I feel very fortunate that I’ve gotten to spend some time with Pam Anderson on several occasions this past year. I’ve come to know her as a kind and generous woman, a heck of a mom, a marathon runner, a fantastic cook, and a very busy author…she’s writes a blog with her lovely daughters Sharon and Maggy called Three Many Cooks, and she’s written seven cookbooks.
Pam’s brand new work- Cook without a Book: Meatless Meals- Recipes and Techniques for Part-Time and Full-Time Vegetarians- was recently released, and I scored two copies a few weeks back (one for me, and one for one of you!)…I’ve made a few recipes from the book so far, and they’ve all been terrific.
Pam’s purpose in writing this book was to teach people how to cook satisfying and versatile vegetarian meals, but the book is not at all just for vegetarians. Pam talks in the introduction about how her family made a decision to reduce the meat in their lives a few years back. They did this because they were saddened by the treatment of animals on factory farms and no longer wanted to eat meat that had been raised in those conditions. So they cut back on their meat in order to be able to afford better quality, humanely raised meat that they still eat on occasion, and learned to be super creative vegetarian cooks the rest of the time.
I love that rather than being full of actual recipes, the book is built around customizable techniques and master formulas for everything from Breakfast Pizzas to Classic Soups to Meatless Hash to Frittatas to Stir-Fries. The formulas are rock-solid, and Pam gives you loads of unique suggestions for how to make every dish your own. The idea is to be able to use “whatever is fresh, in season, on sale- or simply suits your fancy”…so awesome.
With Thanksgiving coming up next week, I decided to bake up a slew of these “perfect blueberry scones” this morning. I figured I’d freeze them to have on hand to eat with eggs for breakfast over the holiday weekend when we’ll have family guests in town. I just had to figure out what kind to make.
As I stated before, the book provides a master recipe for each item or dish, and Pam’s got formulas for both Savory and Sweet Scones, along with notes, tips, and numerous suggestions for making them amazing. I’ve never made savory scones before, and was instantly smitten with Pam’s idea to combine Goat Cheese, Figs, and Rosemary. But I was pretty sure my kids wouldn’t be that psyched about those, so I also made a sweet batch starring blueberries and lemon zest.
The blueberry scones came out stunning. Absolutely beautiful- like scones you’d buy in a bakery- and delicious. My daughter LOVED them, and talked me out of freezing them for next week…guess I’ll be making another batch for the guests :)
The goat cheese and fig scones are not as stunning, but that’s my fault because I used a gluten-free flour blend and the batter was a bit too wet, then spread during baking. They taste great, though…I love the flavor combination so much.
I am sharing the blueberry scone recipe here. If you’re interested in making the fig, goat, cheese and rosemary scones, the recipes is the same, only you leave out the sugar, add 1 cup of crumbled goat cheese, substitute chopped fresh or dried figs for the blueberries, omit the lemon zest, and add 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary. If using a gluten-free flour blend in either of the scone recipes, make sure to add additional flour, if necessary, to make a cohesive batter.
Perfect Blueberry Scones
Yield: 6-8 scones
*2 cups organic, unbleached flour
*6 tablespoons organic sugar, plus 1-2 teaspoon for sprinkling on the scones before baking
*1 teaspoon baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
*1/4 teaspoon baking soda
*1 stick unsalted organic butter, frozen solid
*1 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest
*1/2 cup organic frozen blueberries
*1/2 cup organic sour cream
*1 large egg, preferably organic and free-range
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
2. Mix flour with 6 tablespoons of sugar, baking power, salt, baking soda, and lemon zest in a medium bowl.
3. Grate butter into flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater; use (clean!) fingers to work in butter (mixture should resemble coarse meal), then stir in blueberries.
4. In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg until smooth, then stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball. (The dough will be sticky in places, and there may not seem to be enough liquid at first, but as you press, the dough will come together).
5. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7- to 8-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick. Sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar. Use a sharp knife to cut into 6 large or 8 smaller triangles, then place on prepared cookie sheet about 1 inch apart.
6. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.
Appears with permission from Cook without a Book: Meatless Meals- Recipes and Techniques for Part-Time and Full-Time Vegetarians. Recipes by Pam Anderson; photographs by Quentin Bacon. Copyright 2011 by Rodale.
If you’d like to enter my giveaway to win a copy of the book, please leave me a comment below, making sure I have your email address in case you are the winner. This giveaway will close on Monday 11/21/11 at midnight (which is just 3 days from now). I’ll choose a winner by way of random.org on Tuesday 11/22/11, then I will mail the book right out to my lucky winning reader. I regret that this giveaway is open to US residents only… THANKS and good luck!