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Eva Kosmas’ Leek and Gouda Scones

Issue 07
Written By Eva Kosmas Flores

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Spring breathes life back into the earth after a long season’s rest. Come March, many delicious vegetables begin to grow like the ramp (allium tricoccum), also known as a wild leek or spring onion. Native to the eastern North American mountains, ramps can be found growing in patches in deciduous forests. In early spring, ramps sprout smooth leaves and disappear by summer. The flavor of a ramp is reminiscent of sweet onion with a garlic aroma and is worth the foraging effort.

I chose this savory leek scone because I’ve always preferred savory scones to sweet ones. Given the abundance of vegetables this time of year, I was motivated to incorporate something seasonal into this dish. Ideally you could use ramps (wild leeks) in the scones but a regular leek would work just as well. Since scones are often served at breakfast, I added ham and gouda; two ingredients that work well together. The result is a perfectly moist and rich scone, full of savory spring notes and an unforgettable array of flavors.

1 cup diced leeks
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon thyme
1/3 lb gouda cheese, grated
3 ounces quality ham, diced
½ cup milk

Begin by caramelizing the leeks. Mix together the leeks and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan over medium low heat. Continue cooking them for 25-35 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, or until the leeks have turned golden in color and are soft and aromatic. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and thyme until well blended. Add ¼ cup of the olive oil and mix until crumbs form in the dough. Stir in the ham, leeks, and gouda, then add the milk and mix until a dense dough forms.

Knead the dough gently for a few turns on a lightly floured surface, then pat it down into a roughly 3-icnh thick circle. Place the circle on a lightly greased backing sheet and use a pizza cutter to cut the circle into 8 wedges. Gently pull the wedges away from each other so they have about ½ inch of space between them. Lightly brush the tops of the scones with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the scones are golden brown on top and cooked all the way through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Makes 8 Scones

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In Los Angeles, it’s important to try….
Fish tacos: The seafood here is so fresh and the Mexican food scene is delicious.
Sushi: A wide selection of high quality fresh fish and a large Japanese population make for some of the best sushi you’ll have outside Japan.
Burgers: LA loves its hamburgers, and you can get them in a dazzling array of sizes and with some pretty crazy toppings.

In LA, don’t miss a meal at…
Hugo’s Tacos: I love their carnitas (slow cooked pork) burritos with their homemade honey chipotle salsa.
Waterloo & City: The gastro pub to beat all gastro pubs. They have a variety of meats on their menu and the specials change seasonally. They also make this incredible strawberry habanero tequila cocktail that’s definitely the best cocktail I’ve had in LA.
Sugarfish Delicious sushi, the menu changes daily and they use whatever’s most fresh and in season.

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INTERVIEW: Eva Kosmas Flores, Adventures in Cooking

01 When you entertain at home, what can often be found on your table?
I always have my galvanized cake stand in use, whether it’s displaying an actual cake or some sort of finger food. I also always put out my salt cellar with flour de sel so my guests can use it to season their dishes as they please, and the fleur de sel has such a nice crunchy texture to it.

02 How would you describe your entertaining style?
I would say my entertaining style is more social, I want to be able to talk to my guests and catch up with them. I try to make everything look nice, but I am more focused on making my guests comfortable than ensuring that every flower is positioned correctly in a decorative vase.

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03 If you could only cook from three cookbooks, which three would they be?
#1 Pok Pok: Food Stories from the Streets, Homes and Roadside Restaurants of Thailand by Andy Ricker, JJ Goode
#2 Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home by Ina Garten
#3 Flavor it Greek (the world of Greek cooking in the Portland area) by Philoptochos Society, Maria Boyer

04 Which trip has most influenced or inspired your cooking/entertaining?
Definitely the trip I just returned from, I went to Thailand and spent the majority of the trip participating in food-related activities. I took a cooking class, visited an organic farm, wandered through the floating markets, and ate a ton of Thai food from both restaurants and street carts. It really was eye-opening the way they use all parts of the vegetable and fruit to flavor their dishes. For example, they use the greens that come out of the top of growing garlic bulbs to flavor pad thai, which really gives it that signature pad-thai scent. And they use the leaves of the kaffir lime plant to flavor broths for curries and soups, and the zest to flavor stir fries and salads. I’ve definitely got some ideas for incorporating more of the vegetables from my garden into my cooking. Really an inspiration.


One Response to “Eva Kosmas’ Leek and Gouda Scones”

  1. Denise says:

    Eve, thanks for the shout-out on our sour cherry walnut scones! What a thrill to see that as we love your site.

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