Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Cheese Biscuits Made (Lazy) Easy

A couple of evenings ago we were having a very simple supper.  I grilled some very small steaks and we had a mixed green salad.  I didn't want to go the usual baked potato route, but we needed something else with the meal, and I needed to NOT go to the grocery store.  (I am trying very hard to have minimal food waste so we are eating a lot of things we have on hand, not necessarily what we want.)  I had a cup of buttermilk that I needed to use.  It is one of those odd foods with limited uses.  Mostly it is used in baked goods and salad dressing. We usually have an oil and vinegar based dressing so making ranch was out.  I rummaged through the pantry looking for a little inspiration and found very little there but happened on 5 pounds of flour that had gotten pushed way back in the cabinet. ( How do you not see an unopened 5 pound bag of flour and how do you have no idea how long it has been there?) Hmmmmmm,  no doubt about it then, I was going to make biscuits.

I used a very basic biscuit recipe, but did not want to roll them, so I altered it slightly to make a softer dough for dropping.  I also added a few more ingredients just to make them a little savory.  I found a hunk of cheese that someone (other than me)  had put back in the fridge a few days ago and left the package unsealed.  Not a lot to do with dried cheese but to shred and mix it with other ingredients, so adding cheese to the biscuits was a no brainer.

                                                  Basic Biscuits (plus a little stuff added in)

                 ( I may or may not have overcooked these by about 1 minute.  I'm not telling)

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (  if using dried reduce it by half)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley ( reduce by half if using dried)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
8 tablespoons butter, melted ( chilled and cut into small pieces if you want rolled dough)
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup grated cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Mix all the dry ingredients  and seasonings in a large mixing bowl.   Add the melted butter and buttermilk.  Stir until the flour is incorporated but do not over mix.  Add the cheese and stir through.  Drop them onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes.  I spritzed the tops of mine with an olive oil mister prior to baking them and sprinkled about 1/2 teaspoon finely grated cheese on each.

Since I melted the butter rather than cut it into the flour mix, these were denser than standard biscuits, but I was willing to sacrifice flakiness for ease.  If you prefer flaky rolled biscuits mix only the dry ingredients together.  ( Save the chives and parsley to add in with the cheese)  Grate the butter into a small bowl and stick it in the freezer for a couple of minutes to get it super chilled.  When it is very cold use 2 knives or a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal.  Add the buttermilk and stir till mixed, then add the cheese and fresh herbs.  Roll out on a floured cutting board and cut with a biscuit cutter.  Re-roll the scraps to cut additional biscuits.

Son2 and The Hub really did like these and Shelby ( the grand-dog) finished up the single remaining biscuit.  Their request was to add this to our regular rotation.  Since I still have all that flour that I need to use I guess I will, but will vary the spices and cheese based on what needs to be used.  I saw a small pack of forgotten goat cheese in the
refrigerator  Wonder how that would taste?

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