Thursday, May 23, 2013

Eating North Carolina and Cheddar Cornmeal Scones by Lucy Burdette

LUCY BURDETTE: I'm just home from a 12 day road trip in North Carolina, part family time, part writing retreat, and part book tour for TOPPED CHEF, along with my writing friends Hallie Ephron and Jennifer McMahon. 

Lucy with Molly Weston
Molly Weston was our guide and host around the Raleigh-Durham, and let me tell you, she knows exactly where to find good food. We ate our way through the area, sampling eastern North Carolina barbecue, fried chicken, fried okra, biscuits, hushpuppies, cole slaw--and don't let me forget some fabulous Mexican food with margaritas!

I did not have time to work out the recipes for those delicacies, though I promise I will try in the future. Meanwhile, I've got biscuits on the brain and I thought I would share one of my fallback recipes. The cheddar cornmeal scones originally came from Epicurious--I've taken a few things out to save prep time, and pumped up the flavor. These go with everything!


3/4 cup all-purpose flour (can substitute white whole wheat)
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 and 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
cayenne to taste (I use 1/4 tsp or so)
3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 egg
1/3 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 425. Mix together the dry ingredients, then cut in the butter using a pastry cutter until it resembles coarse meal. Again using the pastry cutter, blend in the cheese. Stir together the egg and milk and add this to the other ingredients. Stir until combined, then dump the dough onto a floured surface and knead  for a minute until everything holds together. Flatten the dough into a disk and cut it into six pieces. Place the sections on an oiled pan and bake for about 15 minutes until lightly browned. (Try not to overcook or the scones will be dry.)

Serve with butter and honey. These are magnificent with vegetable soup or pea soup or just about anything else you come up with!

Have you bought your copy of TOPPED CHEF yet? It's available now wherever books are sold.

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  1. I lived in Raleigh when I was first married, and I don't remember a single restaurant. Of course, we had no money, so an excursion to Burger King was a big treat. I'm glad things have improved! Plus you were guaranteed great company at your meals.

    1. I'm sure it's changed so much Sheila. If we hadn't had Molly at the wheel, we would have been hopelessly lost for six days. And we didn't eat anything fancy--just the best road food!

  2. Lots of great places to eat in that area now! Molly is a great hostess and knows where the good stuff is.

    I will try this recipe - looks wonderful and I can imagine how good it tastes.

    Thanks, Roberta/Lucy!

  3. Oh, yes--Cheesy "biscuits" Bring it on!

    1. I could use one now Libby--an afternoon pick me up. I think my hub ate the last one though...sigh

  4. Cheddar and cornmeal, what's not to like! So glad you had a great trip. (You know I lived in Charlotte for about 9 years, right?)

    Daryl / Avery

    1. I didn't remember that Daryl--you seem more like a California girl than Southern:)

  5. Dang, Lucy/Roberta, those scones look good! Can I have one with another of those frozen margaritas that you and Molly are about to enjoy? (They look good, too!) Sounds like your TOPPED CHEF tour was a great success, and deservedly so.

    Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!
    ~ Cleo

    1. thanks Cleo--the margaritas were delish. We were glad we didn't order the large size:).

      Happy Memorial Day everyone yes!

  6. Love the picture of you and Molly. She's such a wonderful hostess!

    These are most intriguing, Lucy! I have some friends who would swoon over these!