October 20, 2016

Dear friends,

Rats. I remember yet another original recipe I have lost. A loaf of coarse-textured cranberry-cornmeal yeast bread would go so well with fall stews and roasts, not to mention a Thanksgiving turkey.

I created the recipe for Second Helpings, my Internet newsletter when I worked at the Beacon Journal. The online recipes weren’t saved in the newspaper’s database, and I lost my copies in one of many computer blowouts. Gaaa!

If anyone out there has the recipe I’d be grateful for a copy. While I wait, I’ll nibble on a few cornmeal-cranberry scones. I found the scone recipe when I was searching the Internet for my cornmeal yeast bread. Sometimes my recipes turn up in other food sites, but not this time. The scones are pretty good, and almost satisfied my craving. The small amount of corn meal added to the flour base produces a texture that is slightly grainy and tastes of corn. This recipe is from the Ocean Spray Cranberries folks.

CRANBERRY-CORN MEAL SCONES

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2 cups flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup milk
3/4 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt in medium bowl and stir until mixed. Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender until coarse crumbs form. Add milk and stir with fork just until a sticky dough forms. Gently stir dried cranberries into dough.  Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead gently about 10 times. Pat dough into a 1/2-inch thick circle. Cut out dough circles with a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter and place on cookie sheet.  Bake 14 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 10 scones.

TIDBITS

Please change your copy of last week’s Ginger Beef with Black Bean Sauce recipe to read “2 lbs. beef tenderloin” rather than “2 tbsp.” Most of you had already figured that out, but I liked the comments that poured in regarding my mistake. “Are you sure that’s Tylenol you’re taking?” one reader queried.

THE MAILBAG

From Christine T.:
My father used your chicken liver and walnut pate recipe that was published in the Akron Beacon Journal 15 years ago or so. He has been unable to find a copy of the recipe. Is this something you can provide?

Dear Christine: Yes, and gladly. Although the recipe isn’t mine (I got it from a Silver Palate recipe calendar), I have been spreading the word about it for years. It’s the best chicken liver pate I’ve eaten – voluptuous with cream and cognac, and studded with bits of crisp bacon and crunchy nuts.

PATE MOUSSE WITH BACON AND WALNUTS
8 slices bacon, diced
1 lb. chicken livers
1/2 cup brandy
3/4 cup heavy or whipping cream
1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise
1 tsp. dried thyme
Large pinch ground nutmeg
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
3 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley

One day before serving, fry the diced bacon in a medium skillet until crisp. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. In same skillet, sauté the livers in the hot bacon fat over medium-high heat until brown on the outside but still pink inside, 4 or 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and reserve.

Pour the brandy into the skillet over medium heat and stir, scraping loose browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the cream and heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced to about 1 cup.

Process the livers, onion, and reduced cream in a food processor until smooth. Add the mayonnaise, thyme, nutmeg, salt and plenty of pepper. Process until smooth. Add the diced bacon, walnuts, and parsley and pulse just until blended. Transfer to a crock or decorative serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to blend. Serve with baguette slices or crackers.

From Debbie M.:
I’m gearing up for holiday baking. Do you or any of your readers know where bakers can purchase ground poppy seed? It’s rather expensive on Amazon and I prefer to support local merchants when possible. I placed an order for apricot butter on Amazon and purchased walnuts when they were on sale. I’m getting ready to make kolachy rolls but need ground poppy seed — my husband’s and son’s favorite. Thanks!

Dear Debbie: Leach’s Meats & Sweets in Barberton sells ground poppy seed filling for $3 a pound. No doubt other stores sell it, too. Check bakeries and stores in areas that have a large Eastern European population.

Leach’s is at 256 31st. St. SW, phone 330-825-4415.

From Maryann:
I enjoyed your comments about apples, pies, and dumplings. My mother used to make little dumplings with leftover apples and dough that we called “pagach,” which could be either of Slovak or Polish origin.

In your list of which apples were good for what, you left out the very excellent Courtland apples. They are the only ones I use for pies and most apple cake recipes. They retain their shape in a pie, but aren’t crunchy or mushy. They also seem to absorb the spices well. My pie recipe uses flour, sugar and cinnamon, and makes a light brown slurry rather than the clear gel-like sauce of most apple pies. People who say they don’t like apple pie have changed their mind after tasting mine!

Dear Maryann: Heck, I’m sold and I haven’t even tasted it.

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