Monday, 30 January 2012

Irish Potato Scones

Well, we've been back from Cuba for a week, and I'm having a hard time getting back into regular life, but it's time to start making the attempt. I have to say I loved Cuba, and am already plotting how we can go back. I will also have a few posts to put up about it this week, I hope.

Meanwhile, there's still a ton of potatoes in the basement. I've made Scottish Potato Scones before. These are similiar, having less flour and so retaining a consistency half-way between a vegetable dish and a bread, where the Scottish ones are definitely bread-y. I can never decide which ones I like better, but it depends how I'm eating them I guess. I obviously don't peel my potatoes before I mash them, although of course you can if you want. These could have been a bit browner in my opinion, but I didn't have any bacon fat and had to use oil. I think it doesn't crisp up as nicely without the bacon fat, but these were still good.

12 scones
30 minutes - prep time, not including cooking the potatoes

Irish Potato Scones
2 cups mashed potatoes
1/4 to 3/4 teaspoon salt
2 medium shallots OR 1 small onion
2 tablespoons butter
1 extra-large egg
2/3 cup soft unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon bacon fat OR vegetable oil

The potatoes should be boiled, mashed and cooled; in other words leftover is fine, although they should not be too laden with butter and milk and so a bit on the stiff side. That's a good quantity of potato to be left over too, so it is best to plan in advance and set 2 cups of potatoes aside when they are first made.

Peel and mince the shallots or onion, and cook them gently in the butter until soft but not browned. Let cool and add to the potatoes.

Meanwhile, add the egg, flour and baking powder to the potatoes. Once the shallots go in, mix well. The result should be a stiff but workable dough; if not you may need to add a bit more flour.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Pat the dough out on a well-floured surface, using plenty of flour to dust your hands and the dough, to prevent sticking. It should be a scant half-inch, or about a centimetre, thick. Place on an oiled baking tray (or parchment paper on a baking tray) and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until firm and lightly browned around the edges. Best eaten hot, but perfectly acceptable when cold.

Last year at this time I made Belgian Endive with Blood Oranges & Honey and Mashed Celeriac with Buttery Leeks.

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