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Bread Week, Part 3 – A Biscuit That’s Hard to Beat (Literally) – Cook’s Country Derby Biscuits

As we continue you along with bread recipes for this week, I get the chance to post a biscuit recipe that I recently tried. Usually, I don’t stray too far from the norm when I make biscuits. I have 2 recipes I rely on pretty heavily – one for quick biscuits and one for a traditional biscuit. However, when I saw this recipe in an old issue of Cook’s Country, I was intrigued. It is a recipe for what is called derby biscuits. Derby biscuits are basically appetizer biscuits that are perfect for use for small finger appetizers involving meats and cheeses. They are biscuits that have been around for hundreds of years, and the traditional recipe, according to Cook’s Country, is one where the cook needed to beat the dough as a way of leavening it. This was before the days of baking powder and baking soda. The biscuits themselves are very crisp and unique, perfect for use for appetizers. I decided I would give the recipe a try.

Cook’s Country Derby Biscuits

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled

1 cup milk, chilled

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Pulse the all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor until the ingredients are combined, about 3 or 4 pulses. Add the butter pieces and pulse the ingredients until the butter is reduced to pea-sized pieces, about 10 to 12 pulses.

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the milk and stir the mixture with a rubber spatula until shaggy dough forms. Turn out the dough onto a heavily floured counter and knead the dough until it comes together entirely and feels smooth, with a few small butter flecks still visible, about 8 to 10 turns of the dough.

Roll the dough into an 11-inch circle that is about a 1/2-inch thick. Using a 2-inch biscuit cutter dipped in flour, cut 22 to 23 rounds from the dough. Re-roll the scraps once to a similar thickness as the original dough and cut out 5 or 6 more rounds to yield 28 biscuits. Space the biscuits evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Prick each biscuit 3 times with the tines of a fork.

Bake the biscuits in the oven until the tops of the biscuits are a light golden brown, about 27 to 30 minutes, rotating the baking sheet about halfway through the cooking process. Let the biscuits cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack. Serve the biscuits warm or at room temperature.

Of course, the new recipe doesn’t involve beating the dough by hand and makes good use of the food processor and baking powder to mix everything and get the proper texture for the biscuits. The biscuits are very crispy on the outside and still tender on the inside, almost like a cross between a biscuit and a cracker. There is also a hint of sweetness in the biscuits from the sugar and milk that is quite nice. While I  initially served the biscuits with our dinner, I found they worked great for a breakfast biscuit with a piece of sausage on them. I think they would go very well for a small ham and biscuit appetizer or even with some cheese on them. I could also see them going nicely with some jam, preserves or jelly. One thing I will say about the recipe I tried – I didn’t get 28 biscuits out of the dough. I did get 20 (the small biscuits in the picture are what I call the “dog biscuits,” since I usually make 1 or 2 sized for him), and perhaps I didn’t roll the dough out into a large enough circle to get more, but in any case, I got plenty of biscuits for just the three of us to use for days. I would certainly keep this one in mind again to use for a party where we wanted appetizers with biscuits because it is easy to make and yields a nice product.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day (it is beautiful here in NY, sunny and in the mid-60s) and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on February 23, 2017 in Appetizers, Breakfast, Cooking, Dinner, Side Dishes, Snacks

 

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28 Breakfast Pastry Recipes – Bon Appétit

It’s early, it’s the weekend and you may be looking for something to have for breakfast. There’s not much better than having a nice warm pastry fresh from your own oven to enjoy with your coffee or tea. Bon Appetit has 28 great breakfast pastry recipes for you to try that are perfect for breakfasts, snacks, desserts or just any time you feel like having one. Check it out!

Source: 28 Breakfast Pastry Recipes – Bon Appétit

 

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6 Recipes for Better Biscuits | SAVEUR

Homemade biscuits are a treat that is difficult to pass up. They are perfect to go with any type of meal, are great to have with soups and stews and are perfect for those breakfast sandwiches you love. I make some biscuits about once a week so we can have them for different occasions, and Saveur has put together 6 great biscuit recipes for you to try that are great for any use. Check it out!

Source: 6 Recipes for Better Biscuits | SAVEUR

 
 

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Bake Up Some Salt and Pepper Biscuits

Biscuits are great to go with just about any type of meal at any time. I like to make a big batch of biscuits so that we have them around to have with various dinners or to go with breakfast with an egg and some bacon or just warmed with some butter for a nice snack now and then. The great thing about biscuits is that there seems to be an endless number of biscuit recipes and most of them are really easy to make any time you might like one. It is usually just a matter of having a few ingredients on hand to get started and you can have them for any meal you like. I liked this recipe from Bon Appetit for salt and pepper biscuits for a little bit of a different flavor.

