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Peppered Turkey Scones (Guest Post)


Once upon a time, I wasn’t much of a cook. I mean, I knew how to make a few recipes that were childhood favorites like sweet cinnamon rice or potato soup, but everything else either came out of a box or was bought on the go. Then came a marriage in which I was expected to be the perfect little Mexican wife, and I tried to make all of the traditional foods, but they were never as good as the suegra’s dishes. Then came the divorce and even though that was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, the fact that I had to cook for one was something I couldn’t handle; I didn’t take care of myself as well as I should have.

I skipped breakfast and sometimes forgot to eat lunch. Dinner was a simple protein-packed chicken taco. I lived off chicken and tortillas. Even though my eating habits have changed drastically since the first year of my divorce, I still sometimes crave simple chicken in a tortilla (with Tapatío!).

In that first year, when I was in the habit of forgetting to eat, I suffered some weird symptoms, yet somehow despite all of that, was awarded a promotion at work. Even though I was happy for the first time in many years, I realized that I needed to take better care of myself, so I started making breakfast every day.

I hated eggs but I knew eating bagels for breakfast every morning was not very healthy (this was before I became a novice baker). In fact, bread, or any other carb in the morning does nothing for me. If I have carbs for breakfast at 8am, by 10am I’m ravenous. Couple that with the fact that my commute to work was 15 miles by bicycle (one way)… I needed protein, so I started making eggs. I would scramble them, drench them with hot sauce, and eat them in a tortilla. I made it a point to always have eggs for breakfast, and eventually grew to like them.

Now I’m quite good at making breakfasts. I don’t think it’s my favorite meal of the day (I am NOT a morning person) but many of my favorite dishes to cook happen to be breakfast foods.

Usually, upon waking up in the morning, Allison is immediately hungry, but the first word out of my mouth is “coffee” and it’s the only word I can mutter until I’ve had at least half a cup. Luckily the act of simply assembling breakfast ingredients is almost as much of a pick-me-up as the first sip of coffee. (Almost.)

Eggs are still practically a necessity for breakfast, and now I love them. Every weekend I make huevos rancheros, or eggs on chilaquiles. Before work I have spinach goat cheese omelettes or simple fried eggs with chicken sausage.

Since I’m not a morning person I sometimes have to plan ahead. When I first started taking care of myself after becoming single again, I would spend every Sunday making dinners, like soups or stews, that I would keep in the fridge for easy lunches all week. I still do that sometimes, except now I’m lucky enough to have Allison to share my refrigerated meals with.

I created this recipe when I wanted to have something that I could make on a weekend that would be suitable for breakfasts during the week. My bagels keep well in the fridge and freezer, but this scone recipe is simpler and very quick. Even though it’s like having bread for breakfast, the scones have enough protein to keep me satisfied until lunch.

When I started brainstorming this recipe I was looking in the King Arthur Flour cookbook for scone recipes, but the recipe that follows is not really adapted from KAF. The only similarities here to any recipe in the book are the amounts of flour and baking powder called for.

I’ve made this recipe four or five times so far; it’s something I keep coming back to whenever I want to treat myself to a week of waking up 20 minutes later every morning while still getting to work on time.

Print this recipe. (PDF)


Peppered Turkey Scones

~ 3 cups all-purpose flour
~ 2 tsp. baking powder
~ ½ tsp. baking soda
~ 1 tsp. salt
~ 8 oz. (1 stick) cold butter, chopped
~ 8 oz. peppered sliced turkey, diced
~ 2 cups (6 oz.) shredded cheese
~ 1 large egg, beaten
~ ½ cup Greek yogurt
~ 1 cup almond milk (or milk)
~ 2 to 3 scallions, finely chopped
~ black pepper to taste

How to make it:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter pieces are about the size of peas.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the egg, yogurt, and milk. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture in the large bowl. Stir in the diced turkey, cheese, and scallions, and season with fresh ground pepper. Mix well with a rubber spatula until all ingredients are combined, leaving no dry flour.

3. Lightly dust a clean counter top with flour and transfer the dough to the counter. Shape into a flat circle about 1½ inches thick. Using a dough scraper, slice into 8 to 10 triangular scones. (For a more uniform looking scone, you can use a large circular cookie cutter. I like triangles, even if they’re messy triangles.)

4. Transfer the scones to parchment-lined baking sheets, placed 1 to 2 inches away from each other. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

(Since this is a wet dough, meaning the ingredients are moist, if you are like Allison and me and cannot wait 10-15 minutes to eat these scones, you will notice that the dough may look underdone when you break one open. It really is done; you can blame the moistness on the turkey and cheese. After 10-15 minutes, they’ll be more solid.)

These scones keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for a week. (I would assume that they freeze well, too, but they’ve never lasted long enough for us to want to freeze them.) They are best served warm; I like to microwave leftover scones for 45 seconds.

Print this recipe! (PDF)

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