Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Patricia Rains’

It would be just plain wrong not to do something as fundamental and southern as a buttermilk biscuit as a tribute to Pat. She was a genuine Southern lady in all ways. I picked this recipe for Southern Living buttermilk biscuits to share, and they turned out better than just about any other southern style biscuit recipe I’ve tried.

I attempted to elevate my photos of this recipe by using our fancy camera instead of my cell phone, but even with a fancy gadget, flour just isn’t that photogenic. Thanks for your patience as I hone my skills as a food photographer. Of course, I still stand by my assertion that I am no food blogger, though this week might just whip me into shape.

Best Buttermilk Biscuits from “Southern Living”

From “A Pinch of This, A Smidgen of That” by Patricia Rains
  • 2 1/4 cups self-rising flour (see directions if you don’t have self-rising flour)
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk (see directions if you don’t have buttermilk)
  • additional self-rising flour (or substitution above) for counter surface to knead dough
  • 1/2 cup (one stick) cold butter–real butter! If you don’t have real butter, there’s nothing I can do for you. Just go to the store already.
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

As always, gather your ingredients.

Gather a few simple ingredients.

Gather a few simple ingredients.

There are really only three items here, but you might not have two of them lying around (I didn’t). Fortunately, Pat has supplied clever work-arounds if you lack the self-rising flour or buttermilk. First, the flour. As a general rule, simply add 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (not baking soda!) and 1/2 teaspoon of salt for each cup of all purpose flour. For this recipe, that’s 3.375 teaspoons of baking soda and 1.125 teaspoons of salt in this particular recipe (since I don’t have a .375 teaspoon measure, I just estimated). Then I suggest making one extra cup of flour this way for the kneading.

For a quick buttermilk stunt double, use one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice (something acidic) plus enough milk to make one cup; let mixture stand for 5 minutes before using. For 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, you’ll need to add an extra quarter of a tablespoon  to the mix.

Make your own buttermilk substitute in a pinch.

Make your own buttermilk substitute in a pinch.

Now start assembling. First, cut your cold stick of butter into quarter inch thick slices. Make sure it’s cold!

Slice the butter.

Slice the butter.

Sprinkle butter slices over flour in a large bowl, then toss the butter with the flour.

Toss butter in flour.

Toss butter in flour.

Cut butter into flour with a pastry blender until crumbly and mixture resembles small peas.

Cut with pastry blender.

Cut with pastry blender.

At this point, cover and chill for ten minutes; we want the butter to be hard, not melty. If you haven’t already prepped your buttermilk, now would be a great time–actually, it would be your last possible opportunity, so it’s now or never. Also, go ahead and preheat your oven to 450 degrees and lightly grease your baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.

Now the real work begins. Add buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Add the buttermilk.

Add the buttermilk.

All dry ingredients are just moistened; don't overstir.

All dry ingredients are just moistened; don’t overstir.

This is where things got hairy for me. I recommend extra flour–and lots of it–because this dough is crazy sticky. Make sure you cover your work surface with plenty of flour; I would even recommend adding flour to the top of the dough before you turn it out onto the counter.

Sticky mess! Use extra flour liberally.

Sticky mess! Use extra flour liberally.

Now for the kneading (for the record, it’s a tad difficult to get pictures of yourself kneading dough, so you’ll have to use your imagination here). Knead 3 or 4 times, gradually adding additional flour as needed. With floured hands, press or pat dough into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle (about 9 in x 5 in). Sprinkle top of dough with additional flour. Fold dough over onto itself in 3 sections, starting with 1 short end. (Fold dough rectangle as if folding a letter-sized piece of paper). Repeat entire process 2 more times.

Press or pat dough into 1/2 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface; cut with a 2-inch round cutter, and place, side by side, on a parchment paper-lined or lightly greased baking sheet or jelly-roll pan (dough rounds should touch). If I recall, I believe this baking sheet was actually a wedding gift from Pat! How apropos.

Cut out biscuits.

Seriously, cut it out.

Make sure the edges touch!

Make sure the edges touch!

Bake at 450 degrees for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven; brush with 2 tablespoons melted butter.

Brush with butter.

Brush with butter.

Serve while warm with whatever you desire….or just eat them plain. Stuff as many down as humanly possible. What to do with leftover biscuits is irrelevant as it’s unlikely there will be any. And, as always, enJOY!

Delicious, southern-style biscuits.

Delicious, southern-style biscuits.

Best Buttermilk Biscuits from “Southern Living”

From “A Pinch of This, A Smidgen of That” by Patricia Rains
  • 1/2 cup (one stick) cold butter–real butter!
  • 2 1/4 cups self-rising flour (see directions if you don’t have self-rising flour)
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk (see directions if you don’t have buttermilk)
  • additional self-rising flour (or substitution above) for counter surface to knead dough
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

Cut butter with a sharp knife or pastry blender into 1/4-inch thick slices. Sprinkle butter slices over flour in a large bowl. Toss butter with flour. Cut butter into flour with a pastry blender until crumbly and mixture resembles small peas. Cover and chill 10 minutes. Add buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 or 4 times, gradually adding additional flour as needed. With floured hands, press or pat dough into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle (about 9 in x 5 in). Sprinkle top of dough with additional flour. Fold dough over onto itself in 3 sections, starting with 1 short end. (Fold dough rectangle as if folding a letter-sized piece of paper). Repeat entire process 2 more times, beginning with pressing into a 3/4 inch thick dough rectangle. Press or pat dough into 1/2 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface; cut with a 2-inch round cutter, and place, side by side, on a parchment paper-lined or lightly greased jelly-roll pan (dough rounds should touch). Bake at 450 degrees for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven; brush with 2 tablespoons melted butter.

