Tag Archives: biscuits

Pork Crackling Yeast “Biscuits” Redux

It’s been almost a year since I last made these pork crackling biscuits and I’ve been wanting to make some for the last month or so. They’re not particularly pretty  (I still took a lot of pictures to make up for the bad ones posted before) but they’re fluffy and tender from the pork fat in the cracklings. Some recipes grind half the cracklings to a paste and leave the other half more granular, but I kept them all granular. Duck fat was used to help create the layers.

Chunks of ground pork cracklings give texture and flavour to the biscuits

Two Different Finishes to the Biscuits  – The cuts on top should have been only 1/4 inch apart but I got lazy. The top layer slid off so it wasn’t as photogenic as the ones I made a number of years ago.

Pork Cracklings – cut into chunks and then ground

Layering the Dough

Advertisements

Buttermilk Cheddar Cheese Biscuits

The dog days of summer … when you need to make something to eat but can’t motivate yourself to try a new recipe so you go back to the old favourites.

I bought a liter of buttermilk cause I had some vague idea of making buttermilk marinated friend chicken but after the frying that I already did … cannoli and arancini … the thought of doing any more frying is making me nauseous.

So, I made buttermilk cheddar biscuits with some of the buttermilk. You can also make ice cream or pancakes with buttermilk. (Click on the LJ ‘buttermilk’ tag to see the posts.) But I wasn’t inspired to do so this time.

They’re great, because you can just eat them on their own, with a piece of cheese, slather them with butter or jam, or drizzle honey over the top or dunk them into a bowl of soup. You can even stick a chicken or sausage patty inside for breakfast. And everyone should know how to make biscuits, whether or not you use buttermilk instead of regular milk.

Sour Cream, Ham & Potato Soup and Sweet Potato Biscuits

I have several containers of ham stock/broth in my freezer and, rather than the usual ham and bean soup, I decided to make a ham and potato soup for a change. My only regret is not doubling the recipe.

Sour Cream, Ham & Potato Soup

Sour Cream, Ham & Potato Soup – serves 4-6

2 slices bacon, diced
1 very small (1/4 cup)  finely chopped onion
4 cups ham stock, divided (reserve 1/2 cup to mix with flour)
3 medium (3 cups) potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 large (1 cup) carrot, cubed
1 stalk (1/2 cup) celery, cubed
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup (or more) cubed or shredded leftover ham
1 1/2 tbsp flour
salt / pepper to taste
1/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1/4 cup sour cream

In a large saute pan or soup pot, render the diced bacon over medium heat until the bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon to a small bowl with a slotted spoon, and save for garnish. Saute the diced onion in the bacon fat for 4-5 minutes, or until translucent and lightly browned on the edges, over medium heat.

Add 3 1/2 cups of the ham stock, potatoes, carrots and celery to the saute pan. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the corn and diced ham and cook for an additonal few minutes in order for the soup to return to a simmer.

Whisk together the 1/2 cup of reserved ham broth and flour until smooth. Pour into the soup in a small stream while stirring, to avoid lumps. Let the soup simmer for 3 more minutes until the soup is thickened and the corn is cooked. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Remove the saute pan from the heat and let cool for a couple of minutes. Add the heavy cream, then the sour cream, stirring very well to combine. Do not let the soup boil after sour cream is added, to prevent thinning or curdling.

Serve with a few strips of crispy bacon on top.

Sweet Potato Biscuits

Sweet Potato Biscuits – makes 4-6 biscuits

1 tsp lemon juice
1/3 cup milk (fat free or 2%)
1/2 cup mashed sweet potato
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
1 tbsp brown sugar, packed
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, diced**

** Shortening used cause that’s what I had handy

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with a silicon mat or parchment paper.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and milk; let sit for 5 minutes to make buttermilk.  Add the sweet potato and stir until smooth, then set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flours, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and chopped rosemary.  Add the butter and cut into the flour with a pastry blender or two forks until the butter is -pea-sized.  Make a well in the center.  Pour the sweet potato mixture into the flour and stir until just combined.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured working surface.  Knead together 3-4 times, then form into a 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick round.

Use a 3-inch biscuit cutter to stamp out as many biscuits as you can, reforming the dough scraps as needed.

Transfer to the prepared sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes, until the biscuits are set and the tops are golden.

Serve hot.

Once cooled, store in an air-tight container for up to one week on the counter or two weeks in the refrigerator.

Turkey Pot Pie with Cheesy Drop Biscuit Topping

A while back I broke down a turkey and prepared the breasts and legs separately. One of the roasted breasts was taken off the bone, wrapped up and frozen for another day.

Today was that day.

I made the classic turkey pot pie with cooked diced turkey, cooked carrots and peas in a combined bechamel/veloute sauce. Sometimes, I’ll add dried French onion soup mix to the sauce but this time I didn’t bother. Instead, I went a bit fancy with a cheesy drop biscuit topping rather than my usual biscuit/scone topping. I’ve included both biscuit recipes below so you can use whichever you prefer.

Chicken/Turkey Pot Pie with Onion Gravy – serves 6

2 cups diced cooked chicken or turkey meat (mixture of light and dark)
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter (or margarine)
1 cup milk
1 cup chicken or turkey broth
1 tbsp French onion soup mix (optional)
1 cup cooked carrots
1 cup frozen peas, thawed or canned
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 deg Fahrenheit.

Warm up the milk and stir in the onion soup mix.

Melt butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook for a few minutes and then whisk in the milk, a little at a time. Then add the broth. Continue stirring until the entire mixture comes to a boil and then cook for an additional minute.

In a large casserole dish, mix together chicken, carrots and peas.

Pour the onion gravy over the top and stir gently so everything is combined.

