Suzi's Blog

Chipotle and Cheddar Biscuits with Honey Butter from Gale Gand

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Yes, ten years ago you could not spell chipotle or easily find them in many stores. Now, every dish seems to contain it. Chipotle overload? Perhaps. It is time to be selective, and this recipe is just that. Chipotle is combined with cheddar cheese and paprika. The resulting biscuits are warm, not hot, to the taste and have a lovely reddish brown color.

To complement the warmth, we served these biscuits with honey butter. Why bother to make honey butter? Why not just put butter on the biscuits and then top with honey from the bottle?

Oh, you did not read my recent post about the book Taste. When you taste food, there is the sense of taste involved and the sense of smell and the sense of texture or feel. Honey butter integrates the honey texture into the butter and mutes the sweetness. If you simply pour honey on a biscuit and bite, your tongue is unavoidably saturated with the honey sweetness and the velvet texture of the flowing honey dominates the signals going to your brain.

If, on the other hand, you make this honey butter, the experience is very different. You will, for example, use less honey than if you were pouring it on directly. The sweetness level is lower, so the biscuit flavor is not lost. Try this butter just once and you’ll be a fan.

These two recipes are from the same author, Gale Gand, and two books, Lunch and Brunch. Lunch is new, Brunch is a few years old. Both would be tasteful additions to your kitchen bookshelf.

Chipotle and Cheddar Biscuits

Yield: 12 2-inch biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for your work surface
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons smoked or regular paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh scallions
  • ½ cup [1 stick] cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Preparation:

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, sugar, paprika, chipotle, ½ cup of the cheddar, and the scallions. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds to combine and blend in the spices. Add the butter and continue to mix on low speed to break down the butter, mixing just until just combined. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead it slightly to bring it together, if necessary. Roll out the dough to ¾-inch thickness and cut out 2-inch-diameter circles with a cookie or biscuit cutter. Place the circles on the lined baking sheet. Press the dough scraps together, roll them out again and cut out as many biscuits as you can. Repeat until you’ve used all the dough. Evenly distribute the remaining12 cup cheddar over the tops of the biscuits.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the biscuits are puffed up and golden brown on top.

The biscuits keep in an airtight container for up to 1 day at room temperature or up to four days in the refrigerator. If refrigerating, reheat them in a 350-degree toaster oven for about 5 minutes before serving.

Source: Lunch by Gale Gand

Honey Butter

Yield: ½ cup

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup [1 stick] unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoons honey

Preparation:

In a bowl, beat the butter with a wooden spoon. Then mix in the salt and honey. Pack the honey butter into ramekins, and serve at room temperature; or warm it in a small saucepan over low heat (or in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time) until melted, and serve hot.

Source: Brunch by Gale Gand

 

Photo Information [top picture]: Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/5.6 for 1/16th second at ISO-3200

 

 

Garden Salad Tortilla from Alice Waters

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The image is from a greens and herb vendor at the Kingston farmers market. Sometimes these guys can be lifesavers.

Suzen’s cooking school, Cooking by the Book, offers team building classes for corporations. Teams come here and socialize for a bit, then cook together in our very large kitchen, and naturally eat what they have just cooked. Enough people have passed through our kitchen to fill Giants Stadium. Twice.

So Suzen has seen everything. She tries to anticipate what is coming by planning and planning. Asking questions and asking again.

There are, despite all that, occasional surprises. She tries to anticipate food needs for those who come to cook and eat. Allergies, vegetarians, vegans — everyone is welcome and everyone can be prepared for.

Except, sometimes as we are plating the food they have prepared, Suzen will get a note from someone in the event saying, typically, “I’m actually vegan and I don’t want to make a fuss but while I just cooked that chicken, I can’t eat it.”

That’s why Suzie usually has on hand a stash of Portobello mushrooms, ready for a quick turn in the sauté pan. But what if the person, God bless them, is allergic to mushrooms, too?

Thank God for Alice Waters. In her new book The Art of Simple Food II you will find a lifesaving recipe, right there on page 40, second recipe in the lettuce chapter. The idea is refreshing, simple, and refreshing simple: combine greens, herbs, yogurt and some spices to create a lovely tortilla filling. Complement the fresh garden ingredients with the nutty warmth of a grilled tortilla, and you have a meal anyone, or any rabbit, can enjoy.

We do hope you’ll visit Cooking by the Book and enjoy an event with your team or your family. Don’t hesitate to mention any special food needs. We please any palette. It’s Suzie’s pleasure.

Garden Salad Tortilla 

Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 handful of salad greens
  • A few tender herb leaves
  • Spoonful of plain yogurt
  • Sprinkle of salt [exotic is grand]
  • Pinch of freshly ground spices [cumin, coriander, nigella, or fella]
  • 1 whole wheat tortilla
  • Drizzle of good olive oil

Preparation:

Gather, wash and dry well the greens and herbs.

In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, salt, and spices.

Over a gas burner or in a hot pan, grill/warm the tortilla. Place the warm tortilla on a plate, spoon the yogurt over half the tortilla, add the greens and finish with the olive oil.

Fold, bite, savor.

Consider Alice’s advice to be growing your own greens, no matter how small your living space.

Source: The Art of Simple Food II by Alice Waters

Photo Information [top picture]: Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/5.6 for 1/20th second at ISO-3200