Salt and Pepper Biscuits

3/4 cup sour cream

4 tablespoons heavy cream, divided

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper plus more

2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for surface

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Flaky sea salt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Whisk the sour cream and 3 tablespoons of the heavy cream in a small bowl. Pulse the baking powder, kosher salt, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and 2 cups of flour together in the food processor until they are combined. Add the butter and pulse the mixture until it is the texture of coarse meal with a few pea-sized pieces of butter remaining.

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Using a spoon, mix in the sour cream mixture, then gently knead the mixture a few times just until a shaggy dough comes together. Use a light hand with this part so you get tender biscuits; be careful not to overmix the dough.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface until the dough is about 3/4-inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter, cut out the biscuits, re-rolling the scraps as needed so you can use all of the dough. Place the biscuits on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and brush the tops of the biscuits with the remaining 1 tablespoon of heavy cream. Sprinkle the biscuits with the sea salt and more black pepper. Bake until the biscuits are golden brown on the tops and the bottoms, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve the biscuits warm with butter, if desired.

You could make this dough about 6 hours ahead of time if you want and just chill it until you are ready to use it. You get a really nice tangy flavor from the sour cream in the biscuits and I liked the mix of the salt and pepper with each one. I cut smaller biscuits than the typical 2 inches of biscuits so I got more from my batch. The recipe indicates you can get 8 2 1/4-inch biscuits if you use the larger cutter. they were perfect to go with our meal and are great to have with soups, stew, chili or just to have on the side of any beef or poultry meal that you have. As I said, they are also great for breakfast with some egg, bacon or sausage or just by themselves with a cup of coffee or tea. You do want to be careful with the kneading and overmixing so you do not get tough biscuits, which has happened to me before. A light touch seems to work best here.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on April 10, 2015 in Biscuits, Breads, Cooking, Dinner

 

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Enjoy Those Spring Vegetables – Awesome Asparagus Soup

We love asparagus in our household so it is great when it is in season and you can get lost of it at a really good price around here. It has such great flavor and there are so many different recipes you can make with it (we love it roasted; if you haven’t tried it that way, give it a shot). Couple the spring asparagus with the ridiculous cold weather we still have here in New York, and it seemed like a great time to make this great soup recipe I picked up from the food network. This recipe also makes some Parmesan breadcrumbs, which I did not make, but they sound pretty good to me. I opted to make some biscuits instead, but you could just as easily do the breadcrumbs.

Asparagus Soup:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, minced
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
3 bunches pencil asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup thawed, frozen peas or 1 cup shelled fresh English peas (about 1 pound unshelled)
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups lightly packed baby spinach

For the Parmesan Breadcrumbs:
Four 1/8-inch slices day-old sourdough bread (about 3 ounces)
Olive oil, for drizzling
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
One 3-ounce wedge Parmesan

Garnishes for the Soup:
Creme fraiche
Finely chopped fresh chives
Fresh cilantro leaves
Lime wedges
Asparagus tips
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

For the soup: In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, bring the oil to medium heat. Add the shallot and salt and pepper to taste. Sweat the shallots until they are translucent, about 1 minute, being careful not to brown them. Add the asparagus to the pot and sweat the asparagus until it is beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the peas and sweat for another minute. Pour in the white wine and deglaze the pot. Add 5 cups of water and continue simmering until the asparagus are crisp-tender, about another 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and set it aside.

Working in batches (and carefully as the liquid will be hot), puree the soup until it is smooth in a blender. In the last batch, add the baby spinach and puree; this will give the soup a vibrant green color. Strain the soup back into the pot through a fine mesh sieve. Return the soup to a simmer until it is slightly thickened, about 4 to 6 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the soup from the heat.

For the Parmesan breadcrumbs: While the soup simmers, pulse the bread in a food processor until you have very coarse crumbs. Once processed, transfer the breadcrumbs to a medium mixing bowl. Drizzle the breadcrumbs with a generous amount of olive oil. Toss the breadcrumbs with the thyme. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Transfer the breadcrumbs to a parchment-lined sheet tray. Using a grater, finely grate a few tablespoons of Parmesan over the breadcrumbs. Place the breadcrumbs into the oven and bake until they are golden and crispy, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the breadcrumbs from the oven and cool.

To serve: Ladle the soup into shallow serving bowls. Sprinkle the soup evenly with a few teaspoons of Parmesan breadcrumbs and top with a dollop of creme fraiche, if desired. Garnish with chopped chives, cilantro leaves, asparagus tips or a squeeze of a lime wedge and a splash of extra-virgin olive oil, if desired.Serve immediately.