Bake for 45 minutes. Raise the heat to 425 deg Fahrenheit and place the biscuit circle on top of the turkey mixture in the casserole dish and bake for an additional 12-15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the underside is set. **Or, cut the biscuits into individual wedges and bake on a buttered baking sheet.

Biscuit topping

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter (or margarine)
2/3 cup milk (or buttermilk)

Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Using two knives or a pastry blender cut in the butter til it’s the size of peas. Pour in the milk and fork together til it starts to form into a ball. Knead gently 10-12 times in bowl. Pat out into a circle that will fit snugly into the casserole dish over the pot pie mixture. Place the crust on top of the meat/veggie/gravy mixture.

Bake til the bottom of the crust is set, which should take another 12-15 min.** (Or, butter a baking sheet, cut the biscuit circle into 6 wedges, put the wedges on the sheet and bake there instead.)

To serve, cut through biscuit crust and scoop out appropriate amount of filling. Or put a wedge of biscuit on a plate and serve the filling on top or alongside the biscuit.

You can also make this in 6 individual 1-cup ramekins, cutting biscuit dough into rounds to fit on top.

NOTE: Check the underside of the crust to make sure it’s done at the bottom. If the crust is too thick, it will remain uncooked while the top is browned so you may have to cover it with foil and continue baking for at least another 15 minutes. For this reason, baking the crust separately is the safer method.

Drop Biscuit Alternative

Cheesy Drop Biscuits – makes 12-16 drop biscuits depending on size of spoon used

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 oz fresh Parmesan cheese, grated (or cheddar cheese)
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup whole milk

NOTE: This recipe assumes you’re baking your pot pie in a 9-10 inch cast iron skillet. If you’re using a casserole dish you’ll have leftover biscuit batter and your biscuit layer will be thick enough to need to be covered and baked another 15 minutes or so.

Preheat oven to 450 deg Fahrenheit.

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, cheese, baking powder, sugar and salt. Whisk to combine well. Add butter and milk. Stir to combine.

Drop biscuits by the rounded tablespoon full on top of pot pie.

Place the casserole dish or cast iron skillet on a cookie sheet and then slide into the oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until biscuits are golden brown. (Test to see if underside of biscuits are done. If they need additional baking, cover with a sheet of aluminum foil, shiny side up, and continue baking for another 10-15 minutes. Let sit covered for 5 minutes before serving.)

Sprinkle with fresh parsley, serve and enjoy.

I had some leftover breast that I didn’t use in the pot pie (as well as some turkey gravy) so I ate this the day before.

Romanian Pork Crackling Biscuits (Repost)

I noticed that all the picture links on this post in LJ from Jan. 2012 had expired, so, I went back and re-uploaded the pictures to another archive. And then decided to share the post for these wonderful pork crackling biscuits here.

Enjoy.

When I was growing up, my mother would make these wonderful rich biscuits studded with ground pork cracklings. Recently I was reminded of this dish by a post on Eva’s Kitcheninspirations and decided to try and make them based on advice from Eva, searches on Hungarian and Romanian blogs and my own memories of the biscuits I had enjoyed. Yesterday, I bought a pound of the cracklings and today I attempted the recipe.

In case you don’t know what pork cracklings look like, here are pictures of the whole and ground porky goodness. 🙂


I think my first attempt at these was a success on the whole.

Pork Crackling Biscuits – makes ~3 dozen 3″ biscuits

Romanian – Pogacele cu jumari
Hungarian – Töpörtyus Pogácsa

4 – 4 1/2 cups (~550 gm) all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 package ( 2 1/4 tsp) instant yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup warmed milk
2 tbsp fat (pork lard, regular lard or unsalted butter)*
1/2 pound (250 gm) ground pork cracklings
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup (200 ml) warm water (or milk)

* I used butter for this but will probably leave it out in the next batch as I don’t think it added much to the end product.

Egg glaze for biscuits
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp cold water
caraway seeds, optional

Chop pork cracklings roughly and then grind them in a food processor in batches, if necessary, so as to get an even granular mixture.

In a small bowl, dissolve sugar in 1/4 cup milk and sprinkle the instant yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5-10 min until the yeast gets foamy.

In a second bowl, combine the egg with 3/4 cups warm water (or milk).

Sift together the flour, salt, pepper and baking powder and place in a large bowl. Cut in the fat or rub it into the flour so it’s evenly distributed. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast/milk mixture and egg/water mixture. Knead for 5-6 minutes until you have a soft dough.

Let rest for 15 minutes.

Roll out about 1/8″ thick into either a square (~16″x16″) or rectangle (~12″x18″).

Spread 1/3 of the ground pork crackling mixture over the top.

Fold over opposite sides so you get 3 layers. Fold over the other 2 sides so you have three equal layers. Wrap up with saran wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll out again, spread with half of the remaining ground pork crackling mixture. (Sorry for the out of focus picture, I almost forgot to take it)

Fold, wrap and refrigerate. Repeat.

Preheat oven to 350-400 deg F.

After the last 30 minutes of refrigeration, roll the dough out 1/8″ thick. (For the Hungarian presentation, score the top of the dough with lines 1/4″ apart, making sure that the lines only go about halfway through the biscuit.) Cut biscuits out with a 3″ diameter biscuit cutter.

Let rest for 30 minutes. (NOTE: Did not do this.)

Brush top of the biscuits with the beaten egg mixture. (For the Romanian presentation, sprinkle a pinch of caraway seeds (8-10) in the center of the biscuit, if desired.) Bake 15-20 min or until lightly browned on top.

Trial 1: 400 deg F. Took 13-15 minutes until done. I estimated the amount of salt needed perfectly so I was very pleased with the taste. Unfortunately, they didn’t rise as high as I would have liked though they were the same height as the ones my mom made.

Biscuits – Hungarian style on the left and Romanian style on the right