Thursday, March 15, 2007

English Lemon Shortbread Scones

Brian Wood is a frequent and prolific contributor to the King Arthur Baking Circle. His recipes have always proven reliable, consistent, and delicious. To find more of Brian's recipes, and more - visit the Circle, and find thousands of recipes from many of the loyal members and contributors, as well as many wonderful recipes by King Arthur personnel.

Lemon is a flavorful complement to this traditional buttery shortbread recipe that is remarkably easy to make.

Preparation time: 15 min Baking time: 30 min Standing time: 30 min
Yield: 5 dozen cookies

Shortbread Ingredients:

2 cups butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 tsp freshly grated lemon peel
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Glaze Ingredients:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp butter, softened
2 tbsp lemon juice

Garnish Ingredients:
1 tbsp freshly grated lemon peel

Heat oven to 350°F. Combine all shortbread ingredients except flour in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy.
Reduce speed to low; add flour. Beat until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Press dough evenly into lightly greased 15x10x1 jelly-roll pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely.

Combine all glaze ingredients in small bowl with wire whisk until smooth. Spread thin layer of glaze over cooled shortbread; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon lemon peel, if desired. Let stand 30 minutes to set. Cut into 2-1/2 x 1-inch strips.

Another of Brian's wonderful recipes:

Blueberry-Pecan Muffins

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup cooking oil
1 egg, well beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries thawed and drained
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
4 Tbsp sugar
Dipping sugar
Melted butter

Mix together by hand the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in large mixing bowl. Combine the milk, vanilla, egg together and then add all at once to dry ingredients until moistened. Do not over mix. Gently mix the 4 tablespoons sugar, drained berries, lemon peel and pecans together. Fold the berry mixture lightly into the batter. Fill greased and dusted muffin pans half full. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 F or until done. While muffins are still warm, dip the tops in melted butter, then in the sugar.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Seasoned Skewers

One of the most innovative roasting, BBQing, and flavoring aids I’ve seen in a number of years is Callison’s Seasoned Skewers. They come in six different flavors: Thai Coconut Lime, Citrus Rosemary, Indian Mango Curry, Honey Bourbon, Mexican Fiesta, and Garlic Herb.

Callison & Sons is a family-owned supplier of botanical oils and flavors that has been responsible for putting the “mint” flavoring into chewing gum since 1903.

Barbecue, that very American way of flavoring and grilling meats has its history in the Native American Indian populations. Spanish explorers observed the Cherokees and Creek Indians of the Carolinas using crude wooden racks to smoke or dry fish, birds and meats. As they grew accustomed to the idea, the Spanish added beef and pork as meat components.

BBQ in the U.S. has many regional variations and traditions. Traditionally, the flavor has been added by either the material burned in the fire (woods, charcoal, etc.) or by rubs or marinades placed on top of the food. The problem with all of these methods is the need to use large amounts of flavoring material or having to prepare the meat hours or even days ahead to get the flavor fully infused into the meat.

Most seasoning forms use the outside of the food to adhere to, and then fall off during cooking or eating. Adding seasoning inside the food adds more flavor. These Seasoned Skewers are available in packages of 10 sticks.

Many foods, not just meats, can be flavored with this product: chicken, shrimp, halibut, zucchini, mushrooms, tiny red potatoes fruit, shrimp and turkey, and they are 100 percent natural. And one of the nicest things about them is that the sticks season from the INSIDE, out.

Seasoned Skewers started with a simple, but revolutionary, idea: what if we added flavor to our food from the inside out? In a world of marinades, sauces and rubs, flavor just doesn’t make it all the way inside. But what if the sweet tang of your barbecue chicken actually got past the skin? Imagine the center of your roast having the same garlic herb taste as the crust.

Seasoned Skewers to the rescue. The skewers are made from untreated, Maine wood and steeped in all-natural oils. So all you have to do is skewer your food, and it gets infused with flavor. The skewers do the work and your food tastes delicious-inside and out. It’s fast. It’s convenient. And, yes, it really works.

If you would like to learn more about the ‘Sticks’ and where to get them, visit the web site at They have some great recipes there as well.

Here's two of their exciting recipes.

Garlic and Herb Roasted Lamb Rack

Makes 4 servings

4 Callisons Mediterranean Garlic and Herb Seasoned Skewers
or other Seasoned Skewer of your choice
2 Frenched lamb racks (about 2 1/2 pounds total)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

There should be only a thin layer of fat over the meaty side of the racks; if too thick, trim fat carefully with a sharp knife.

Dry lamb well with paper towels. Skewer each rack lengthwise through the meaty portion with 2 skewers. Space the skewers so that there is maximum flavor infusion. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or refrigerated overnight.

Preheat oven to 450°F.

In a shallow roasting pan, set the lamb racks with flat bony side down with meaty side up. Rub lamb with olive oil and then season meat on all sides with the salt and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes, to 135 – 140°F internal temperature (medium-rare), or to the doneness you like. Let rest a couple of minutes before removing the skewers and before carving or serving. Carve into chops, cutting between bones.

Serve 3 to 4 chops per person. Serve with pan juices.

Seasoned Roasted Pork Loin with Pears & Onions

Makes 6 – 8 servings

4 Callisons Indian Mango Curry Seasoned Skewers
1 boneless pork top loin roast (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Pears & Onions
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 medium pears, unpeeled, cut lengthwise into eighths and cored
1 small onion, cut into 1″ dice
2 tablespoons chopped parsley or minced fresh chives

Pat the pork roast dry with paper towels, and insert the skewers through the meat lengthwise, spacing the skewers evenly apart for maximum flavor infusion.

Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or refrigerated overnight.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Smear the pork on all sides with the olive oil and season on all sides. Set the roast on a sided baking sheet pan.

To make the Pears & Onions: In a large bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, and salt. Mix in the pears and onions, coating well.

Distribute the pears and onions around the pork and drizzle the liquid over the pears and onions. Roast for about 40 – 50 minutes, or until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 160°F and the pears and onions are tender.

Transfer the roast to a platter to rest for 10 minutes before carving. Remove skewers before carving or serving.

With a spoon, move the pears and onions around in the baking pan to coat them with pan juices and toss with parsley or chives. Serve the pork, sliced, with the pears, onions, and juice spooned over it.

Recipes have been created by Chef Kathy Casey

Recipe from