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Cheddar Bay Biscuits {Recipe}

1 Sep

463

I recently discovered putting together cheddar, flour, and garlic powder makes for a delicious way to spend a lazy Sunday.

These biscuits, inspired by the cult-classic favourite from Red Lobster, are most definitely going in my permanent recipe file. I’ve tried a few biscuit recipes before and this is my new go-to. It is not for those seeking a light accompaniment to an entree—the amount of butter is, shall we say, festive. But it feels light going down, which now that I think of it, makes the whole experience into somewhat a sadistic test in self-control.

However, as far as ideal biscuits go, this one is perfectly salted, tender-crumbed, and flaky.

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INGREDIENTS

Biscuits:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 tbsp grated parmesan
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tbsp chopped chives

Garlic butter :

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, grated parmesan, garlic powder, salt and, and cayenne pepper.

3. Add cold, cubed butter to dry ingredients with dough cutter or hands until some clumps remain.

4. Add butter milk, and stir using a rubber spatula just until moist. Gently fold in cheese and chives.

5. Using a 1/4-cup measuring cup, scoop the batter evenly onto the prepared baking sheet. Place into oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.

6. For the garlic butter, whisk together butter, parsley and garlic powder in a small bowl. Working one at a time, brush the tops of the biscuits with the butter mixture. Serve immediately.

Adapted from Damn Delicious 

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Chicken and Biscuits

8 Jan

Chicken and Biscuits

All good things must come to an end, and so it was that our whirlwind season of feasts and gluttonous repasts was over. Yet we resist and fought bravely to the end, carrying into January our still-vivid dreams of rich gravies and sauces—not to mention a newly cultivated appreciation for post-meal naps. But even so, ringing in the New Year always produces that mysterious effect of switching on a heart-achingly enthusiastic resolve to actualize long neglected goals or to just start afresh. For me, I revived the ever perennial resolve to adopt a lifestyle of well-being and fitness; yet good food and taste, those cannot be sacrificed. So this was going to take a bit of creativity. I knew the key was to begin by making small compromises that won’t make you fall off the bandwagon by mid February.

My newfound commitment would  be tested on a particularly cold Monday, the eve before the so-called polar vortex would assail London and when  a particularly daunting evening of legal research loomed. Sure, my first impulse was to order-in greasy Chinese—nothing better than mysteriously non-perishable, battered goodness.

But good choices were made that day. I steered myself towards my well-stocked fridge and tasked myself with putting together something that’s going to be satisfying for my conscience and my stomach.

It starts with a chicken broth—so purifying after the onslaught of flavours from last month which, by the fifth holiday dinner, seemed to run into each other. Fortunately, a typical post-holiday send-off from my family usually includes a jar of chicken or beef broth. So my broth of choice is familiar yet full of taste and goodness, so simple yet still complex. I have chicken thighs in the freezer, and lots of it. So I brown them a little and add them to the broth to make a hearty soup. I like  soups a little on the denser side, toeing into stew territory—so I added a little flour to my aromatics, browning in butter, to make a roux. Then in goes some white wine (the drier the better) and the best chicken stock you can find. Top it off with a few sprigs of thyme and bay leaves.

While all that was getting to know each other in my soup pot, I felt butter biscuits were in order, just to indulge a tiny bit. They turned out really flaky and buttery and complemented the chicken really well. Take a bite between spoonfuls of soup or dunk them in the broth. I’m almost reminded of a really good chicken pot pie.

INGREDIENTS

CHICKEN SOUP

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1½ lb lb. skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 medium carrots (about 1 lb.), peeled, cut into 2” pieces
  • 1 small celery root (about 12 oz.), peeled, cut into ½” pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups peas
  • 1 leek, white and pale-green parts only, chopped
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves

BISCUITS

  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour plus more for work surface
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½” cubes
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend

CHICKEN SOUP

Preheat oven to 400°. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook skin side down until, 8–10 minutes; transfer to a plate.

Carefully drain all but 2 Tbsp. fat from pot. Add carrots, celery root, onion, peas, and leek; stir frequently until softened and beginning to brown, 8–10 minutes.

Add butter; stir until melted. Add flour and stir constantly until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add wine and ½ cup water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until liquid is reduced by half, 5–8 minutes.

Add chicken, broth, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer until chicken is fork-tender, 35–40 minutes.

Discard herb sprigs and bay leaves. Transfer chicken to a plate. Let cool slightly; shred meat, discarding skin and bones.

Return shredded chicken to soup. Season with salt and pepper

BISCUITS

Whisk flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Add butter. Using your fingertips, blend until pea-size lumps form. Add buttermilk, sour cream and chives.

Using a fork, mix until just combined. Gather mixture into a ball and knead in bowl just until a shaggy dough forms, 3 or 4 times.

Transfer dough to a floured work surface and pat into a ¾”- to 1”-thick round. Cut out rounds with a 2” biscuit cutter or small glass. Gather dough and repeat patting and cutting. Transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet; brush with egg.

