English Cheddar Scones

It’s quarantine o’clock, so PhD Kitchen is back! Yesterday I made these English cheddar scones—a crowd favorite in our house, which I share with a bona fide English husband—and I thought they’d make the perfect comeback recipe. My mother-in-law’s cheese scones are pretty similar, but this is the way James and I make them at home in the US.

You can use any hard cheese you like, but I prefer a strong and sweet red cheddar. I added fresh rosemary from a plant I’m trying to keep alive, but you can skip the herbs or substitute another type (fresh or dried) if you like. My recipe is based on this one by Irmgard on Food.com, but I’ve edited it to make a double batch and substitute for the complete dearth of baking powder currently plaguing my city. I also had to make do with fat-free buttermilk… yikes. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Here we go!

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Homage to Chilaquiles

Recently we had a farewell barbecue for our friend Mathilde, and I found myself with all of the leftover open bags of tortilla chips. Now, I don’t waste food–and I love tortilla chips–so I had to find a way to eat them before they all went stale without having nachos everyday for lunch. And then I remembered my favorite brunch item at our local pub: chilaquiles, a saucy mess of fried tortillas, salsa, and protein (beans, chicken, eggs, or… who knows?). I have a savory palate, and I’m a huge fan of savory breakfasts. It’s a great way to knock out the extra sugar that might make you feel energized in the morning but find you crashing hours later.

This is one of my favorite Mexican foods. I don’t have Mexican heritage, and I won’t pretend that I have the cultural knowledge or the skills to make authentic chilaquiles. But what I do have are innumerable tortilla chips, an intrinsic love of brunch, and about five minutes a day to make something super filling and delicious. This is merely an homage.

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Baked Turkey Meatballs

No excuses, people: these babies take a mere 20 minutes to bake! Switch up your go-to pasta, or try them on their own. They’re baked, not fried, and use zero olive oil–so I feel like I can put them in the “healthy” category, too…

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Breakfast of Champions

Do you like beets? No? Even just a little? If you’re a beet-doubter then I dare you to try this hearty, earthy, eggy breakfast. I have it almost every day nowadays, especially if I’ve worked out in the morning, and I’ve posted it on my Instagram a few times. Several people have asked for the recipe after seeing my (scrumptious, decadent, purple) creation on social media. So here we go.

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Ratatouille, in Theory

Somehow, some way, I have managed to submit a full-length draft of the theory chapter of my dissertation! This (along with the abundance of zucchini I received from our marketshare) calls for ratatouille. But because I am strange, this ratatouille is a bit unusual, too. It’s ratatouille, in theory.

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Maple-Almond Charoset

Charoset is a sweet, sometimes alcoholic spread or chutney served on Passover. As a ritual food it’s spread on the cracker-like bread substitute called matzo, and meant to symbolize the mortar between the bricks of Egyptian building projects in the story of Exodus. As an Egyptologist I find this topic problematic, but let’s stick to the food: Ashkenazi Jews–those of European ancestry–usually make charoset with chopped apples, walnuts, wine, and raisins, while Sephardic Jews–who trace their ancestry to north Africa, Spain, and the Middle East–make theirs with dates, figs, or apricots, and lots of spices. I much prefer a date base for my charoset, and I recently decided that this spread is far too delicious to make only once a year. I’ve been eating it on toast, and sometimes with a spoon. My recipe adds a New England twist–maple syrup–and the balancing tang of salted almonds.

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