Um. ‘Scuse me? I really am still here….

September 21, 2011

Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa. I really do love all y’all. I’ve just been…busy. Stressed. Traveling. Not cooking.

Ham biscuits, quiche cups, and assorted other good stuff.

Except for this spread I turned out for Grandchild 1’s dedication brunch, which was quite a tasty spread, and not a half-bad-looking-one, if I do say so myownself. Helps that Child B has a quite nice dining room table and lots of nice serving ware in which to display it.

There was nothing of exceptional difference from stuff I’ve made before except the quiches, which I will detail in a separate post when Child B gets around to sending me the pics from HER camera, since I forgot mine. The pic here is from my tacky little cell phone camera. At least it’s in focus, which is something the tacky little cell phone camera frequently does NOT get right.

I do, however, have my eye on a Nikon D3000 camera that’s on sale on the Circuit City website. Then y’all can bite me, far as photos go; I’ll have it down. Provided I can keep from getting it stolen or lost. Soon!

Anyway: the brunch menu. I did ham in Parmegiano black pepper biscuits. They were pretty damn good, if I did make them myself. I’d forgotten to get brown sugar for the glaze, so I combined white Karo syrup with mustard, cinnamon and paprika and glazed said ham (Petit Jean, spiral sliced) with that before I baked him. The biscuits were just biscuits, with a healthy dose of black pepper and parmesan cheese in them.

Note: When you’re doing cheese biscuits, toss your grated cheese with your flour after you cut in the shortening, but before you add the milk/buttermilk/cream/whatever liquid you’re using. Otherwise you’ll never get your cheese distributed. Black pepper acts like a dry ingredient, too.

Roughly, my recipe:

  • 3 cups self-rising flour (I normally use a/p and add baking powder, but I was at Child C’s and she doesn’t bake. Path of least resistance)
  • About 1 1/2 tsp black pepper, preferably freshly ground
  • About 1 1/2 cups finely grated cheese (I love parmigiano in this, but any relatively strong cheese is good; I’ve had good results with asiago, romano, and sharp cheddar)
  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • About 1 cup (maybe more, maybe less, I don’t measure) half and half or buttermilk

Using a fork, cut the shortening into the flour until it’s to the coarse crumb stage. Toss with the grated cheese and black pepper. Add the cream/buttermilk and stir; keep adding until you have a very soft, moist, sticky dough. Barely stir it enough for it to come together.

Turn it out onto a floured board (or if you are cooking in Child B’s kitchen, floured overlapped sheets of waxed paper) and knead just enough to make a smooth, non-sticky ball (two or three good kneads should do it). Pat to about 1-inch thick (because Child B doesn’t have a rolling pin), and cut out biscuits (using, in this case, an emptied and washed small can of sliced black olives, with the bottom cut out).

Put on a greased cookie sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven for about 18-20 minutes, until nicely golden.

Now, bear in mind, it was extremely difficult for me to put proportions to this, because I have been making biscuits since I was 10 years old, which is a Long Damn Time, and I think I quit measuring after about the first three times. Because Grandmama didn’t measure, so why should I?

Play with this recipe. Use a different spice. Use some chopped fresh herbs. You can use butter instead of shortening (make sure it’s cold, and cut it into pats first). Vary the cheeses. I did some once with mimolette cheddar that was pretty dang good. It also works with manchego or Idiazibal or aged Gouda. Any hard cheese will work.

Anyway. Elsewhere on the brunch menu, I stirred up a decent little spread with spicy brown mustard, honey, and cayenne pepper to go on the biscuits (yum!), and cooked up a couple of pears that I didn’t have room for in the fruit salad with some sugar and cinnamon for a fruit compote. Folks used the mustard; the compote, not so much. Oh, well; it’ll be excellent on ice cream.

I did a couple of different quiches, in corn tortilla crusts; one was a Lorraine, t’other a Mexican one. Details on that when Child B sends me pics on the how-to, but it’s a fine thing for a gluten-intolerant eater.

Fruit salad had a dressing of honey, mustard, olive oil and lime juice. Lime tarts were supposed to have been lemon tarts, but we had lime juice ‘sted of lemon juice, so it worked. Chickpea and tomato salad, black bean and corn salad, both previously detailed on this blog. Hummus from the Publix, because they make better hummus than I do and I so wish we had them here, with veggies. Gluten free banana bread from a local baker here that I ordered and took with me. On a whim, I bought Nutella, and can I just tell you, Nutella on banana bread is a Wonderful Thing? I am a Believer.

Seems to me there may have been other things, but I can’t remember what they were. Anyway, a Good Time was had by All, and I certainly wish you and y’mama ‘n ’em had been there to enjoy it with us.

And we got the young’un all dedicated and stuff, and she was adorable, which is a state she achieves with absolutely no effort at all.

Photos to come on that, too.

And more blogging. I promise.


4 Responses to “Um. ‘Scuse me? I really am still here….”

  1. Ellen Ellis Says:

    Thank you Kay for such a wonderful spread that we all enjoyed. It was a labor of love and is much appreciated.

  2. Len Cleavelin Says:

    If you get the Nikon and someone else doesn’t have dibs on your old camera (assuming you’re just upgrading and not replacing a nonfunctional camera) we might be able to work out a sale. Let me know at your convenience.

  3. Kath the Cook Says:

    here is my most awesome hummus recipe….so easy and puts Publix to shame. From Gourmet long ago


    ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
    2 19-ounce cans chick peas (also known as garbanzos) – drained
    4-5 cloves garlic
    2/3 cup well-stirred tahini (sesame seed paste – get at a health food store)
    2/3 cup water
    5-6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1 teaspoon salt

    Put all ingredients in food processor or blender (depending on capacity of container you may only be able to half at a time – if so do half of each ingredient at a time). Process until very smooth. Chill.

    I like to serve with toasted pita bread, good sliced tomatoes, sliced cucumber, and sliced sweet onion. Olives go well too.

    cheers – Kath the Cook

  4. kayatthekeyboard Says:

    Thanks, Kath! I’ll give that one a whirl this weekend! Publix does one that adds Kalamata olives to the mix, and I LOVE that.

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