Cranberry Walnut Scones: What a Wonderful Breakfast Treat

Last night before bed I was thinking what wonderfulness can I make tomorrow morning.

I have decided that we can eat “good for you” food every weekday but the weekends are special and we should have something even better.  So Sundays I make something wonderful like Lobster Rolls or a Pork Tenderloin Roast with Homemade Sauerkraut and Root Veggies or a Moroccan Roast Chicken with Guava Paste.  But Saturday morning should be special also.  So I remembered making scones once before.  The recipe was from a Rachael Ray cookbook and honestly it did not do it for me.  So I got on the computer and found a recipe from All Recipes.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/79470/simple-scones/

img_3434I of course made some changes and this is what I came up with:

Cranberry Walnut Scones

Heat the oven to 400 F.  In a medium-sized bowl mix the top 5 ingredients.  Grate the butter into the flour mixture and with a pastry blender or two knives cut the butter into the flour mixture. Do not use your hands as it will melt the butter. Add the walnuts and mix well, place in the fridge until ready to add the wet ingredients. In a separate bowl add the sour cream or the cream and vinegar mixture and set aside.  Add egg to cream and mix well.

Add your egg/cream mixture to your dry ingredients. With just a few strokes incorporate it – it will have dry ingredients that have not mixed well.  No problem just turn out onto a work area (I use a large plastic place mat).  With your hands knead gently until you have a soft dough.  Do not overwork, you do not want to melt the butter pieces. Just a few strokes with your hands should incorporate it into a nice dough.  Shape into a disk about 1/2 inch thick and approximately 7 inch diameter. Sprinkle top evenly with cranberries and pat into the dough. Sprinkle with the white sugar. Cut like a pie into 8 pieces.

Place on a baking sheet with parchment or another non-stick mat. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes.  Watch that the bottom does not burn.

Serve hot with honey butter mixture or my favorite cream and honey.

Cream or Butter Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoon butter or heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon light honey

Mix together and serve on the side with the hot scones.

Great with a good cup of coffee sitting on your porch watching the street come to life.

Thai Lobster Corn Fritters

IMG_2961 I had the most beautiful fresh corn on the cob and several cooked lobster tails. So what shall I make?  How about Thai Seasoned Lobster and Corn fritters.

We are going to pretty much wing this, so hold on for a pretty funky ride:

IMG_2956Thai Lobster Corn Fritters

  • 2 large egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or clabber milk)
  • 1 small nob of ginger finely grated
  • 2 garlic cloves finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Several teaspoons of chopped cilantro
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 medium ears of fresh corn – cut from the cob
  • 2 cooked lobster tails, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 large scallion

In a large bowl combine slightly beaten eggs with the next 8 ingredients Mix well. Add flour, baking soda and baking powder. Finally add corn, lobster and scallion. Mix well to incorporate all the dry ingredients.

Using a tablespoon place a dollop of the mixture in a preheated frying pan that has a small amount of oil on the bottom.  Cook on medium heat until golden brown, flip and do the same on the other side.  Serve hot with the dipping sauce.  But they are great cold from the frig as well.

IMG_2959Sweet Sauce for Dipping

  • 1/2 cup fruit juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced scallion
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoon of vinegar or water

Mix all ingredients and taste for seasoning. Set aside for the flavors to meld.

IMG_2960Side Salad

  • 4-6 leaves of cabbage sliced very thin
  • 1 medium carrot peeled and shredded
  • 1 small green pepper seeded and sliced into thin strips
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar or white vinegar

Mix soy sauce, honey, sesame oil and seeds along with vinegar in a small bowl.  Combine cabbage, carrot and green pepper and toss with wet ingredients. Separate into serving sized bowls.

IMG_2949They came out wonderful and the taste was excellent.  A great use for corn and lobster, making a wonderful summer lunch.

Spiny Lobster On The Wall

The lobsters that live on our coast are spiny lobsters. They have no claws but the most wonderful succulent lobster tail meat ever.  Our neighbor Sergio is the person who we buy from. We have not been able to buy lobster for several months as the government has an order for non-sales for lobster and crab during certain months of the year – I think when they are spawning.  We had our first for Mother’s Day weekend so great to have them back.  Several months ago Sergio came to my gate with a gift. It was the shell of a lobster, completely intact but totally empty. I have attached it to the wall on our porch, it is very beautiful to see how perfect this empty shell is. Make it a great day!

IMG_2117

Viche

What great neighbors we have. This afternoon our neighbor Paola brought us a huge bowl of viche. This batch was made with lobster, shrimp, choclo (corn), small plantain balls and the most wonderful broth made with peanuts. Of course she did provide rice as well.  It is out of this world and Paola is one of the best cooks I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

IMG_2153We eat like royalty here. Between the kindness of our neighbors like Paola and the bounty we can buy right at our door we are blessed.

We have a new fruta and verdura vendor who has started to come by on Friday mornings. Today he had strawberries, black and red grapes, granny smith apples as well as gala apples and pears, passion fruit, mora, naranjilla just to name a few. He had corn, peas, small and large lima beans as well as fresh fava beans, carrots, red onions, green onions, cauliflower, broccoli, two types of potatoes, iceberg lettuce and cilantro.  Next week I will take a photo of his truck and him and his wife.

Feeling very blessed…

Lobster Ceviche Another First for Me

One morning my neighbor offered lobster across the fence for $5 a pound. We love lobster and I wanted to make something a little different so I decided I would try my hand at Ceviche.

San Clemente 7.23.2013 005As you can see from the above photo I have gathered the lemons and sour oranges from our trees, onion, green and yellow peppers, small red firecracker chilies, cilantro, ketchup and the cooked lobster meat. What is not in the picture is a beautiful red ripe tomato and a tablespoon of mustard that I added at the end. You may need to add a pinch of sugar if your Sour Orange is just too sour and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Mix this all together and put in the refrigerator for several hours.

San Clemente 7.23.2013 007 The hardest part was waiting the hour or so to eat this. It was fabulous – our new favorite meal with lobster…OH MY!!!!

Paola Delivers Lunch

Our neighbors are pretty cool. If it’s not one handing stone crabs over the gate it’s another sharing Viche for our lunch yesterday. (The crabs over the gate thing happened yesterday – Eric gave us 2 huge stone crabs and then later Erica his sister gave us 3 more! gotta love this place).

San Clemente 6.18.2013 017Okay, back to the viche de langosta.

This soup was made with lobster, madura and green plantains, carrots, and corn all simmered in a peanut broth. It is one of our favorites.

If I had to choose the best food that we have eaten while outside of the US it would have to be the cooks of Manabí and Paola would come in first place. Other items that she has shared with us were lapangachos – it s a stuffed potato or yucca fritter filled with meat or chicken. She has also made a fried shrimp dinner that had a chicharone coating on the shrimp. The next cook would need to be Sonia and her lobster and crab ceviche. Living here has been a unbelievable experience in the Manabí art of cooking.

Thanks vecinos (neighbors) you made our day!

Susan and Jimmy in Paradise

We met Susan and Jimmy Dufrene many months back when Susan started following the blog. We continued our email conversations until a few weeks ago with they arrived here in Ecuador for an extended vacation. Yesterday finally we were able to get together for lunch at our home. It was great getting to know these lovely folks a little better.

San Clemente 6.9.2013 006

We talked for hours, had a nice lunch, a few cervezas and some wine before heading out to the garden to get away from the sun that eventually hits our porch.  What nice folks. I think Ecuador and especially San Clemente has a special place in their hearts and we will see them return again and again to enjoy part of their retirement in paradise.