One of the things that drives me most crazy is the size of portions at restaurants. And, I’m not just talking about at The Cheesecake Factory. I’m not averse to the giant drinks at the bar there – but, that’s a different story.
The other night I was out to dinner at one of my fave Mexican restaurants in the West Village. I ordered the Baja (read ‘fried’) fish tacos. In a totally wrong way in my head, ordering the fish tacos vs the chicken chimichangas, would be ‘better’ for me. I realize that’s wrong.
When the tacos arrived, the plate – probably 10 inches in diameter – was completely covered. It was literally a portion that could serve a family of four if Melissa D’Arabian had anything to say about it. Seriously, there were no fewer than 8 big pieces of Baja fried fish smothered in tomatoes, onions, cilantro, topped with avocado slices and sitting atop 7, yes 7, soft tacos. Ridiculous. Delicious, but ridiculous.
It’s just too much. I mean, does the restaurant think that food for four should be served to just one? And, are they promoting eating that much just by serving it? Does the restaurant have a responsibility for controlling the portions they serve? I think so. And….Don’t get me started on giant sodas, because, sorry, I agree with the mayor here.
In a city where space is at a premium – and our kitchens are tiny – the giant restaurant portions amaze me.
My niece and nephew sent me a gift certificate to Sur La Table for Christmas. Whenever I shop for kitchen stuff, I have to take into account my tiny kitchen. I have to make choices – I want, but don’t need, another 6qt Le Creuset pot, another All-Clad grill pan, 7 more spatulas, the pasta attachment to my KitchenAid mixer, more wine glasses etc etc etc, ….And, I sort of do want a Scone cutter….But, where would I put any of these things?
Bottom line, is there isn’t room. And, a scone cutter, cuts out big scones. As the boss of my test kitchen, I have a responsibility to serve reasonably sized portions. So instead of a scone cutter, I bought a set of biscuit cutters. Better choice for a few reasons:
- They nest like Russian Dolls – one inside the other
- You get 5 sizes, not just one – more versatile
- They’re a lot smaller than a single scone cutter – controlling your portions and saving you space
- They come with a ring that connects them to one another – don’t throw out the ring as it will help you keep them organized in your tiny kitchen
I’m a savory, not a sweet eater. I heart savory scones – rarely a breakfast entree like their sugary cousins, but rather a side dish, an accoutrement to the main course. So, why should we make giant ones?
Lil’ Savory Cheddar Dill Scones (makes 24 baby scones)
2 Cups + 1TBSP Gold Medal all purpose flour
- 1 TBSP baking powder
- 1 TSP Salt
- 1 1/2 sticks (12 TBSP) unsalted COLD butter, diced – dice the butter, then put it in the freezer for :10mins
- 2 large eggs + 1 egg for egg wash
- 1/2 Cup heavy cream chilled – measure out the cream and then put it back in the fridge until you’re ready to add it
- 1/4lb extra-sharp Irish Cheddar cheese – small dice
- 1/2 Cup minced fresh Dill
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
1. In the bowl of a KitchenAid mixer, combine 2 Cups of flour, the baking powder and salt
2. Add the cold butter dices and mix on low until the butter is in pea sized pieces
3. In a separate bowl (or, I used a water glass, whatever works) mix together the eggs and heavy cream
4. Add the creamy-egg mix to the buttery flour mix and combine until just blended and a dough forms
5. In a separate bowl, toss the dill and cheddar dices with 1 TBSP of flour just to coat
6. Add the coated cheddar and dill to the dough and mix to combine
7. Put the dough on a well-floured surface and knead for about a minute to get all of the cheddar dices and dill-iness well incorporated
8. Roll out the dough to about 1/4-1/2 inch thick – if you were making a traditional scone, you might want them thicker…but again, too much food!
9. Using the two inch biscuit cutter I just got from Sur La Table – cut into circles
10. Place the savory scone circles onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with Reynold’s Wrap Pan Lining Paper and brush them with egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 TBSP water)
11. Into the oven for :16-:18 mins if you used the 2 inch biscuit cutter, :20 – :25 mins if you used a traditional scone cutter. Just watch the scones – when the outside is browned and crusty and the inside is fully baked, they’re done
These scones are good. Like really good. And, my tiny apartment still smells a little like butter from the baking process. They are in no way low-cal….But, rather a more responsible way to give my guests a little savory delicious indulgence appropriately sized and served on the side.