Monday, January 21, 2013

January Jeliciousness: Savory Walnut Oatcakes

Lorraine is one of my favorite friends I've never met. One fall day, not too long ago, I was lamenting long and loud on Twitter about LA's lack of conkers. Two days later a box of shiny brown chestnuts arrived at my door. I will never forget it. You can find more of Lorraine's recipes here at Copywriter's Kitchen.

Lorraine says: After a very cold Christmas in St. Petersburg (-25 C), I'm favoring hearty, rib-sticking foods in January--and look forward to cooking many Jelicious recipes.

Savory Walnut Oatcakes

Dr. Johnson defined oats as “a grain which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.”
Could this gustatory generalization explain why Americans—Englishmen’s culinary cousins—eat oats just two ways: oatmeal and oatmeal cookies?
Expand your palate with these Savory Walnut Oatcakes, a twist on classic Scottish oatcakes. Made with old-fashioned rolled oats, toasted walnuts and cheese, the Oatcakes are delicious with a glass of red wine, a Black and Tan or cup of strong, sweet Assam.
Perfect for Miss Whistle’s January Jeliciousness, the hearty sweet-savory cakes are tasty alone or smeared with your favorite stinky cheese.
Savory Walnut Oatcakes recipe
3/4 cup toasted walnuts
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats—don’t use quick cooking variety
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup sifted unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/3 cup safflower or other mild oil, plus extra for greasing cookie sheet
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup grated cheddar, Parmesan or other hard cheese
Flakey salt such as fleur de sel or Kosher salt

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Arrange walnuts in one layer on a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet. Slide sheet into oven and bake walnuts until lightly toasted, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven, cool slightly, chop and reserve.
3.  Using a teaspoon or so of oil, grease cookie sheet—or instead lay down a sheet of parchment paper on the pan—and set aside.
4.  Pour oats into a large bowl, sprinkle with boiling water and blend well.
5.  In a medium bowl, mix flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper and baking soda.
6.  In a small bowl, beat egg and oil until blended.
7.  Pour egg/oil mixture into oats, stirring well.
8.  Dump flour mixture, cheese and chopped walnuts into the oat mixture, stirring gingerly to blend. This makes stiff dough—you may need to knead it with your hands and add a drop or two more water to fully incorporate the flour mixture.
9.  Using your hands, scoop up dough and shape into balls a little smaller than golf balls.
10. Place balls 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Flatten balls with the palm of your hand until they’re 1/4” thick. Sprinkle cakes with a pinch of flaky salt.
11. Slide sheet into oven and bake cakes 9 minutes. Turn sheet around so cakes brown evenly. Continue baking for another 7-10 minutes, until edges and bottom of cakes are golden.
12. Remove sheet from oven and cool cakes on racks. Store in airtight container.
Makes 12-16 cakes.

1 comment:

Lorraine said...

Dear Miss W.:

Thanks for posting my recipe.

Side note on conkers: I was introduced to this game by my friend Lizzie, a Yorkshire lass living in NYC in the 80s. Lizzie shared a number of competitive gaming secrets. The tip I remember best: dry a super-sized conker in a slow oven until the conker is cooked to titanium toughness. It looks disarmingly like an ordinary conker, but packs huge wallop.

Your tweet was the the cry of a conker-deprived spirit--I knew I had to act! xo