A good biscuit is of those great morsels that melts in your mouth. They smell divine while its cooking and, if done correctly can make any meal just that much better. But until recently, biscuits had been a little difficult for me. They always end up too buttery because I did not get the butter chunks processed small enough, or too dense, or flat and not flaky. None of this was the case with these biscuits. These biscuits are super airy and light, with the right ratio of butter and cheese.
You could definitely eat these with gravy or more butter, but I thought they were flavorful enough to be eaten plain, right out the of the oven, piping hot.
Pepper & White Cheddar Biscuits. Makes 10 two inch biscuits.
5 1/2 T unsalted butter
3/4 C milk
2 C flour
1/2 t kosher salt
1 T baking powder
1/2 – 1 t fresh cracked black pepper, depending on how peppery you want these!
1 scallion, finely chopped
1/2 shredded aged white cheddar, chopped (I used a 5 year)
1 T flour (reserved)
Measure milk out and place in freezer. Chop butter and also place that in the freezer. Shred cheddar and place back in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 425. Mix remaining ingredients together in a food processor taking care to ensure the baking powder is thoroughly mixed in. Add butter and pulse until you have a sandy textured flour mixture, this is about 10 pulses. Add cheese and pulse to combine, about 5 pulses. Add milk and process until mixture is a sticky dough.
Sprinkle half of the reserved flour on the counter and dump dough onto it. Sprinkle remaining flour over the dough. Touching the dough as little as possible form into a flat surface. With the dough 1/2-3/4 inch thick cut using a biscuit cutter or a juice glass. Place on a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes. Serve hot!
I first had a dish like this at my sister-in-law’s house in Arizona for breakfast. It was so yummy that I had to bring it home. This is the only way I can make breakfast that the hubs will not add hot sauce! It is simple and it introduced me to chorizo, but not just any chorizo, chorizo at breakfast, which is quite exciting.
The hubs and I rarely eat a meal without heat anymore. Everything we make has some hot or spicy component in it. Nothing crazy hot, but warm and chili flavored. This dish is a perfect example of exactly what I am talking about. If you like comfortably warm and have built at least some tolerance for heat, you will like this, so long as your chorizo is not blazing hot!
Chorizo Breakfast Potato Scramble.
Ingredients (recipe is for two, if cooking for four double the chorizo, bacon and potatoes)
1/4 lb Mexican style chorizo
2 slices of thick cut bacon
8 oz potatoes
1/2 t cumin
1 t granulated garlic
1 t Mexican oregano, crushed
1 medium red onion, diced
1 medium bell pepper, diced
1/2-1 C cheddar cheese
Chop potatoes into 1/4 inch cubes and place in a small pot. Fill the pot with cold water just to cover the potatoes. Boil over high heat for 6 minutes. Remove the potatoes from heat and drain. Set aside.
While the potatoes are cooking, cook the chorizo over medium heat in a large skillet. Remove from the pan and set aside. Drain fat from pan, it is ok if there are still chorizo bits present. Add bacon and fry. Remove from pan. Remove all but about two tablespoons of fat from the pan.
As an aside, if you want to pre-cook the bacon, reserve two tablespoons of chorizo fat for cooking the potatoes (it may make the dish hotter overall). If you use chicken chorizo instead of pork and don’t have a lot of fat, or don’t want to cook the potatoes in the fat at all, use olive oil (2 tablespoons).
Dice bacon when it is cool. Set these aside if you are still cooking your bacon.
Add potatoes and spices to the large skillet with the bacon fat. Cook potatoes over medium-high heat, tossing as they cook, for about 10 minutes, or until a nice char starts forming. After 5 minutes, add onions. After eight minutes add chorizo, bacon and peppers. Cook for two more minutes and turn off heat. Top with cheese.
Serve as is, with a fried egg on it or in tortillas with your favorite toppings, like cilantro, sour cream, and salsa.
Happy Fourth of July everyone! In honor of one of the most grill-centric holidays I will share with you one of the most amazing dishes we created while camping last week. It is simple, pre-fab, and out of our normal realm, but it is AMAZING!
On the heels of our hobo pie creation, I was thinking, what else can we make with that pie iron? It just so happened that on account of the hubs request, we had string cheese in the cooler. Tortillas and string cheese. Hot fire and pie iron. Oh yes, it is what you are thinking.
With the large tortillas I had I was able to cut them into four equal pieces. I trimmed the cheese to fit the iron then rolled each stick in a piece of tortilla. I buttered the iron directly and then put it in the fire. I let the cheese melt and the tortilla cook then, voila! it was cheese sticks…only one of the best things in the world. Right there in the middle of the woods. Packed in by us…so delicious. Dip in marinara sauce and ENJOY!