The soup has great flavor from all of the vegetables and looks a great green color, just right for spring. One thing to remember when you are blending hot liquids, is to first let cool for 5 minutes or so, then transfer it to a blender, filling the blender only halfway. Put the lid on, but leave one corner open so you don’t have a vacuum that can make the whole thing explode on you. It’s dangerous and messy if you don’t do this. Make sure you  cover the whole thing with a towel too while you are blending to catch any splatters that can happen along the way as well. It’s a great soup that is very easy to make. The Parmesan breadcrumbs would be a nice addition because the soup does need the salt and pepper to get really good flavor and the breadcrumbs can give you that and more.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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A Breakfast Special: Homemade Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

Michelle likes to make a homemade breakfast on Sundays and this past weekend was no exception. She had asked me what I felt like having and I had suggested biscuits and sausage gravy. I know it is far from the healthiest breakfast out there, but it tastes really good and it is something we almost never have. I found this recipe from Cook’s Country that was simple and quick to make and didn’t use any ingredients that we didn’t already have in the house, which made it even better to try.

Homemade Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

Biscuits:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
1 1/4 cups buttermilk 

Sausage Gravy:

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
1 1/2 pounds bulk pork sausage
3 cups milk
Salt

 For the biscuits: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pulse the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, butter, and shortening in the food processor until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the buttermilk until combined.

On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until it is smooth, about 8 to 10 kneads. Pat the dough into a 9-inch circle, about 3/4-inch thick. Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter dipped in flour, cut out rounds of dough and arrange them on a prepared baking sheet. Gather the remaining dough, pat it into a 3/4-inch-thick circle, and cut out the remaining biscuits. You should have 8 biscuits in total.

Bake until the biscuits begin to rise, about 5 minutes, then rotate the pan and reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Bake until the biscuits are golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes, then transfer the biscuits to a wire rack and let them cool.

For the sausage gravy: Combine the flour, fennel, sage, and pepper in a small bowl. Cook the sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until the sausage is no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the sausage and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour has been absorbed, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in the milk and simmer until the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and serve over split biscuits. The biscuits can be stored in a zipper-lock bag for 2 days to be used again later on.

It’s a very simple meal that makes a great breakfast. You could just have this alone with your coffee, tea or juice or serve it with an egg over easy or scrambled eggs and you have a really nice breakfast for a weekend. We actually made extra so there was some left over for me to have another day. I just heated some of the sausage gravy up and added a little milk to it to loosen it up and had some with a biscuit. It was pretty darn yummy.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. As always, there’s still lots to come, including more Thanksgiving ideas and recipes to use. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on November 6, 2013 in Biscuits, Breads, Breakfast, Gravy, Pork

 

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Slow Cooking Some Stew

Tonight’s dinner has been cooking all day and it smells terrific. Beef stew is one of those meals that you can make all day in the slow cooker or all day on the stove, and it makes the whole house smell great. You don’t need a lot of ingredients to make it and you can always add other vegetables to it if you want.

Beef Stew with Bacon

4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped

3 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon salt, plus more, to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste

2 pounds boneless beef chuck, trimmed of excess fat and cut into chunks (I am actually using a london broil instead this time)

3/4 cup fresh mushrooms, halved if large

1/2 pound baby carrots

4 to 5 small red potatoes, scrubbed and quartered

1/2 pound frozen pearl onions (you can use 1 large yellow onion, chopped, instead)

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup dry red wine

1 cup beef broth

2 tablespoons tomato paste

In a large fry pan over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off the drippings into a small heatproof bowl, leaving about 1 tablespoon drippings in the pan. Set the pan, reserved drippings and bacon aside.

In a sealable plastic bag, combine the flour, the 1 teaspoon of salt and the 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Add the beef chunks and shake to coat evenly with the flour mixture. Return the fry pan to medium-high heat. When the drippings are hot, add half the beef chunks and cook, turning once, until well browned, about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer the beef to the slow cooker. Repeat with the remaining beef chunks, adding the reserved drippings if needed. Scatter the mushrooms, carrots, potatoes, onions, and garlic on top.

Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the wine, broth and tomato paste. Mix well, bring to a boil and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the pan bottom. Pour the  contents of the pan over the vegetables and beef. Cover and cook on the high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours or the low-heat setting for 8 to 9 hours. The beef should be very tender. Stir in the reserved bacon. Cook, uncovered, on the high-heat setting for 10 minutes more to thicken the sauce slightly. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Of course, the stew is great served with some crunchy bread, rolls or biscuits. If you would like to see a simple biscuit recipe, just check here for a previous blog entry that included the biscuits. You can always freeze any leftovers to save to be re-heated on a later day or use it for lunches during the week.

This was a pretty simple slow cooker meal, which is ideal for a Monday night. Tomorrow night, I’ll be making Bacon Chicken Ranch Quesadillas and we’ll be having the leftover black beans and rice and mango pineapple salsa, both from Sunday’s dinner. If you have any questions or there are any recipes that you might like to see or if you have some ideas for the blog, please feel free to leave a comment. Until tomorrow, have a great evening and enjoy your meal!

 
 

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