Thursday, February 11, 2010

Buttermilk Biscuits

1. Flour (all purpose) (4 cups)
2. Baking powder (4 tsp.)
3. Baking soda (1 tsp.)
4. Salt (1.5 tsp.)
5. Sugar (1.5 tsp.)
6. Butter (unsalted, and make sure it is cold) (2 sticks)
7. Buttermilk (cold) (2 cups)

Combine your dry ingredients first. Flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar; whisk them in a bowl. Divide the butter into pats and toss them into the mixture. Take a pastry cutter, or two forks, and crush the butter into the mixture (you may use your hands, and work the butter all throughout the mixture). Prep a cutting board where you are going to knead your dough, by sprinkling the surface with some flour. Carefully pour into the mixture the buttermilk, and with a spatula make sure that the buttermilk is getting evenly spread out and touching as much of the mixture as possible. Place the moist mixture onto the prepared cutting board. Fold the mixture like a letter, turn it over and knead it, this turns your mixture into dough. Roll your dough and take a 2 inch biscuit cutter (if you do not have a cutter you can use the tip of a drinking glass), and cut out the raw biscuits, place them in a cookie sheet, or pan. You should get 12 biscuits out of this. Brush a little bit of buttermilk on the raw biscuits. Place them in the over at 375 degrees for 20 min. or until the surface turns golden brown.

Eat with:
1. Butter.
2. Cheese. (You can add some shredded cheddar cheese, or a little dill, before you pour the buttermilk in the mixture.)
3. Sausage and gravy. (Recipe forthcoming.)
4. Honey and sugar. (You can sprinkle sugar on the biscuits after you brush the surface with buttermilk.) Brush a little honey on the biscuits.
5. Grape Jelly.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Fresh Avocado Salsa

1. Avocado (a ripe one of course, i.e. soft to the touch).
2. Vine ripe tomatoes (one will do if it is big).
3. Sweet onion (a big one).
4. Lemon (one will do).
5. Fresh Cilantro.
6. Jalapeno pepper (one will do).
7. Salt (course, of course).
8. Black pepper (optional).
9. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil.

Split, score, and spoon the avocado (throw that nutty and buttery goodness in a bowl, along with the rest of the other ingredients). Slice, seed, and dice the tomatoes. Cut, peel, and dice the onion. Bunch-up and chop a handful of fresh cilantro. Roll the lemon (to release its juice), slice, and juice the mixture (you don't want the seeds to get into the mixture, so juice it with the peel facing the mixtures). The lemon juice will prevent the avocado from oxidizing, besides giving the salsa an added zing. Split, seed, and thinly dice the jalapeno pepper. Remember: the heat of the jalapeno resides in the seed and ribs of the pepper. Do not scratch your eye afterwards, or you will pay dearly (ha!). Pour a little extra-virgin Olive Oil (just enough to lightly coat the mixture). Extra-Virgin (you may wonder) means that the oil wasn't filtered after it was pressed, and so it is much more fragrant and colorful than regular olive oil. Toss gently, and sprinkle some course salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Eat with:
1. Yellow corn tortilla chips. (I prefer this over white, but white will do).
2. Bruschetta (lit. "charred bread") - slice some Italian bread, broil it in the oven, take a fresh clove of garlic, peel it, pound it a little, and rub it against the charred bread, for an added hint of garlic flavor.
3. You can top a chili-taco bowl with this salsa. (Chili-taco bowl recipe forthcoming).