So I eased you into our little camping trip with a quick list of foods consumed. One of those items was some chicken thighs in Mojo Sauce. We made this our first night camping, but did not eat all of the chicken. So I put it in the cooler for consumption the next day. I also reserved some of the rice we had with the chicken just to see what I could come up with. I was thinking quesadillas, but that is not what we ended up with!
I was sitting, looking at our afternoon camp fire, thinking. It came to me. Why make quesadillas on the camp stove when I could make them into hobo pies and cook them on the fire!?! This is what I got.
2 large flour tortillas
4 cooked chicken thighs
1 handful of grated cheese
1/2 C cooked jasmine rice
cheese for sealing
Lucky for me the weather is finally turning. That means it is time to use up the spring vegetables before they all flower and go to seed. I harvested all of the broccoli because it was threatening to do just that. With so much broccoli florets and stalks on hand I thought that broccoli cheese soup would offer a good solution.
Who doesn’t love a quick, warm, creamy soup…wait did I forget to say cheesy? I love all of these qualities in a good soup. I do also love a low fat, low calorie soup, but this one is not going to be it. Usually I use 1% milk, but my soup is never creamy or smooth enough. So this time I used heavy cream. It definitely worked, but I am starting to feel like Paula Deen with the amount of heavy cream and butter I have been using!
Ingredients (makes four dinner sized bowls)
2 C heavy cream
2 C chicken stock
4 T butter
3 T flour
1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
10 oz broccoli, florets and stems
2 C cheddar cheese, shredded
1 t kosher salt
1 t freshly cracked black pepper
dash of cayenne, optional
Cut broccoli into bite sized chunks. Dice onion and mince garlic. Heat a large skillet to medium heat and melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add broccoli and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Set aside. Add 3 tablespoon of butter to a stock pot (I used a 3 quart), melt and add flour. Combine butter and flour into a smooth paste (roux) and cook for 2 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Whisk in broth and cream and bring just to a boil, reduce heat to medium and add sautéed vegetables. Simmer for 5-10 minutes avoiding a full boil. Stir in cheese with a whisk until mixture is smooth. Season with salt and pepper(s).
Top with croutons or serve with garlic toast.
A note: this soup is best served right when it is made. It has a tendancy to thicken up a lot in the refrigerator. Should you need to refrigerate it you can use some milk to thin it out when reheating.
Back in February I haphazardly sowed a handful purple top turnip seeds thinking nothing of it. Well now at the beginning of June I have turnips coming out my ears (yes they have lasted this long without bolting because it is has been cold, cold, cold here). Until this happened I had never even thought about what do with turnips! Through my research I found some interesting ideas but I have been wanting to make some au gratin potatoes for a while and the turnips sort of look like potatoes so I thought why not, let’s mix it up a bit. The turnips gave the potatoes a little bit of an edge, spicy but not overwhelming to the taste buds.
I just love au gratin. Growing up I used to eat those boxes of dehydrated potatoes all the time. In college I continued to eat them, but because I was without regulation and did not have to share, I would eat the whole box at once. The clear downside to that is that it was only an 8×8 panful. Today we are not eating processed foods as a habit, but I still crave au gratin potatoes. The best part about this recipe is that it makes an entire 9×13 panful and it doesn’t have the weird dried cheese in it!
6 small turnips
3 Russet potatoes
3 T unsalted butter
3 T flour
2 C milk
1/2 t kosher salt
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t dried thyme, crushed
dash of cayenne pepper
2 C shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 400. Peel and sliced turnips into 1/8 inch thick disks. Wash potatoes and cut them into 1/8 inch thick disks as well. Spray a 9×13 inch baking disk with non-stick spray. Arrange on half of the potato disks, overlapping slightly, in the baking dish. Cover with half of the turnip disks.
In a large sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and combine into a smooth paste. Cook for 3 minutes. Add milk 1/2 cup at a time, combining thoroughly until all of the milk has been added. Increase heat to medium-high until the mixture bubbles, stirring frequently to avoid burning the milk. Add salt, pepper, thyme and cayenne. Reduce heat to medium and add one and a half cups of cheese, one handful at a time, stirring to melt and combine.
Add half of the cheese mixture to the baking dish. Layer the rest of the turnips and potatoes into the baking dish and top with the remaining cheese mixture. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of cheese and cover with tin foil. Bake for 75 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 15 minutes more.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
These little breakfast morsels were something to write home about! They were fairly quick and easy to make and offer an on-the-go, compact breakfast option for busy weekdays. Or, if you wish, they are a more creative way to eat biscuits and gravy for a weekend brunch!
