Claire Thomas: The Kitchy Kitchen - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Claire Thomas: The Kitchy Kitchen

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This morning Claire Thomas, the author of food blog ‘The Kitchy Kitchen’ was here with simple and delicious summer bring along BBQ desserts.

Paletas:

  • 3 pounds cucumbers, 2 1/2 lbs roughly chopped, the other 1/2 lb sliced
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup water

Place slices of cucumber into the empty palter molds, pressed up against the sides.

In a blender, combine the chopped cucumber and remaining ingredients.

Puree until smooth, strain, and pour the liquid into the paleta molds.

Freeze for at least 4 hours.

Garnish with cayenne pepper.

Cucumber Chili Paletas

For a dozen paletas

  • 3 pounds cucumbers
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup water

Roughly chop 2 1/2 pounds of cucumbers, unpeeled, and thinly slice the remaining cucumber. Place slices of cucumber into the empty palter molds, pressed up against the sides.

In a blender, combine the chopped cucumber and remaining ingredients. Puree until smooth, strain, and pour the liquid into the paleta molds. Freeze for at least 4 hours, pour hot water over the outside of the molds, and serve. Garnish with cayenne pepper. Enjoy!


Strawberry Shortcakes with Three Ingredient Biscuits

Strawberry shortcake was one of those desserts I would dream about in the abstract, but never really had until I was much older. I was unsurprisingly attached to the eponymous cartoon character, but as a red headed little girl, I would attach myself to any red headed female character I came across. Ariel, Jessica Rabbit, and Ann Margaret were idols of mine. Not Pippy Longstockings though…she irked me with her laissez faire manners, precociousness, and general anti establishment vibe. I was a very uptight 8 year old who also hated Amelia Bedelia and Peter Pan. Lack of common sense was an early pet peeve. Eloise gets a free pass though, because, well, she wouldn't have it any other way, would she? Also, a turtle named Skiperdee and her elevator route have endeared her to me.

That is to say that Strawberry Shortcakes occupied the same space that Baked Alaska or Bouche Noel did, in my mind. I would fog up the proverbial bakery window, licking my lips and wondering how it would taste, but never really finding the gumption to find out. But, knowing how it actually tasted would have robbed a little magic from it, like when you take off your 3-D glasses or find out how a card trick works. I'm glad that my late arrival has allowed me to enjoy it from an adult perspective, without diminishing my childhood expectations.

Some people use butter cakes, some use angel food, I use biscuits as the base of my strawberry shortcake recipe. The reason is that at 3 ingredients and 20 minutes total cooking time, biscuits are by far the easier option, plus I love the almost savory element it brings to the party. Combined with soft, and barely floral whipped cream, plus lightly macerated strawberries, it's a simple, wonderful summer dessert. Enjoy!

For 10 short cakes

10 buttermilk biscuits (recipe below)

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rosewater
  • 2 cups hulled and sliced strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice

Combine the strawberries, 1 tablespoon sugar, and orange juice in a small bowl. Let the strawberries sit for 30 minutes to macerate. Halve the biscuits (they're best if they're warm, not hot). Combine the whipping cream, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and rosewater and whip until soft peaks form. To serve, scoop the whipped cream on the biscuits, top with strawberries, and finish with the top halve of the biscuits.


Three Ingredient Biscuits:

NOTE: The key to fluffy, light biscuits is ice cold ingredients, so make sure your butter and buttermilk are thoroughly chilled, and that you're working lightly and quickly. If you need to pause the process, pop the ingredients in the fridge to keep them cold.

  • 4 ounces cold butter, chopped into small, 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 1/4 cups self-rising soft-wheat flour, sifted, plus more for the counter
  • 1 cup buttermilk, plus more for glazing biscuits

Preheat oven to 450F.

Scatter the butter over the flour in a large bowl. Cut the butter into flour with a pastry blender (or using your finger tips) until crumbly and mixture resembles small peas. Add the buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened and coming together into a ball of dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 or 4 times to form it into a ball. With floured hands, press the dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle and fold dough over onto itself in 3 sections, like you would a letter. Pat down the dough to 3/4-inch-thick, and repeat this entire process 2 more times. This is creating the fluffy layers that will puff and add lift as the biscuits bake.

Press the dough to 1 inch thick, and cut with a 2-inch round cookie cutter, or with a juice glass dipped in flour. Place the rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon pad, and then pat the dough to 1 inch thick and cut again. Repeat until you use all of the dough up. Glaze the rounds with a little buttermilk and place in the center of the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Place on a cooling rack to cool.

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