole batch while sitting on the couch watching The L Word. That’s right – screw you Jenny Schecter.

Makes 8 scones//Not really, but kind of, from America’s Test Kitchen

  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen whole
  • 5 slices of thick cut bacon (cooked and crumbled or chopped)
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/3 cup sharp white cheddar
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Maldon Sea Salt (optional)

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Score and remove half of wrapper from each stick of butter. Grate unwrapped ends on large wholes of box grater (grate a total of 8 tablespoons). Place grated butter in freezer until needed. You will not need the remaining 8 tablespoons, so go ahead and put it away.  Whisk milk and sour cream together in a medium bowl and refrigerate until needed.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in medium bowl. Add frozen, grated butter and toss with fingers until thoroughly coated. Fold in chilled milk mixture with a spatula until just combined. Fold in scallions, bacon bits and cheese. Do not over mix.

Turn dough and any floury bits out onto a well-floured counter. Lightly flour hands and dough and then knead it 6 to 8 times until it just holds together in a ball.

Flour your surface again because my dough stuck to the counter at first and made a huge mess. Roll dough out into a 12-inch square. Fold sides in to make a long rectangle. Then fold sides in again to make a 4-inch square. Transfer dough to a lightly floured plate and put in freezer for 5 minutes (do not over chill).

Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and roll again into 12-inch square. Loosen dough from surface and roll it into a log, then pinch the ends closed. Lay dough seam side down and press into 12 by 4-inch rectangle. Using floured chef’s knife, slice dough crosswise into 4 equal rectangles. Then slice each rectangle on a diagonal into 2 triangles.

Place scones on prepared baking sheet. Beat 1 egg yolk with a splash of water. Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle lightly with Maldon sea salt. Bake until scone tops are golden brown, 18 to 25 minutes. There may be grease from the cheese/bacon/butter spilling into the pan, but don’t worry, that will just create crispy cheese bits. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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Cornbread, Sausage & Pecan Stuffing

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I had always been curious about cornbread stuffing. I’m loyal to traditional stuffing, but couldn’t there be both?

My cornbread stuffing tasters were party-goers at a potluck I went to. It was a reunion for the group of people I went to Italy with last summer. Last time we had dinner, I made this wretched caesar salad. I used a recipe for the dressing that I have made so many times, so I thought it was foolproof; boy was I wrong. I sometimes overlook certain steps in recipes because I think they are silly. It turns out that rinsing the anchovies and patting them dry is very, very, important. The dressing was so fishy…I got a lot of flack for it from my friends. I learned my lesson, but I knew I had to show up with a note-worthy dish in hand to redeem myself.

It was a hit! This is a recipe I will absolutely revert back to. The cornbread is sweet, which balances the savory herbs and sausage.

Now when I see that group of friends they remember my excellent stuffing and, thankfully, not my fishy dressing.

8-10 servings//Adapted from Bon Appetit 

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more to grease the pan
  • 1 lb. day-old cornbread, broken into 1 1/2″-2″ pieces (9 cups)
  • 1 lb. breakfast sausage links, casings removed
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 1 1/2 cups of 1/4″ slices celery
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped toasted pecans (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs

Arrange racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat to 250 degrees. Butter a 13x9x2″ baking dish; set aside. Arrange the cornbread in a single layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Bake, stirring often until it is dried out. This takes about 1 hour.  Let cool. Transfer to a very large mixing bowl.

Meanwhile, cook the sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up into 1/2″-1″ pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to bowl with cornbread but do not stir.

Heat 1/4 cup butter in the same skillet; add onions and celery and cook, stirring often, until softened and just beginning to brown, about ten minutes. Add to the cornbread mixture.

Return the skillet to heat. Add vinegar; cook, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan, for 1 minute. Pour into a bowl with cornbread.  Gently fold in 1 1/2 cups broth, pecans, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. Add salt and pepper. Let it cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk 1 1/2 cups broth and eggs in a bowl. Fold gently into cornbread until thoroughly combined.  Be careful not to mash the cornbread. Transfer to the prepared dish, cover with foil, and bake until the temperature reads 160 with a thermometer or when the top is golden brown and hot (about 40 minutes).