Make dinner tonight, inspired!

Wondering what to make for dinner tonight? This is your place for quick and healthy meal inspirations. Here you'll find recipes for seasonally focused dinners, desserts, breakfasts, and everything in between.

My cooking focuses on the freshest ingredients prepared in a simple and careful way, to highlight their uniqueness. My own diet is primarily vegetarian, but does include sustainable fish and seafood, and is gluten free.

Thank you for reading. I look forward to sharing some of my favorite recipes with you!

11 September 2010

Buttermilk Biscuits

I made these biscuits last night to serve with my Fresh Corn Chowder . They were great hot out of the oven, perfect for topping with butter and dipping in the soup. I just finished eating one for breakfast this morning, with plenty of butter and jam. It was equally delish at room temperature and was still light and flaky.

To flavor the biscuits, I generally toss in whatever herbs I have about. Sometimes I'll add chopped olives or sundried tomatoes. I've even added a bit of sugar and tossed in golden raisins and fennel seeds for a sweeter biscuit. The recipe is very adaptable and it's a good one to memorize as it's such a nice compliment for so many mains.

The most important thing to remember when making biscuits is not to overwork the dough. If you do, they'll be dense and tough. The dough should be shaggy and loose when you roll it out. I generally don't even bother with a rolling pin and just pat it into a circle with well floured hands. Once you get a feel for the dough and the optimal thickness, you might also find this an easier method.


Buttermilk Biscuits:
Yields 8, 2.5" biscuits

1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 TB baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
2/3 cup low-fat buttermilk

1/4 cup sugar plus 2 TB dried fruit (raisins, currants, cranberries...) & 1 tsp spices (cinnamon, fennel seed, 5-spice...)
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (parsley, rosemary, thyme, chives...)
1/4 cup grated cheese (cheddar, parmesan, gruyere...)
1/4 cup chopped vegetables (olives, sundried tomatoes, roasted red peppers...)

1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, xanthan, and salt. Add the butter and mix, either with a pastry blender, or with your hands, working quickly to incorporate the butter before it gets too warm. The butter should be about the size of peas.

2) In small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and the egg.

3) Add any of the additions above (herbs, cheese etc....), and the buttermilk & egg. Reserve about 1 TB of the buttermilk/ egg mixture for washing across the top of the biscuits before they bake. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry with a fork until you form a shaggy mass.

4) Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and gently knead a few times, taking care not to overwork the dough. Roll or pat into a 9" diameter round x 3/4" thick. Using a 2.5" round biscuit cutter, punch out biscuits and set them onto the prepared baking sheet. You can re-gather and re-roll the dough scraps to form the full 8 biscuits if needed.

5) Brush the tops lightly with the remaining egg and buttermilk mixture. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown and puffed. Serve warm or at room temperature with butter.

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