Tuesday, October 30, 2012

buttermilk biscuits

when in high school
what we called 
"the roach coach"
rolled up come lunch-time
all sorts of delicious (read really unhealthy)
food stuffs
once a week
it stopped at kfc
loading up 
on chicken and biscuits

i would queue
for the length of our lunch break
for those biscuits
big, fluffy & buttery
just the nutritious lunch i needed
(ha ha)

those days are long gone
roach coaches
are now gourmet eateries
and i
much more discerning
in my biscuit admiration

 Buttermilk Biscuits
2 cups flour-plus more for kneading
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
5 Tbs unsalted butter--cold & cut into small squares
1 cup buttermilk--cold + more for brushing tops

mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.  using your fingers or a pastry knife to cut in the butter, allowing for both pea size and smaller pieces of butter.  do not overwork, you want the butter to stay relatively firm and cool.  quickly add in the buttermilk and stir to create a moist dough.  turn dough out onto a well floured surface and press into a rectangle.  do not saturate in flour, but also use enough to prevent sticking. bring the short ends of the dough in, folding into thirds.  give the dough a quarter turn and press or roll again into a rectangle.  fold into thirds.  repeat 2 more times, using enough flour to keep dough from sticking.
after the final turn, roll the dough into a 3/4" rectangle.  use a biscuit cutter to make rounds, or for simplicity, cut evenly into squares.
brush top of each biscuit with buttermilk, and place on a lined baking sheet.  i like to place my biscuits fairly close together, so they bake together a bit. it gives it a little softness around the edges. if that is not your thing, make sure you have at least 1 1/2" separation when placing in pan.  bake at 400F for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

sweet potato & swiss chard tart

i was able to pick up
swiss chard
for a song
at this week's market
which means
creating meals 
around this favorite green
has been my charge

this morning
i was longing for
the buttery crust of pie
with the
wholesome chew
of comfort

i threw together this tart
in a jiff
simply using
larder staples
sweet potato and swiss chard tart
1 pie crust--press in to an 8-9" tart pan
1 medium sweet potato--1/4" slice and halved
1/2 onion--halved and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic--finely chopped
1 Tbs (about) olive oil
1 bunch swiss chard--ribs removed and chopped into thin ribbons
generous pinch salt and pepper
generous pinch freshly ground nutmeg (or small pinch of dried)
6 large eggs
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 Tbs grated parmesan
2 stems thyme--stems removed (or 1/4 tsp dried)
1/2 cup grated cheese (asiago,white cheddar, provolone, or jack)
preheat oven to 375F.  Blind bake the crust for about 20 minutes.  When you remove the weights, you will fill with the custard and place back in the oven to continue baking.
Heat a large skillet over low heat.  Pour in enough olive oil to just coat the bottom of the pan.  Toss in the potatoes and onions.  Cook until the potato and onions begin to soften. You are not frying for color, you are softening the vegetables.  Toss in the garlic and swiss chard and continue on low-stirring occasionally) until the chard is droopy and has cast off some moisture. Do not let the garlic burn.  Season with salt and pepper and nutmeg
Pour into the par-baked crust and spread evenly to cover the entire bottom
Gently whisk the eggs, yogurt, thyme and parmesan together in a bowl. You want to incorporate the yogurt (eliminating large lumps) without incorporating too much air.  Pour over the vegetables.  
Reduce oven heat to 350F and place the tart on a sheet pan and then in oven.  Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the eggs do not jiggle when you gently tap the pan, and the crust is golden brown.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

keeping up with the clampetts (new blog)

i am city folk
an old dog can learn new tricks
milking a goat
is considered a trick

we are making a move
first emotionally

you can follow our progress
through a new blog
written with two voices

the words aren't
triple worked

the photos

just simply
the happenings
our feelings
lots of humor
beginning with the name

we were trying to think of names for the ranch
and summer was in full swing
what was green in the spring 
is now brown
hubs affectionately began calling the place
brown acres
i added in a tag line
keeping up with the clampetts
save for the 
occasional surprise pregnancy and trial separation
(livestock only)
will be more
jed and granny
kim and any poor soul with a k as his first initial

as we were making a list of all the equipment we need to purchase
we thought
we really should call this blog
honey i shrunk the nest egg

all references to pop culture
more accurately (gran)pop culture
it is our blog
and we will call it what we want
if it is only funny to us

i do hope
you follow along
so you will be good and ready
when we need a house-sitter 

follow us here

Thursday, October 4, 2012

zucchini chevre spoon-bread

a few days back
fresh from visiting
our long neglected garden
presented me
with an enormous zucchini
i sorta only grow zucchini
for flowers

a few squash survive
when they do
i use them for bread

this spoon bread is a great side dish
it also rocks
scooped warm and soft
as a bed
caramelized onions
sunny side up eggs
crispy bacon

zucchini chevre spoon bread
4 large eggs
6 oz olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup chevre
1/2 tsp freshly grated pepper
1 Tbs honey
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp fresh or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups all purpose flour
1 lb (about 3 cups) grated zucchini
1 cup grated cheese (mix of asiago, parmesan and provolone)*
*use your favorite flavorful cheese...if you use a salty cheese, modify your salt to 1/2 tsp

whisk together the flour, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl, set aside.  in a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the eggs and olive oil until pale (about 5 minutes).  add the salt, chevre, pepper, honey garlic powder and thyme.  mix for about another minute at as high speed as you can without splashing.  STIR in the flour until fully incorporated, then stir in the zucchini and cheese.  bake at 375F in an 9" buttered cake tin or cast iron skillet.  bake for about 45-50 minutes.  this is a spoon bread, so it will be soft, but should not be jiggly.  it will set as it cools as well.  serve warm.

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