Sunday, November 2, 2008
There is a certain seafood restaurant empire named after a scarlet crustacean that serves up baskets of cheesy biscuits with every meal. They're a favorite of many, and I decided they couldn't be that hard to make at home. I was right, these are one of the simplest recipes, and sure to impress. I served them up next to some fancy fish and broccolini at a dinner party last week, and every time I bring one in to work people scrounge for a bite. Neither too casual or too standoffish, these should definitely find a place on your table.
Although you can certainly roll these out and cut them, I find they rise better as drop biscuits, plus I love the texture of those crispy, craggy corners.
Smoky Cheddar Scallion Drop Biscuits
Makes 24 (halves easily).
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour (preferably White Lily-not the self rising kind)
5 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp sugar (for browning)
2 tsp hickory smoked salt (or regular salt)
2 tsp chile powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 sticks of butter, cut into cubes
2-3 cups coarsely grated smoked cheddar
5 finely chopped scallions
1/2 cup finely chopped jalapenoes or two finely chopped chipotles in adobo(optional)
1 cup buttermilk (shake well before measuring)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with two racks dividing it into thirds. Line 2 cookie sheets with silpat or parchment paper.
Whisk together all dry ingredients. Add butter cubes and use a fork or pastry blender to cut them into the flour until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add remaining ingredients, stir until just combined. Do not over mix.
Use your hands to form large biscuits. Drop 12 rounds onto each cookie sheet.
Bake until golden (about 20 - 25 minutes), rotating pans halfway through.
Best served warm. These reheat easily. I make a lot because they freeze well and everyone always wants more. Feel free to halve the recipe.