Let me explain.
The muffins in and of themselves are great. But in typical fashion for my house, breakfast is not compete without gravy (according to the hubs). Sitting with his muffins in front of him, still piping hot from the oven, the hubs takes his first bite of the airy, light, cheesy muffin and states, “It’s like biscuits and gravy, but without the gravy.” So up I go and make up a quick white gravy and plop it down in front of him. I hear a dunk and a “yum!” Yup, they needed something, I was thinking salt, but Mr Waffle Sandwich was thinking something with a little more substance and he was right about one thing, the gravy really did make it seem like portable biscuits and gravy.
Even if you don’t want to make up the gravy, have no fear, these muffins are great on their own. They are even better the next day warmed in the microwave, don’t even need butter due to the moisture they retained. I was inspired to make this version of breakfast muffins by my dislike of peppers that were in the last version I made. Something about the cooked peppers turned me off to them. I think it was the texture. Although they were very good and were well liked by others, they were not has comforting and scrumptious to my palate as I had craved. So I started thinking about my perfect breakfast muffin morsel, what would be in it, what would make it so good to me? I came up with this recipe as an answer to those questions. And though I try to include as much veg in my meals as I can, especially breakfast, where it seems to get left out often, it was not going to find its way into my perfect muffins!
This recipe made 24 muffins, filled full!
3 c flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 t kosher salt
1 t freshly ground black pepper
1 t granulated garlic
2 eggs, beaten
1 c buttermilk
3/4 c milk
3 T butter, melted
1/2 lb bulk pork breakfast sausage (I used sage)
5 oz crimini mushrooms, about 12 small
8 oz cheese, shredded (I used cheddar and swiss)
2 T chives
Preheat oven to 375.
Cook sausage and set aside to drain on paper towel. Chop mushrooms and chives. Grate cheese. In a large bowl combine dry ingredients, mixing to make sure the ingredients are evenly distributed in the bowl. Add butter, eggs, and both milks. Mix to combine. Add remaining ingredients and combine.
Line a muffin tin with paper liners and spray with non-stick cooking spray. FIll each cup at least 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and muffin tin and cool on a wire rack. Let the muffins cool before trying to peel off the paper liners otherwise they will stick. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.
A couple of weeks ago I shared with you a recipe for Carnitas Tamales. As you might recall I used the carnitas recipe found on the Healthy Food for Living blog. This recipe was really inspiring. It was awesome to find such a lean meat used in such a flavorful way. It is also a great use for pork loin, which is often used only in a roast scenario. I have made some great grilled pork loins, but this method is just new and fun. I adapted the original recipe a bit and I am using it here. Next I think I will try using the loin to make pork barbacoa.
But this post really in not about the carnitas, much like with the tamale recipe, this is about the vehicle. Last time we used masa, tonight we use tortillas. Now, we just love making burritos, but recently we have just loved making anything burrito, into a panini. So here we have Carnitas Panini Burritos.
This recipe should make enough for 4.
1 recipe Carnitas
1 recipe Mexican Potatoes
1 orange pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 large orange pepper, thinly sliced (really you can use whatever color you want)
1/2 C green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 16 oz can refried beans, vegetarian
4 oz shredded cheese (pepper jack or cheddar—to be honest we used more than 1 oz per burrito…your call)
4 burrito sized flour tortillas
Sour cream, lime, cilantro
Sautee onions and peppers over medium-high heat for three minutes. Just until they start to soften. Warm beans in a small pot. Heat panini pan over medium heat. Assemble burritos and seal with cheese. Panini away!
Here is a step-by-step on how build a burrito.
Eric has been wanting cheesy potatoes for weeks. But since they are the WORST thing ever for you I have not made them. Also, I just learned they are called funeral potatoes if you are from Utah….weird. Anyhow, I gave in and helped him make a healthier version…kind of!
4 cups frozen shredded hashbrowns
1 can healthy choice cream of mushroom soup
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 orange pepper, chopped
1 minced serrano pepper
1 zucchini, grated
1 C shredded cheddar + 1/2 cup for topping
1/4 C sour cream
2 t black pepper
2 t kosher salt
Preheat oven to 350. Spray 8×8 baking dish with non-stick spray. Mix all ingredients together. Put in prepared baking dish and top with 1/2 C of cheese. Put in oven for 45 minutes (longer if you want to).
Enjoy your food sin!!