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Pepper Biscuits

In Uncategorized on July 22, 2012 at 11:06 am

This is how I make biscuits. I have been told that the pepper in these biscuits gives them a sausage gravy kind of taste.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) sweet cream salted butter (the real stuff!!)
  • 3/4 to 1 cup milk (skim, buttermilk, 2%, or whole–all work fine)

Instructions

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Cut the cold butter into small cubes and add the cubes to the dry ingredients.

Cubed butter

3. Cut or rub the butter into the flour mixture. This is actually a pretty easy thing to do, but may not be familiar to those who are new to making biscuits or crusts. This video shows you three different methods–you don’t have to buy any special equipment if you don’t want to. Just ignore the part at the end where the instructor adds water. That would be for a pie crust.

4. Add cold milk to the mix and stir with a spoon just until combined. Start with 3/4 of a cup. If the dough is remotely dry, go ahead and add more. You should end up with a thick, wet, lumpy dough.

5. Use a spoon to drop the biscuits onto an ungreased cookie sheet. The dough will be too wet to use a traditional biscuit cutter and going straight from the bowl to the sheet will keep the dough from being overworked.

Freshly dropped – can you see the chunks of butter??

6. Bake at 425 degrees (preheated) for 15 to 20 minutes. You’ll know they are done when the tops are golden brown and they are springy to the touch.

Golden and springy!

Inside the Biscuit

There are endless variations once you get the basic idea of the biscuit under control. Some of my favorite things to do are to add parmesan or cheddar cheese (4 to 8 ounces for the recipe above). A tablespoon of basil works nicely with added cheddar or cheddar jack. When adding additional ingredients, you may need a little more milk. I recommend starting with the usual amount and then slowly adding more if the dough is too dry.

Finally, this is a recipe that is incredibly easy to double, triple, or cut in half. In fact, I have, in an act of biscuit desperation, made a single biscuit for myself using a couple of tablespoons of butter and flour!! The size of each biscuit is also infinitely variable. I made six large biscuits using the above recipe, but it would be no problem at all to make them smaller and have eight or ten biscuits–just watch the time, as it may not take as long for smaller biscuits to cook.

I hope you find these as easy to make as they are to eat. Enjoy!

Simmerable Hot Dog (or Sloppy Joe) Chili

In Uncategorized on April 23, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs ground beef (I used 80/20 leanness, but I don’t thing it matters much)
  • 4 cups water
  • 12 oz chicken stock
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1.5 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley (or 2-3 tablespoons fresh chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

  1. Add the water, chicken stock, tomato paste and beef to a large pot. Break up the beef so that there are no chunks. It looks a little gross, but the easiest way to do this is with your hand. An alternative would be using a large fork. Just make sure the mixture is not chunky.
  2. Add all the spices.
  3. Simmer over medium-low heat for 2 to 3 hours, stirring every 15 minutes. When it’s done, it will be thick and smooth and most of the water will be gone. Taste it when you think it’s done and adjust the spices if you want it a little hotter, sweeter, or saltier. The above measurements are what I liked at the end, but  I don’t like it crazy hot. Just a nice back of the throat chili spice to it.

I doubled this recipe to take to work and it came out great, but took 5 hours. It is freezable though, so if you feel up to making a big batch, it might be worth it for future cravings!

K&W-style C&P (That’s Chicken ‘n’ Pastry)

In Uncategorized on November 1, 2011 at 9:33 pm

It was a simple request:

“Make me some chicken pastry that tastes like the kind I used to get at K&W Cafeteria in Rocky Mount, NC.”

The bad news?

I have never been to K&W Cafeteria and I thought Greg was talking about some kind of turnover/empanada kind of situation.

The good news?

I have the internet.

After a quick search for “K and W chicken pastry recipe,” I found a recipe posted by someone who not only lived in Rocky Mount, but also ate Chicken Pastry at K&W Cafeteria for lunch all the time!! So thanks, Stefanie, for your Rocky Mount K&W Chicken Pastry Posting goodness:

 
Stefanie’s K&W C&P

 

The ingredients are simple and the process is as well. The only alteration I made was using jarred bouillon paste instead of bouillon cubes. And, Stefanie, you don’t know how hard it is for me to leave a recipe alone…but I’m so glad I did!

Ingredients:

1 3-4 pound whole chicken (cut into pieces)
6 to 8 water
4 tablespoons chicken bouillon paste
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste

Step 1:  Boil the chicken and bouillon paste until the chicken falls off the bone (about an hour and fifteen minutes on my stove).

Step 2: Remove the chicken and let it cool. Once it is cool enough to handle, debone the chicken and shred it. If cooked properly the chicken will fall into pieces very easily.

 

A pile of chicken cooling off after a nice boil.

 

Step 3: Make the pastry strips (Just 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of the broth from boiling the chicken combined with 2 cups of all purpose flour. Knead the dough lightly, roll it out to about 1/4 of an inch in thickness, then let it rest for about 20 minutes. Finally, cut it into strips).

Knead, roll, rest, and cut.

Step 4: Bring the broth back to a boil.

Bubble, bubble...

Step 5: Add the pastry strips to the broth and boil for about 10 minutes.

Step 6: Add the deboned, shredded chicken and boil for another 5 minutes.

Step 7: Salt and pepper to taste. I recommend starting with 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons pepper. Add more if you like.

 

And the finished bowl of yum.