Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Betcha Can't Eat Just One

As I mentioned in the last blog entry, I made drop biscuits to go along with that Broccoli Rabe, Black-Eyed Pea, White Bean and Sausage Soup. While I try to limit carbs around here during the week, that soup kept calling out for something “bread-ish.”

Soup and salad without bread just doesn’t sound right.

So, I caved. Since I was deep into perusing Lee Bailey’s “Soup Meals,” it didn’t take long to stumble upon his recipe for Mozzarella Biscuits. Since I didn’t have any mozzarella on hand, it didn’t take long to adapt the recipe to what I did have in my fridge.  Here is the delicious result:

CHEESE-Y AND PEPPER-Y DROP BISCUITS  (Adapted from Lee Bailey’s “Soup Meals”)

2 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne (or more to taste)
6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cubed
1 ½ cups buttermilk
1 cup grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 450-degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, black pepper and cayenne into a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or, better yet, your fingers until butter is incorporated and is the size of small peas. Add buttermilk and stir to make a thick dough. Stir in cheese. The dough should be thick enough so that it will just drop from a spoon with a little nudge (Lee’s words, not mine. Gotta love that).

Drop onto the baking sheet by the tablespoonful and bake for 15 to 18 minutes until golden. Remove to a baking rack to cool slightly before serving.

Yield: 20 – 40 biscuits, depending upon how big you make them

*  As usual, I used an ice cream scoop to drop these onto the baking sheet.  (Alright, I will admit to having a ridiculous assortment of the things).  For this recipe, I used the 1 1/2-inch scoop.  Worked like a charm!

Oy veh.  What's wrong with me that I have this many scoops, anyway?
How.  Ridiculous.

*  These are cheesy, savory little morsels that are crunchy on the bottom and absolutely addictive.  My no-carb scruples were totally thrown out the window once these biscuits came out of the oven.  Damn!

*  In fact, they are so good, they don't even need butter.  Can't believe I said that.

*  Lee says you can bake, then store these for a couple of days.  To reheat, place them directly on the oven rack so the bottoms stay crispy.  If it works for Lee, it works for me!

*  As I was about to close the book, I noticed Lee's recipe for Pecan Snickerdoodles with Mandarin Oranges.  What?????  Guess that's showing up soon on my recipe agenda......

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