It's not uncommon for Alaska to spoil my meal planning and recipe testing.
Inspired by the opening of the 2018 Winter Olympics this week, I wanted to make something Korean-inspired. Korean food is not my area of expertise, but since I have two friends who recently put out the cookbook "Everyday Korean," I grabbed my copy and studied it, looking for a recipe to try. I honed in on some blistered shishito peppers in a cast-iron skillet, glistening with a umami-sweet glaze and sprinkled with sesame seeds. I just had to have them.
For days I looked forward to making them. I drove to Soldotna in search of shishito peppers. But there were none. Jalapeños. Poblanos. Habaneros even. Not a single shishito pepper in the bunch. My son then spotted a pile of spiny, bright green romanesco broccoli and asked me what it was. I probably answered him through gritted teeth because I was so annoyed that there was something as obscure as romanesco, but no shishitos. I paced back and forth in the produce section, talking to myself and looking forlorn.
This was not my first time stranded in the grocery store with my recipe inspiration obliterated by the lack of access to ingredients. Heck, it probably wasn't even the hundredth time. It's a part of the story of many Alaskans. Sometimes, you can improvise and substitute, but today wasn't that day. None of those other peppers had the appropriate heat level for this recipe. I had to come up with something else to cook and write about this week, and the pressure was on.
Thankfully, I had a bag of Meyer lemons sitting in my refrigerator at home. I can't resist when citrus season hits and the sparkly, bright fruit brightens the produce section for a brief moment. Cara cara and blood oranges? Gimme. Satsumas? Yes. Key limes? Don't stop me now. Meyer lemons are one of the heroes of citrus season, with their complex perfume and unique flavor. They're just as good in savory recipes as they are in sweet ones. They're also tasty in beverages. I love Meyer lemon balanced with fresh herbs, like rosemary.
This Meyer lemon rosemary scone recipe makes quite a few scones, which are best enjoyed the same day, so make sure you have lots of family, friends and neighbors with whom to share them when you whip up a batch.
Meyer lemon rosemary scones
Makes 24 scones
3 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
5 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
1 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh rosemary
zest of 2 Meyer lemons
For the glaze:
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup half-and-half
zest and juice from 1 Meyer lemon
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until combined. Using a pastry blender, cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until it resembled crumbs. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg, half-and-half, rosemary, and lemon zest. Pour it into the flour and butter mixture and stir together until a shaggy dough forms.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and work together with your hands until it just holds together, being careful not to overwork it. Pat the dough into a large rectangle, about an inch thick. Using a sharp knife or a bench scraper, cut the dough into 12 squares. Then, cut the squares in half diagonally to form smaller triangles. These will puff up substantially while baking due to the baking powder in the dough, so be sure to space them out on the two prepared baking sheets. Bake the scones for 18-20 minutes, or until golden and set. Allow the scones to cool on a wire rack while you prepare the glaze.
For the glaze: whisk together the powdered sugar, half-and-half, lemon zest, lemon juice, and rosemary until smooth. When the scones have cooled at least 15 minutes, dip the top of each scone directly into the glaze. Return the scones to the wire rack to allow the glaze to set. Recipe adapted from Ree Drummond.
Maya Wilson lives in Kenai and blogs about food at alaskafromscratch.com. Have a food question or recipe request? Email email@example.com and your inquiry may appear in a future column.