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
- 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
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
Yield: ½ cup
- ½ cup [1 stick] unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tablespoons honey
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
Last year I posted the lovely recipe below for Jalapeno Butter from Fresh Mexico by Marcela Valladolid. It’s a perfect recipe for this 4th of July. Jalapeno Butter on corn or on barbequed steak turns goodness into greatness.
Lately I have seen some options and tried some extensions. So, while you can follow the recipe below, here are ideas to expand your flavor repertoire.
First, you can keep the garlic and parsley and/or add some scallions for a modest flavor shift.
Second, instead of mashing everything together, use a food processor to generate a very smooth texture. A few seconds with soft butter will do it. You’ll want to pulse to mix, not to complete obliterate the jalapenos. What you should end up with is a lovely light green butter with speckles of dark jalapeno green.
Third, of course, you’ll want to use unsalted butter, then taste test. Some salt will probably be needed but it’s a matter of your preferences and the nature of your salt. This is the perfect time to visit that new salt store down the block and try something wild. A smoked salt would be perfect here.
Fourth, take out the parsley and replace with cilantro. Even more Mexican.
Ah, finally, if you have jalapeno and cilantro, you could put in half a ripe avocado for a guacamole butter.
And, really, really finally, if you have some or all of these suggested additions, you can edge towards a margarita flavor. Tread carefully here. Use 1-3 teaspoons of lime juice and/or 1-3 teaspoons of tequila. In the food processor, life is easy. Remember, you can’t un-lime and you certainly can’t un-tequila so start small and add.
In our latest batch, Suzen did the two jalapenos and one stick of butter.
“It’s a little too subtle I …” I stopped talking and went in search of a beer. Particularly if you use a high quality butter, the butter flavor and smoothness may come forward. You are about to fooled. It can take a few seconds for the backend hit of the jalapeno to register. Oh, but it will! So when you make this, already have the beer cold, out, and open. You’ll need it for the corn and steak anyway.
Jalapeno Butter 2012
Yield: ½ cup
- 2 jalapeno chilies
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 2 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Grill the jalapenos, turning them occasionally, until charred on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer them to a cutting board and let cool for 5 minutes.
Using a small paring knife, peel the jalapenos. Scrape out the discard the seeds and veins. Coarsely chop the chiles and transfer them to a medium bowl. Add the butter, garlic and parsley and mash together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the jalapeno butter onto the center of a square piece of plastic warp. Roll it up into a 1-inch diameter log. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until set, or for up to 1 week.