Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lemon blueberry biscuits

After having them again this morning I re-realized just how good these are. Best. Biscuits. Ever.

2 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 8oz. carton lemon yogurt
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 c. melted butter
1 t. grated lemon peel (we never have lemons around so we just add a dash of lemon juice)
1 c. fresh blueberries

1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 t. grated lemon peel

Combine dry ingredients. Combine yogurt, egg, butter and lemon peel; stir into dry ingredient until moistened. Fold in blueberries and drop on greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes until lightly browned. Make glaze and drizzle over warm biscuits. Makes about 12 biscuits.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Salad with Herbed Baked Goat Cheese

Well, this is a favorite of mine.  Tends to come and go as far as how often it's made, but I always come back to it for weekend lunches, or as a starter / salad course if I have people over.  This is one that I make often enough that the original recipe and my version have some differences, so when possible I've included both the original (as I recall it) and the "about" measurement that I use.  Also (and I'm sure this has already occurred to this crowd), this recipe lends itself very well to improvisation - adding fruits or nuts, switching up the greens - one of my favorites involves adding some chopped toasted walnuts and dried cherries that have been plumped for ten minutes or so in warm port.

Full disclosure: This recipe has been adapted from a well-known public television food series involving an American kitchen that tests things.

For the goat cheese rounds, you'll need (and this varies depending on how many rounds you'll be making):
2-3 oz white melba toasts
1 t ground black pepper
1-2 eggs
2 T Dijon mustard
1-2 T minced fresh thyme (I go heavy on the herbs)
1-2 T minced fresh chives (ditto)
2-3 oz firm goat cheese, per serving (assume about .75-1 oz per round, although they can be larger or smaller.  I tend to use 2 rounds/person as a lunch or starter, 3/ if this is a main course)

For the salad:
~2 T red wine vinegar
~1 T Dijon mustard
1 t minced shallot (I just use a whole one, minced. I like a very assertive vinaigrette, and I mean... what am I gonna do with 3/4 of a shallot in the fridge?)
1/4 t table salt
6 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T chopped fresh chives
Hearty greens (I use this spring mix that I like, and the amount varies HUGELY by situation - also, I like big salads. For a main course, I use maybe 4-5 cups per serving, for a side, maybe 3-4.  How hungry are you?)

Goat cheese:
In the food processor, process Melbas until quite fine, maybe a minute or so (blender works fine, as does the old standby - rolling pin and ziplock on the counter).  Put in small bowl, stir in pepper, set aside.  In a second bowl whisk eggs and mustard until combined, set aside.  In a third bowl, combine chopped herbs.

Using your preferred method for slicing goat cheese (mine is twine), divide cheese into equal pieces.  Roll each into a ball, then roll in herbs, then roll in hands again to get the herbs to stick.  Working with a couple at a time, roll around in the egg mixture to coat evenly, then transfer to melba crumbs.  Roll around in crumbs, then roll in hands to coat evenly (press firmly to ensure a good coat).  Flatten each round in your palm (make it as pretty as you like, should be vaguely disc-shaped) and place on a cookie sheet.  Freeze for 30 minutes, and preheat oven to 475.  After 30 minutes, remove cheese from freezer, brush top and sides of each round with olive oil, and bake for 7-10 minutes (depending on how frozen they got).  After removing from oven, transfer the rounds to a couple layers of paper towel and let sit for 3 minutes.


While zee goat cheese is baking, whisk together shallot, mustard, vinegar, and salt.  Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly until emulsified.  Add pepper to taste.

Place greens in large bowl, drizzle with dressing (as much or as little as you like - I like it light), toss to coat.

Put greens in individual serving plates or bowls; place goat cheese rounds on top, serve immediately.