Sour Cream Drop Biscuits – MFC

This is the recipe I have used for years and years. It is from my mom’s very best friend -Mary Francis Christy. It is simple and so very good and the technique, you must admit makes it even better. I have made these for years and years when I just want a simple biscuit to go with my dinner and maybe a couple left over for breakfast the next day.

D&D_2680I do not have self-rising flour in the house often, unless I plan on some biscuits and in this case, I was not thinking ahead. If I don’t have self-rising flour, I do know how to make it out of all-purpose flour.

So here is the dead simple deal:

1/2 pint full-fat sour cream (full-fat – come on, you are making biscuits, right?)
8 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
healthy pinch of kosher salt
2 cups self-rising flour (or the make your own version w/A-P flour)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix all ingredients. Drop into greased muffin tin and bake until golden brown, 25 – 30 minutes, turning half way through.

You can also drop them onto an parchment-lined baking sheet, but the muffin tin thing is so much easier and they cook at the same time because they are the same size. Great, or what? Yep, great.

Sorry – since we are in the Biscuit Project, I really think these beat the drop biscuits from Cook’s Country. But you must understand – they are in Boston – that should tell you everything you need to know.

Although, I will allow that the technique here – baking the biscuits in muffin tins really makes a big difference. Cook’s Country – take note.

My mom and Mary Francis were like two peas in a pod. It was like having a local aunt, since all my real aunts live in North Carolina or beyond. I loved going to her house and I loved it too when she came to our house. Every time we just hung out in the kitchen and sort of saw what happened.

It is good to have people like that in your life when you are still impressionable – you know – what they now call tweens. But I’ve always been happier in the kitchen than anywhere else.

Sweet Potato Biscuits – a cautionary tale

Yes. It’s that time of year, again. Sweet potatoes biscuits with ham, horseradish cream, and cranberry relish. Another Thanksgiving and a new version of a sweet potato biscuit. I am still searching for some illusive thing in the sweet potato biscuit department. Will I ever find it? Not sure, but I will not stop looking until I am very satisfied with what I am baking.

Tried a new recipe – did not work, um, at all.
Source: Chowhound. Don’t make this recipe. Just saying. 8 November 2017

I am sorry. I am not satisfied. These were blah. I did like the idea of the grated frozen butter though but I am thinking I am going back to my recipe from Foster’s Market. Lord I loved that place. Maybe Sara Foster would let me open one here it the best part of Florida which is, by the way, just Lower Alabama. This is LA.

D&D_1363So here is my go-to so far. And what I will make this weekend for our Friends-giving pot luck appetizer lunch on Monday. Thank goodness is we have a three day weekend, because otherwise this would never happen especially since I have to plan for way more food than I may never make.

Sweet Potato Biscuits (easy recipe to half)

5 cups self-rising flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup cooked mashed sweet potato – usually 1 sweet potato (roasted)
2 Tbsp. salted European butter, melted – spend the little bit extra.

Preheat oven to 425°. Stir together first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Cut butter cubes and shortening into flour mixture with pastry blender or fork just until mixture resembles coarse meal. Cover and chill 10 minutes.

Whisk together buttermilk and sweet potato in a large measuring cup. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Don’t over work this – I think it effects the rise.

Turn dough out onto a well floured surface, and knead lightly 3 or 4 times. Pat or roll dough to 3/4-inch thickness; cut with a 2-inch round cutter, reshaping scraps once (Do not twist cutter – this is way more important than you may think, but biscuits are a bit fussy about things like this – just don’t do it. The won’t rise well if you twist.).* Place rounds on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Bake at 425° for 18 to 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Remove from oven, and brush tops of biscuits with melted (salted) butter – do this, yes. Serve immediately.

Makes 3 dozen.

Source: Foster’s Market – Foster’s is on the 15-501 between Chapel Hill and Durham, NC. It is a fanciful place that does so many things well. I miss it greatly, but I loved going there. Sara Foster is gifted in a way not many people are and it was a great joy to be able to frequent the shop/restaurant/coffee shop/whatever. The Foster’s Market Cookbook is the ONLY signed cookbook I have. Ms. Foster is charming, engaging, and lovely.

Made a half recipe this time, excellent as always.

Had been using Emeril’s recipe for sweet potato biscuits for years – a dozen or so, but I think the Foster’s Market version rose a bit better. I do like the use of ground pecans in Emeril’s recipe. Need to figure out how to combine the two. Both recipes are now in my Thanksgiving binder, so that means something

*This year, did not bother with biscuit cutters at all and just used my # 30 disher and it worked out really well as a drop biscuit. Yeah, so much easier than rolling and cutting and whatnot. Not quite as uniform, but tasty all the same.

2015 Butter Usage (by month – October)

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Lemon Lemon Lemon Loaf

So this is pretty much the beginning of fall baking season, and while it is not cool here yet, I guess just the change in the timing (it’s getting dark earlier and earlier) makes me want to bake (and cook) more. So I’m thinking my October numbers are really going to be pretty good. I’m also planning lots more for November since I don’t have to travel for work or any other reason, which is a blessing in itself.  So … here are the October butter numbers.*

2 October 2015 – 16 Tbs – Butter Pecan Cookies
2 October 2015 – 12 Tbs – Lime Meltaways
5 October 2015 – 16 Tbs – Sausage Cheese Biscuits
7 October 2015 – 8 Tbs – Banana Nut Bread
9 October 2015 – 7 Tbs – Apple Pie “Tatin”
16 October 2015 – 16 Tbs – Lemon Lemon (Lemon) Cake
17 October 2015 – 4 Tbs – Orzo
21 October 2015 – 12 Tbs – Pinwheel Cookies
23 October 2015 – 10.6 Tbs – Pound Cake Cookies
31 October 2015 – 4 Tbs – Cheddar Parmesan Crackers
31 October 2015 – 16 Tbs – Thin Oatmeal Pecan/Walnut Cookies

121.6 Tbs = 15.2 sticks = 3.8 pounds

I think next year, I will keep track of eggs too. Geez, the price for them is amazing and not in a good way. I do understand why, but ouch.

