Friday, April 19, 2013

Made to Suffer (part 2): Lemon Scones

Carl makes plans for another supply run with Carol if his father has not returned within a week. Beth assures him that Rick will return. Hershel is heartbroken to hear Carl's acceptance of the idea that his father may die.

The sound of voices from the tombs startles all of them. Carl insists on investigating but Hershel blocks his path. Carl reminds the older man that Rick would go and Hershel finally relents. 

Carl makes his way fearlessly into the bowels of the prison where he stumbles across and embattled group of survivors. They quickly rally when Carl aids their fight and leads them to safety. But their relief turns to fury when Carl locks them in their own cell block.

Their leader Tyreese however, urges them to stay calm. Tyreese assures Carl that they will not make trouble and are content with having secured shelter.

It would be a long night awaiting the return of Rick and the rescue party. With the arrival of new guests at the prison, Hershel would certainly ask Axel to prepare something good for breakfast. A sweet meal in defiance of the bitterness they have endured would be Axel's idea of a "good breakfast." 

Lemon Scones, made simply with five ingredients can be put together at a moment's notice. Hearty and satisfying, these scones feature buttery lemon curd in the dough and as a glaze. 

And when the dead rise; all guests get locked in the guest room.

Lemon Scones

2 cups flour
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
6 Tbsp. butter flavored shortening
1-10 oz jar Lemon Curd

Preheat oven to 425°. Alternately, heat campfire coals to red-hot and allow to turn to white-hot ash.

In a large bowl, blend flour, sugar and baking powder together. Using two forks, blend in the shortening using a cutting/mashing motion. Mash until the floured pieces of shortening are the same size as peas. Don't work in the shortening so much that the mixture becomes mushy or pasty.

Remove three tablespoons of the lemon curd from the jar and set aside. Stir the remainder of the jar into the flour/shortening mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon until all the dry ingredients are moistened. If the mixture is too dry, you may add water (1 Tablespoon at a time) until the ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix.

Using clean hands, gather the dough into a ball. Be sure to incorporate any dough that is stuck to the sides of the bowl.

Lightly flour a clean and flat work surface and transfer the dough to the surface. Using gentle motions, knead the dough five to 6 times. Pat or roll the dough into an 8 inch round that is approximately 3/4" thick.

Using a sharp knife (or a pizza cutter) cut into 8 wedges and place 1/2" apart on a baking sheet or baking stone.

Bake in a preheated oven for 12-16 minutes or until light golden on top. 

Alternately, place wedges in a greased cast-iron pan and cover tightly with aluminum foil or a tight-fitting lid. Place over a grill with preheated (white-ash covered) coals. "Bake" for approximately 10 minutes and check for doneness. Insert a knife into the center of 1 scone. Scones are done baking when the knife comes out clean. You may need to rotate the scones so they will bake evenly. Bake for an additional 6 minutes if needed.

As soon as scones are done, remove from oven or coals and brush the reserved lemon curd on the tops as a glaze. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Made to Suffer: Axel's Chicken Crêpes

While waiting on the return of the rest of the Group, Carl and Beth look after Judith. Wanting to be part of the Group, Axel sits next to Beth and flirts shamelessly with the girl. This does not go unnoticed by Carol and he is quickly put in his place. Despite his usefulness in preparing meals, his attentions focused on Beth is not something any of them will tolerate.

Axel's dinner that night was particularly inspired. Carol would no doubt wonder if he was trying to impress Beth. The prison pantry had enough staples to create special dishes as well as standby meals.

Elegant, yet understated, Chicken Crêpes are surprisingly simple to make using only pantry items. Unlike Beth, your group will be impressed.

And when the dead rise; don't make assumptions about anyone based on their hairdo.

Chicken Crêpes

1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening
1/2 cup flour
2 envelopes Béarnaise Sauce Mix
2 cans chicken meat, drained
1 (8 oz) can sliced mushrooms, drained
2 1/2 to 3 cups Almond, soy or dairy milk

1 cup Flour
1 cup Almond, soy or dairy milk Milk
1/2 cup water
Powdered Eggs to equal 4 Fresh Eggs
3 Tbsp. butter-flavored shortening
1 tsp. Sugar

For crêpes: In a large bowl, combine all crêpe ingredients and mix well. Allow batter to rest for 20-30 minutes while you prepare the filling.

For filling: In a large Dutch oven, melt the shortening over medium coals or medium heat. Stir in flour and stir constantly for 1 minute or until VERY lightly toasted. Stir in 2 1/2 cups of the milk (all at once) and stir briskly to blend and break up any lumps of flour. After mixture is well blended, add both envelopes of Béarnaise Sauce mix and stir well again to blend. 

Add drained chicken meat and mushrooms and bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly to prevent sticking. Mixture will thicken from the flour. It should be the consistency of stew, but if mixture gets too thick, simply add the extra 1/2 cup milk (2 tablespoons at a time) until desired consistency is reached. Keep warm while making crêpes.

For crêpe preparation: In a large skillet (preferably nonstick), melt a little shortening over medium heat or medium coals. You may also use nonstick cooking spray if you have it. Starting with a 1/4 cup measure, pour crêpe batter into pan. Tilt the pan around to allow batter to run and coat the bottom of the pan evenly. You may need to add additional batter to evenly coat the bottom, depending on the size of your skillet.

Allow to cook until top appears dry with a few bubbles. Using a spatula, flip the crêpe over and cook on the other side for another 30 seconds. 

Remove to a plate. Spoon 1/2 cup of filling down the center of each crêpe. Fold the sides inward to enclose the filling and serve immediately. Prepare the rest of the crêpes with the remainder of the batter, remembering to oil the skillet before each crêpe is cooked.