Shambhala Tea Biscuits
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp baking soda
5 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt (or use salted butter instead – it’s easier)
6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) well chilled butter
1 cup raisins (plumped in hot water)
1 cup (more or less) milk or buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Lightly flour a baking sheet.
Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, sugar and salt in the bowl of your food processor. Cut in the cold butter. Simply buzz it all together until there are no more lumps of butter. Transfer dry ingredients to a large bowl.
Stir in the plumped raisins.
Gently mix in enough milk to form soft, but not sticky, dough.
Turn onto floured surface and knead very gently - just until dough holds together – no more! Too much kneading will make your biscuits tough!
Roll or pat to about ¾” thickness.
Cut into desired shapes and arrange on floured baking sheet.
Bake until puffed and lightly golden – about 6 to 8 minutes depending on your oven. Watch them closely – they can easily get overdone at these high temperatures.
Shambhala’s Frittata - (a.k.a. quiche sans pastry)
A traditional frittata is made by frying all the ingredients, except the egg mixture, in a frying pan until half cooked. The egg mixture is added and the whole thing cooked until set halfway through. The frying pan is then placed in a 400°F oven to cook the top of the frittata. It is then slid out of the pan onto a plate, or served directly from the pan.
This egg dish appeals to all our guests. It is basically a crustless quiche, which uses any vegetables of your choice. This is a nice “clean out the fridge” dish. You can substitute any vegetables you like. You can also add things like cooked bacon or ham or cooked potatoes to get something more like a traditional quiche. The whole thing is very flexible and easy to do. We sometimes precook the vegetables and freeze them in baggies – it makes things a little easier to get the quiche ready in a hurry.
Like similar eggs dishes, this one puffs up in the oven for a wonderful presentation. However, it also collapses quickly as it cools – so serve it immediately.
2 cups coarsely chopped vegetables (e.g. - sweet peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, green onions)
Eggs – 2 per person – minimum 6 eggs
Cream or milk – volume roughly equal to volume of eggs
1 cup shredded cheese (we usually use a mix that includes cheddar, asiago and friulano)
Salt and pepper to taste
Asparagus or strips of sweet pepper to decorate top of frittata
Preheat oven to 350°F
Sauté vegetables until almost fully cooked but still firm
Remove from heat and let cool a little
Beat eggs in a bowl
Blend in milk, cheese, salt and pepper
Stir in sautéed vegetables
Pour mix into greased/oiled pie pan of appropriate size
Decorate with vegetable of choice
Bake until firm – knife inserted in centre comes out clean – about 45 minutes. Serve hot.
Basic Crepe Batter:
1 ¼ cup milk (half milk and half water)
4 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for sautéing the crepes
In a mixing bowl combine the flour, salt and sugar.
In a separate bowl beat the eggs and milk on med speed for 15 seconds.
Add the flour to the liquid and blend well. The batter should be the consistency of heavy cream and be lump-free.
Add the clarified butter in a thin stream, whisking constantly.
Let the batter rest in the refrigerator for approximately 1 hour for a better texture.
Technique to make crepes:
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in an 8 inch crepe pan or nonstick skillet over medium heat – remove from heat – swirl around to cover pan then remove excess with paper towel.
Pour ¼ cup of batter into pan – swirl around to completely cover bottom evenly – pour back excess.
Cook for approximately 30 seconds until batter sets. The crepe should be paper thin, slightly brown and not crisp.
Slide them on to a platter and cover with a towel to prevent them drying out. This should yield 20 crepes.
1 ½ cups ricotta cheese
4 ounces cream cheese
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Combine the ricotta cheese, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, lemon zest, and egg in a food processer and blend until smooth. Chill the filling to firm it up a bit so it doesn't squirt out of the blintzes while stuffing them.
2 tablespoons butter
2 pints blueberries
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 lemon, juiced
Melted unsalted butter, for sautéing blintzes
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Combine the butter, blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice in a small pot over medium heat. Bring to a low boil and stir gently until the berries break down and release their natural juices. The consistency should be a bit chunky and will thicken slightly when it cools down.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Forming the blintzes is like making burritos. Spoon ¼ cup of the cheese filling along the lower third of the crepe. Fold the bottom edge away from you to just cover the filling; then fold the 2 sides in to the center. Roll the crepe away from you a couple of times to make a package, ending with the seam side down. Place filled blintzes in an ovenproof dish that has been brushed with butter. Spoon the blueberry sauce over top of blintzes and bake for 10 minutes so the filling sets. Using a spatula, transfer the blintzes to serving plates, dust with confectioners' sugar, and serve right away.
Cream of Roasted Butternut Squash Soup for Yuletide Tea
2 cups Celery chopped
2 cups Onion chopped
2 cups Carrot chopped
2 tbsp. butter or olive oil
2 large Butternut Squash peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
1 to 2 l Water or Chicken stock or Vegetable stock
1 l light Cream
1 tsp Seasoned Salt
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp ground Cumin
1 tsp ground Cinnamon
1 tsp ground Cardamom
Salt and Pepper to taste
5 tbsp. sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cut squash in half lengthwise and peel and seed. Place cut side down in a shallow roasting pan, add a few cups of water and cover with foil. Roast in preheated oven for at least one hour or until the squash is quite soft. Remove from oven and allow it to cool enough to handle safely. Reserve the cooking liquid if there is any left.
While the squash is roasting, sauté the mirepoix until the onions are clear and soft.
Add cooked squash, reserved cooking liquid and cooked mirepoix to food processor in batches. Process until quite smooth. You may need to add some of the water or stock to the food processor to get the squash pureed properly. Add the seasonings to one of the batches to ensure they are thoroughly incorporated.
Transfer the processed squash to a stock pot, add the cream and enough water to yield the consistency of soup you like and simmer for about 30 minutes to release the fragrance of the spices. The soup may thicken as it simmers. Add enough of your preferred liquid to return the soup to the consistency you like.
Serve with a dollop of crème fraiche or sour cream or simply decorate with a sprig of parsley, mint or tarragon.
Ingredients for a group of six
12 large eggs
1 tbsp butter or margarine
1-1/2 cup milk or light cream
1 tsp salt
Pinch of pepper to taste
1 cup shredded cheese (we use Asiago/Friulano/Gruyere/Cheddar)
Finely chopped chives or green onion or parsley to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat inside of a 9x9 baking pan with the butter or margarine. Beat together eggs, salt, pepper, chives and cream. Pour mixture into pan and bake for about 15 minutes.
The eggs will start to set around the edge of the pan. Scrape down the sides of the pan and stir the mixture together to break up the already set eggs on the edge. Sprinkle with chives. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until all of the mixture is set. Serve immediately. Resembles the texture of mousse.
Crustless Spinach Quiche
1 tbsp vegetable oil (may be omitted if using bacon)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and thoroughly drained
Optional - ¼ lb chopped bacon or ½ cup chopped sundried tomatoes
5 eggs, beaten
3 cups shredded cheese (any favourite sharp cheese – Gruyere, Asiago, or Swiss work well)
1/4 teaspoon salt to taste
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 °F (175°C). Lightly grease a 9 inch pie pan.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onions and bacon (or sundried tomatoes), stirring occasionally; cook until onions are soft.
Stir in spinach and continue cooking until excess moisture has evaporated.
In a large bowl, combine eggs, cheese, salt and pepper. Add spinach mixture and stir to blend. Scoop into prepared pie pan.
Bake in preheated oven until eggs have set, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
We add about ¼ pound chopped bacon for additional flavor.
For vegans or pork-free guests, we substitute sundried tomatoes for the bacon