Fall / Thanksgiving planning

I guess it is time to start thinking about the fall baking/cooking season and, dum dum dum … Thanksgiving. It seems that Thanksgiving always sneaks up on me. Because it does not get cold here, really, until after January. I’m still wearing opened toe sandals for heavens’ sake.  I can’t imagine doing Canadian Thanksgiving – October 12th. Too soon for us in the South, but not too soon for them, I suppose. Good on you!

And here are the things I am thinking about:

Down-sizing recipes – for a few of us that is what will happen. How do you scale down cornbread dressing? I have no idea. Depending on what family stays, what family and friends are coming into town, and what family goes to others out of town, it makes a difference in planning. But there are certain things that just must happen for Thanksgiving. Cranberry relish – yes!

Why not biscuits for Thanksgiving? Hello, we are in the south – yep. Drop biscuits are my favorite. Sour Cream drop biscuits instead of my usual Parker House rolls.

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Sweet Potato Biscuits with ham and horseradish cream

I think I need a new filling for my sweet potato biscuits. I love them the way they are, (with ham and horseradish cream} but I think I must come up with something new. But I do think horseradish will be involved. It is a stupidly great combination.

Something with corn – I’m thinking a corn soufflé which could be really cool.

Some kind of apple dessert – slab pie, maybe? Or this apple cake “Tatin” thing?  Did that this month, and … so amazing. You can read about here.

A Fall Salad – with apples, pecans, some spinach and, in my perfect world, mandarin oranges. Yep.

Do hate all the pumpkin crap,,, Guess that is, mostly, because everyone goes all pumpkin crazy beginning in August. It is just way over kill. And the taste is largely meh. But apparently I’m in the minority on this one. I just don’t get it.

Sausage Cheddar Biscuits

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Sausage Cheddar Biscuits

I love biscuits. Guess every real Southerner does – it is probably genetic to some degree. My favorite weeknight biscuits are drop biscuits. They come together fast and are super satisfying with a quick dinner. They are also great the next day, split open and toasted and topped with cream rich butter.

The recipe I used for these Sausage Cheddar Biscuits is from Tricia Yearwood’s cooking show. I enjoy her show because so much of what she fixes, based on her family recipes, are very very (!)  similar to the way my mom always cooked. In fact, I’ve used several of her recipes to help be get back to something my mom made, but I never had a recipe for. Part of the problem is that my mom, largely, didn’t have recipes for most of the things she made. Another part of the problem was me. I would call and ask for help with making something and I made just the laziest of notes about them, and then she was gone. It took time to realize all the things I didn’t know. So now I’m trying to get back to what I never took the time to do before.

On to these biscuits. I think, really, I know, any time you add sausage to something, it is good eats. Lovely as well is that I had all ingredients on hand. Not surprising considering that there are only five.

8 ozs pork bulk breakfast sausage, hot
1/2 pound unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 cups self rising flour
5 ozs shredded extra sharp cheddar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment.

In a skillet, cook sausage until well browned, breaking the sausage into small pieces. Drain on paper towels and cool completely.

In a stand mixer, mix together sour cream and butter mix in flour, a little at a time until fully combined. Add sausage and cheese and mix until incorporated.

Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough onto parchment. Bake until lightly brown 20 – 25 minutes, rotating half way through.

Notes: So many things.
First, I did not have self-rising flour, so I made my own.
http://www.kingarthurflour.com/tips/homemade-self-rising-flour.html
This is not a problem in my opinion because I rarely use enough self-rising flour to keep it on hand.
The original recipe used pork sausage with sage – not a flavor I’m a fan of, so the change.

The thing I did wrong on the first batch was forget what one of my mom’s best friend taught me about drop biscuits. I made the biscuits too big, they spread a bit much, but they tasted amazing. And duh, what’s the trick? Bake drop biscuits in a muffin tin. It is perfect! Every time.

Sweet Potato Biscuits – Foster’s Market

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Foster’s Market Sweet Potato Biscuits with tavern ham and horseradish cream

I always seem to make too many sweet potatoes for my most requested Sunday Sweet Potatoes dish for Thanksgiving. So there are two things you do with excess sweet potatoes. Oh, and in November / December they are really inexpensive.

1 – feed dogs mashed sweet potatoes – they totally love it. And then they start to expect it – spoiled puppies. But I love them – probably way too much.

2 – make sweet potato biscuits. A sublime thing, that is stupidly, simple.

I was living in Chapel Hill, NC the first time I had sweet potato biscuits and they were served just like this – with salty ham and horseradish cream. Heavenly.

Sweet Potato Biscuits

  • 5 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup cooked mashed sweet potato
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425°. Stir together first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Cut butter cubes and shortening into flour mixture with pastry blender or fork just until mixture resembles coarse meal. Cover and chill 10 minutes.

Whisk together buttermilk and sweet potato. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Turn dough out onto a well floured surface, and knead lightly 3 or 4 times. Pat or roll dough to 3/4-inch thickness; cut with a 2-inch round cutter, reshaping scraps once. (Do not twist cutter.) Place rounds on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Bake at 425° for 18 to 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Remove from oven, and brush tops of biscuits with melted butter. Serve immediately.

Makes 3 dozen.

Foster’s Market

Made a half recipe this time, but they were excellent.

Had been using Emeril’s recipe for sweet potato biscuits, but I think the Foster’s Market version rose a bit better. I do like the use of ground pecans in Emeril’s recipe. Need to figure out how to combine the two.