Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Garlic-Cheddar Biscuits














I had the good fortune to have all the traffic lights with me for a change, so I got home from work tonight about 5 minutes early (out of my usual 15).  Gina's Skinny Recipes happened to post a garlic-cheddar biscuit recipe the other day, similar to that served in many seafood restaurants.  And I happened to be, making a fish dish tonight.  Since I had all this extra free time, I celebrated by making a batch of those biscuits.














I've made cheddar biscuits before, but was never been able to taste the cheese.  Seems to me, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but if an ingredient is important enough to be in the recipe name, it should ... ya know ... taste like it's in there somewhere.  To be fair, I usually use pre-grated cheddar (which contains extra substances to prevent clumping) because it seems a time-saver.  This time, however, I conveniently didn't have any of the pre-grated persuasion in the fridge, so I was forced to use up those precious 5 extra minutes grating my teeth cheddar.

Except it took a whole whopping 1-1/2 minutes.  Including pulling out the hand-grater (which is called that because if you're not careful you'll grate some of your hand).  That's it!  That's all!  Still a tad more time that ripping open a bag, but you could finally tell that there was cheddar in the cheddar biscuits.

The original recipe is a little faster because it calls for purchased biscuit mix. Neither the low-fat nor the regular version of any biscuit mix magically appeared in my pantry, so I had to mix up a batch from scratch.  Don't panic!  It also was pretty quick, as you will soon see, plus it calls for vegetable oil instead of nasty hydrogenated solid shortening.

Forgot to mention earlier, a drop biscuit is called that because the dough is dropped into uneven blobs onto the baking sheet, as opposed to cutting into uniform rounds or squares. 

I made one other little change.  Remember the pesto used in my tomato soup from the other day?  I used someof it instead of the parsley.  Basil pesto is a delicious substitute; minced basil leaves could be used here instead.  Basil can be quite strong, but because I only used a small amount, the basil didn't overpower the garlic.  Although to be honest, an entire jar of pesto could never overpower garlic.

Lower-Fat Garlic Cheddar Biscuits
adapted from Gina's Skinny Recipes
Make 12-14 biscuits

2 cups biscuit mix (purchased, or one recipe Biscuit Mix, recipe follows)
2 Tbl. butter, melted
2 tsp. chopped garlic, divided (jarred okay)
1 tsp. basil pesto
2-3 oz. shredded sharp or extra-sharp Cheddar cheese (low-fat okay)
2/3 cup low-fat milk (1 or 2%)

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.














In a large bowl, combine biscuit mix, cheddar cheese and 1 teaspoon garlic. Stir in milk and mix with a large spoon or fork until mixture is barely moistened.














Avoid over-mixing, which produces gluten, making for biscuits that can double as rocks.  Better to under-mix than over-mix.














Drop dough by large plops (about 2 tablespoonfuls each) onto prepared cookie sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes (biscuits will not be done).

While biscuits are baking, partially melt butter in microwave on high power, about 1 minute.















Stir in pesto and remaining teaspoon of garlic and nuke about 30 more seconds. 














Brush biscuits with garlic butter. Try not to faint at the loveliness and aroma from the garlic butter.














Keep slopping on the garlic butter until it's used up.














Bake biscuits for 5 more minutes, or until lightly browned.  Try not to eat the biscuits immediately;  wait and let them cool a little.

Serve warm.

Biscuit Mix - Easy
makes about 2 cups
based on Bisquick Clone

2 cups minus 3 Tbl. unbleached flour
1 Tbl. plus 2 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbl. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil














Gently overfill a 2-cup measuring cup with the flour.














Using a knife (or the flat-side of the scoop as I did), sweep off the excess.  Preferably back into the flour container.














Scoop out and remove 3 tablespoons of flour from the cup.














Pour dry ingredients into food processor.  Pulse a couple times to mix.














Then pour in the oil.  














Pulse 5-6 times to evenly distribute the oil.

That's it!  Use in any recipe that calls for biscuit mix.

2 comments:

The Mom Chef said...

Nothing beats finding a great recipe and then finding another one within it! I'll be making these biscuits sooner than later and just about did the happy dance when I saw the biscuit mix there too.

dena said...

Love your happy dance, Mom Chef!

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