Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Bacon, Tomato and Thyme Biscuits

Now that soup weather is upon us once again, wouldn't you love some savory biscuits to eat enjoy with your soup? Whether it's a small cup for lunch or a big bowl for dinner, it's time for some warm soup or stew and some delicious biscuits to eat with it. 

I came across a recipe in our local newspaper for cheesy bacon biscuits from a restaurant in Door County, Wisconsin. I didn't have the cheese so adapted the recipe to what I had on hand which was bacon, sun-dried tomatoes and some fresh thyme.  I loved the way the recipe utilized folding the dough over twice to create the beautiful, flaky layers.  The melted butter and sprinkle of flaky sea salt on top when they come out of the oven is so delicious.  

Try these biscuits with Hearty Lentil Soup, Minestrone Soup, Onion Soup Gratin, Provencal Vegetable Soup, Lentil Soup with Ham and Kale, or one of my most popular recipes, Navy Bean soup. You can also click on the Soups and Stews link under my Post Labels on the right for more soup ideas.

The biscuits are wonderful with soup but you could also split them in half and place a small slice of good deli ham inside and eat them as sandwiches! You've got to love the colors and food of fall :)

This is what our weather looks like today.  Cold and rainy! Soup time :)

Bacon, Tomato and Herb Biscuits

Makes 6-8 biscuits

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup pastry flour (all-purpose flour could be substituted)
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup cooked, chopped bacon
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves (may use dried thyme - or substitute herb of your choice)
1 cup buttermilk

Note: 1 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese may be added when you add the bacon.

Melted butter and Flaky sea salt to top rolls

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flours, the 1 teaspoon sea salt, baking powder, baking soda and sugar. Cut butter into dry ingredients with a pastry blender until coarse, not fine. Add bacon, dried tomatoes and chopped thyme and stir lightly to combine. Add buttermilk and mix until just moistened.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and push into a 2-inch-thick rectangle. Do not overwork dough. Fold dough in half from long end, flatten and fold again. Pat dough into a rectangle 1½ to 2 inches thick. Cut dough into 3-inch squares or use a 3-inch biscuit cutter, being careful not to twist cutter as you cut. Gather scraps, handling as little as possible. Flatten and cut remaining dough. Place unbaked biscuits on a parchment paper or silipat-lined baking sheet. For crispiest biscuits, place them farther apart. For softer biscuits, place them as close together on the pan as you can without them touching (no closer than ½ inch, as they do puff slightly).

Brush tops of biscuits with melted butter and sprinkle with flaky sea salt (such as Maldon).

Bake in preheated oven 15 to 22 minutes or until evenly golden brown on top. Best eaten slightly warm.

Recipe adapted from Blue Horse Beach Cafe in Fish Creek, Wisconsin

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Southwest Bean and Quinoa Salad

I have a great salad to share with you today!  It's full of delicious southwestern flavors and so healthy with the black beans, quinoa and sweet bell pepper. Some minced chipotle pepper in adobo, chopped cilantro and lime juice in the dressing give it a zesty but not overpowering taste. 

As an added bonus, it can be prepared a day ahead and brought to your football tailgate or potluck party. It even tasted great two days later.  

I served it with grilled beef tenderloin but it would be perfect with so many things!  It could even be a light meal on its own.


Slowly, our fall colors are starting to arrive - much later this year than the past two years. With all the rain we've had, mushroom are popping up all over!  These are just two currently growing in our yard.  I think the one on the left is a Shaggy Mane mushroom and the one on the right is a Puffball mushroom.  The Puffball is about the size of a softball now but could grow to be the size of a soccer ball! We had our two oldest grandsons overnight this past weekend for the first time since I broke my wrist.  Happy times! 

Southwest Bean and Quinoa Salad

Serves 6-8

2 12-oz cans organic black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar (or try my favorite, Champagne vinegar)
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 chipotle pepper in adobo, chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, finely diced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat about 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Turn the cooked quinoa out onto a large plate or small sheet pan.  Spread out to cool. 

In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar, soy sauce, lime juice and chopped chipotle pepper. Add the olive oil in a thin stream, whisking until blended. Add the black beans, quinoa, scallions, yellow pepper and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper, toss to combine and serve.

Do ahead:  May be made the day before.  Still tastes great after two days refrigerated!
Adapted from Food and Wine