Bake biscuits until golden brown, 25–30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Revised from recipe via Bon Appetit

Megan’s Mushroom and White Wine Risotto

15 Jul
Risotto is such a demanding thing to make. I mean, anything with a recipe that bolds and underlines stir constantly, do not stop stirring should raise red flags but that being said, it is so friggin delightful, it will likely dominate my top 5 favourite things to eat forever and ever. What’s endearing about risotto is that something so elevated and fussy to make could have such amazing body and comfort factor.

Good risotto however, is actually pretty elusive-especially if you’re making it yourself and happen to be super impatient. Northern Italian nonnas will probably tell you risotto must be al dente but not mushy, creamy but not too rich and most of all, you can’t cheat and just let it sit in all of the chicken broth at once (the arborio rice won’t be able to absorb liquid to its full potential, making for a dull and not-fluffy risotto). Basically, making a perfect risotto is intimidating and gruelling but with some diligence and love for bang-up italian food (or intense hate for shelling out $25 every time at restaurants), it’s not impossible at all.





okay, so now that my preamble has made excuses for any possible failure on my part, let’s make risotto.


What you’ll need:


  • 1 pound of fresh mushrooms of your choice: I used portobello and oyster
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 chopped white onion (or 3 shallots)
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
should serve about two me’s 4 people

First, bring your chicken broth to a steady simmer at medium heat. Turn down to low to keep your broth warm throughout the cooking process. Tip: never add broth cooler than your risotto.


Meanwhile, clean your mushrooms. Tip: do so by ever so gently patting the ‘shrooms down with a damp paper towel. Rinsing them under running water is practically a damn felony ok?







A beautiful oyster mushroom, take care to clean the dirt in its “gills” without damaging them.




Tear up or chop up you mushrooms just like this…they look ginormous but remember that mushrooms lose alot of moisture when cooked and thus, will shrink quite substantially during the process. Extra points for finding local produce as often as possible (Ashburn, ON oyster mushrooms)




Putting your mushrooms aside, finely dice an onion

My contacts seem to prevent my eyes from burning when I chop onions. They only tear when I wear glasses like just now. Anyone else find that true/magical? 

Ok, then heat up a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot on medium low. Melt 3/4 c. of butter. My go-to brands are usually (yes, I have a “favourite butter”) Gay Lea and Lactantia My Country, which has unique buttercream like taste similar to butter you can get in Europe. Tip: don’t use anything but BUTTER. Margarine isn’t really good for you, I don’t like it, and risotto doesn’t like it. Also don’t be too concerned about calories because you can just eater lighter the meal before. But, if you still want low fat butter or margarine, you’ll probably end up with decent risotto but not the gooey creamy awesome variety (which you don’t deserve anyway!)



What great about these brands is that they offer convenient portions, a box will come with 4 of these slim sticks, each with a measurement guide. Genius. 







The rest I’ll save for the end of the cooking process.





Ouuu butter porn…and once your buttah is nice and melted, toss in those onions you painstakingly diced and saute until soft, not brown.


Now you may measure out the arborio rice (1 cup) and make sure you don’t use any other substitutes because other varieties simply will not give you enough starch content and the right kind of starch (amylopectin) that releases nice and slow  with stirring. Tip: never rinse this rice because the washing away of the surface starch will cause your risotto to become dry or inconsistent 


Add the rice to your onionsstir to coat every grain with butter for approx. 2 minutes. Tip: yes, Italians love to tan but they know to make sure their risotto rice do not become tanned or toasted, this will inhibit starch release later on. 


Add the mushrooms!



Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes…


Yup, Santa Carolina Chardonnay. I use this for cooking a lot because it’s so mediocre for drinking but quite affordable for making food. Which is good anyway because you won’t be tempted to sneak 1, 2, 10 sips and drunken cooking can be quite…painful.

Now at this point you may season to your taste with kosher salt and pepper. 

Time to add the broth, do so by ladling about 2 cups at a time or just enough to cover the rice mixture. 


What you want to do is stir for a minute or so and let it simmer for a bit, then stir some more until the liquid is almost (but not quite) absorbed. Repeat a million times. A lot people believe constant stirring is a myth and that good risotto is possible when you let it just simmer a bit. I like to stir at the beginning and end of each “cycle” and let the simmering do its job in between. 

Meanwhile, I’ve been inspired by fresh local summer corn and will promptly boil some as a side, yay corn. 




oh yes, I like it two at a time…
As your stock becomes almost depleted, taste your risotto to make sure it’s al dente. If so, the last step is to boost the creaminess of the risotto by adding that last teaspoon of butter I saved earlier, freshly grated parmesan cheese and a splash of heavy cream or half n half. In Italian this step is called “mantecatura”. Now you too can be the knowledgeable fucker who knows this fact. 


Now you’re ready to plate! 








Buon Appetito! 

bonus photo: 


so funny wtf. Can someone tip off Apple to make sure this becomes new photobooth filter? 







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