MAKE YOUR OWN SELF-RISING FLOUR: Simply add 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (not baking soda!) and 1/2 teaspoon of salt for each cup of all purpose flour. That’s 3.375 teaspoons of baking soda and 1.125 teaspoons of salt in this particular recipe (since I don’t have a .375 teaspoon measure, I just estimated).

MAKE YOUR OWN BUTTERMILK: If you do not have buttermilk, you can make your own using vinegar or lemon juice. One tablespoon plus enough milk to make one cup; let mixture stand for 5 minutes before using.

Read Full Post »

One of my ongoing culinary quests is to find the perfect corn chowder. I try a new recipe every once in a while, and I have finally found a couple that I really like. Coincidentally, one of these happens to be Pat’s Chicken Corn Chowder featured in her cookbook!

Pat’s Chicken Corn Chowder

From “A Pinch of This, A Smidgen of That,” by Patricia Rains
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 strips bacon, cut in small pieces
  • 2 cups cubed potatoes (Pat likes red potatoes; I had yellow this time)
  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken (leftover grilled/broiled breast works great)
  • One 8 oz. can cream style yellow corn
  • One 8 oz. can white whole kernel corn, extra crispy
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup chopped yellow or sweet onion
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups of half and half or light cream
  • Chopped parsley for garnish, optional

Assemble your ingredients and chop up those veggies. For the chicken, as recommended by Pat, I used one large chicken breast that Bart grilled on the Big Green Egg a couple of days ago. It supplied the added benefit of already having some seasoning and charcoal flavor, making this soup even yummier. Note that I used frozen corn instead of canned whole kernel corn, and I also used milk instead of cream/half and half, since that’s what I had on hand.

Chicken corn chowder ingredients

Chicken corn chowder ingredients

Use oil to lightly grease the bottom of a Dutch oven to prevent bacon from sticking (it’s okay if it sticks a little, because it leaves drippings for your veggies and chicken to cook and pick up the flavor). Cut the bacon into small pieces. Here’s a tip I learned on a cooking show: try dicing your bacon partially frozen; the fat really never freezes solid, but it is easier to cut when it’s firm and less squishy.

Dice up the bacon....frozen is easier!

Dice up the bacon….frozen is easier!

Heat on medium-high heat until the bacon sizzles, then fry until crisp. Keep stirred so it doesn’t burn. I chose to drain the fat two or three times during cooking so it wasn’t drowning.

Fry diced bacon, stirring frequently

Fry diced bacon, stirring frequently.

Remove bacon to paper towels to drain; cool and use these “bits” later for garnish. Or for an extra flavorful chowder, add them back to the soup near the end of cooking.

Sauté onions and celery in bacon drippings in the Dutch oven until tender (about 8 to 10 minutes). Add diced chicken and seasonings (Salt, garlic powder, and pepper) and stir frequently to cook through. Add potatoes, chicken broth, whole corn, cream corn, light cream (or half and half), and bring to a boil.

Add remainder of ingredients.

Add remainder of ingredients.

Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender. When potatoes are tender, you can add the bacon back to the mixture, or save it for a garnish (I did the latter). Serve warm, and garnish each serving with parsley and crumbled bacon bits. I couldn’t resist adding a bit of grated colby-jack as a finish. Of course, you should wash it all down with some iced tea.

I remembered to take a picture this time!

The finished product; I remembered this time!

The finished product; I remembered this time!

Beautiful and delicious. Bart and I enJOYed this for dinner last night, and I’ll have some yummy leftovers for lunch at work today.

Pat’s Chicken Corn Chowder

From “A Pinch of This, A Smidgen of That,” by Patricia Rains
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 strips bacon, cut in small pieces
  • 2 cups cubed potatoes (Pat likes red potatoes; I had yellow this time)
  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken (leftover grilled/broiled breast works great)
  • One 8 oz. can cream style yellow corn
  • One 8 oz. can white whole kernel corn, extra crispy
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup chopped yellow or sweet onion
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups of half and half or light cream
  • Chopped parsley for garnish, optional

Use oil to lightly grease the bottom of a Dutch oven to prevent bacon from sticking (it’s okay if it sticks a little, because it leaves drippings for your veggies and chicken to cook and pick up the flavor). Cut the bacon into small pieces. Heat on medium-high heat until the bacon sizzles. Fry until crisp. Keep stirred so it doesn’t burn. Remove bacon to paper towels to drain; cool and use these “bits” later for garnish or for an extra flavorful chowder, add them back to the soup near the end of cooking.

Sauté onions and celery in bacon drippings in the Dutch oven until tender (about 8 to 10 minutes). Add diced chicken and seasonings (Salt, garlic powder, and pepper) and stir frequently to cook through. Add potatoes, chicken broth, whole corn, cream corn, light cream (or half and half), and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender. When potatoes are tender, you can add the bacon back to the mixture, or save it for a garnish. Serve warm. Garnish each serving with parsley and crumbled bacon bits. Serves 8.

Read Full Post »