Category Archives: maine

roasted peppers {ffwd}

Roasted Peppers

I had a hard time generating enthusiasm for this week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie: Roasted Peppers. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it. In fact, they are delicious. It’s just that I regularly roast peppers, so it wasn’t the most exciting recipe for me.

On the positive side, I usually broil them. Ever the rule-follower, I tried Dorie’s “new to me” method of roasting them in a hot oven instead. Mary’s commented during the week that she had to crank the oven up from the recommended 425F to 500F. I took that to heart and started at 450F, figuring that if the first side of peppers wasn’t charring when it was time to turn them, I could turn it up further. My selected temperature worked like a charm. I’m not sure what would have happened at the recommended lower temperature, but at 450F, turning the peppers every 15 minutes, my peppers were done after 45 minutes.

Roasting Peppers

The roasted peppers rest in a covered bowl until they are cool enough to handle. I used the foil that lined the baking sheet, but usually I use a plate as a cover. Then, the charred skin is scrapped off, and the seeds and membranes removed from the insides. As the pepper are tidied up, they tear themselves into natural pieces.

The pepper strips are layered into a dish, sprinkled with salt and pepper and herbs (in my case, simply parsley) and then doused with fruity olive oil. Voila!

The roasted peppers made the perfect addition to our “grazing” dinner, or indoor picnic, alongside sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, beet salad, and the sweetest of summer corn.

To see what my French Friday friends thought of their peppers, follow their links here. To try it yourself, you can find the recipe here or in Dorie Greenspan’s bookAround My French Table.

Have a great weekend! I’ll be admiring the view of the lake here at our cottage in Maine. Can you hear Mama and Baby Loon calling?

Lake-August

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Want to Share a Cuppa?

Rustic Blueberry Scones

Tea is my caffeinated drink of choice. I drink cups and cups of tea everyday. My favorite is Extra Bergamot Earl Gray from Upton Teas. I’ll have an occasional espresso drink on the run. I don’t really care for plain old coffee, though I’ll sometimes order it in restaurants because the way most restaurants serve tea is abysmal. Don’t even get me started…

In the afternoon (or sometimes mid-morning), a cup of tea wants a little bite to accompany it. I think this is what scones were invented for. I like them just a little bit sweet and crumbly.

I’m constantly trying new scone recipes. My goal is to some day settle on two base recipes, one using cream or milk and the other with buttermilk. That way I can accommodate the current dairy supply in my refrigerator. My choice of mix-ins can always be combined into either dough.

I have a variety of flours in the pantry, most of them from Bob’s Red Mill, leftover from various recipe experiments. A local grocery store (though my least favorite one around) stocks a large inventory his products. I will visit that store for flour.

My recent favorite is buckwheat flour. I’ve been substituting it for some of the regular flour in assorted baked goods. I like the earthy undertone it adds, and the slightly purple color of the end product.

With a recent excess of blueberries, picked next to the dock of our Maine cottage, I had blueberry scones on my mind. Using some buckwheat flour gave my scones the rustic look I had in mind.

When you’re in the neighborhood, you’re always welcome to stop by and join me for a cup of tea, a scone (or two), and a chat!

Cuppa Tea with Scone?

Rustic Blueberry Scones
Makes 15

1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup buckwheat flour
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
10 Tbsp (1¼ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut in to ½-inch pieces
1 large egg
6 Tbsp buttermilk
¾ tsp vanilla extract
¾ tsp almond extract
1 cup blueberries, rinsed and dried

Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Measure the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse corn meal. (You can process about 10 seconds before starting to pulse, if you’re not that patient.). Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the eggs. Add buttermilk and extracts and whisk to combine. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until the flour is incorporated. Add the berries and stir gently to combine.

For each scone, scoop about ¼ cup of dough onto the baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. I use an ice cream scoop that’s about this size.

Bake the scones for 15-20 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry. Remove from the oven and let them sit for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet. Then transfer the scones to a rack to cool further, or just eat them warm!

I find that scones freeze well. If I take one from the freezer in the morning, it’s defrosted and ready for a quick toasting in the oven later in the day.

* Note that Bob’s Red Mill is a sponsor of the International Food Blogger Conference that I am attending later this week. In exchange for a discounted rate, I’ve agreed to write some blog posts about the conference and its sponsors. However, I purchased the flour myself and I’ve expressed my honest opinions in this post.