Sunday, September 18, 2011

From Opposite Ends of the World

An unlikely pair, I know. You may never see these treats from opposite ends of the earth appear together anywhere else again. I'm glad the pleasure was mine!
As you can see by the picture, I have decided to invoke the name of Yoki when speaking of Pao de Queijo, the Brazilian cheese roll that uses tapioca flour (good news for those avoiding gluten) instead of wheat. I was lucky enough to find a box in a Latin American market while in Traverse City, Michigan. I must say they turned out very well.
I first heard of these rolls when Erick, a friend who lives in Brazil, mentioned them in passing on a Face Book post. "Ah, a new food," I thought to myself and went searching the Internet for recipes. (Erick is notorious for neither giving me recipes nor getting into detailed discussions about food.) I found a few and combined them to make a pretty decent roll.
Don't look for these to have the texture of a regular wheat roll. They are chewy on the inside.

Pao de Queijo

1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups tapioca flour
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 beaten eggs
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2.Pour butter, water, milk, and salt into a large saucepan, and place over high heat. When the mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat immediately, and stir in tapioca flour until smooth. Set aside to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
3.Stir the cheese and egg into the tapioca mixture until well combined, the mixture will be chunky like cottage cheese. Drop rounded, 1/4 cup-sized balls of the mixture onto an ungreased baking sheet.
4.Bake in preheated oven until the tops are lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.

I love this scone recipe which came from an odd source. An old friend and his wife came up to visit years ago when I was living in San Francisco. She excitedly gave me a note card on which was a recipe for orange scones. At the time, I had never had a scone nor the desire to sample one. To me they were a dry-looking offering from the less-than-fresh array of eats to be found in the local coffee bar. Thanking her, I stuffed the card in a folder along with other recipes I had either jotted down or cut from the newspaper. Some tried, others not, but all in disarray!

And I don't remember what possessed me to dig that card out one day and try it. But I'm glad my curiosity got the best of me. I'm sure I ate myself sick on them! I wasted no time in calling Ms Scone to tell her how great they were. "Really, they were good. oh." A little confused by her response, I asked her "Haven't you made them?"
"Oh, no. I don't cook. Someone gave me the recipe so I thought I'd give it to you because you do."
Not only did she not cook or bake but she talked her husband into remodeling the entire kitchen to look like one she'd seen on Home and Garden TV.
Oh, well. Here is Ms Scone's recipe for the best scones I've yet to taste.

Orange Scones

2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, cold
1/2 cup raisins or chopped cranberries
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1 large egg
3/4 cup whipping cream

2 cups icing sugar
Enough fresh orange juice to make a spreadable icing.

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Mix dry ingredients and cut in butter.
Add raisins or cranberries.
Beat cream, egg and peel.
Quickly mix wet and dry ingredients just until combined. Do not over mix.
Pat into a circle 1-inch high on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut into 8 wedges.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Let cool and cover with icing.

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