Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Sweet Potato Biscuits

AT THIS MOST GLORIOUS TIME OF YEAR, my camera had to go to the shop. Sigh.

Last week, I was on a retreat. I stayed in a lodge at a mountainside lake which was unbelievably beautiful with the peak of autumn color. The weather was perfect--chilly enough for sweaters, jackets, scarves, and gloves but not so cold as to need to bundle up. The sky each day was perfectly cloudless and mazarine.

I was feasting my eyes and every place I looked I saw something else I wanted to photograph. The food was delicious and I wanted to shoot that too. Fortunately, my cooking and photographing got ahead of my blogging, so I have some material to post for a while (while my poor camera is in the hospital).

I first learned of sweet potato biscuits from my beautiful aunt, my mother's sister. She makes the most delicious biscuits I have ever eaten. Hers are the standard to which I hold all other biscuits. The children of the family always called her "Aunt Biscuit".

For a special occasion we catered ourselves, she made sweet potato biscuits which she cut very small and served with ham. They were amazing and very popular. I recently tried my hand at them.

Sweet Potato Biscuits
3/4 cups flour
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. chilled butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup cold mashed sweet potatoes
1/3 cup buttermilk

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse sand. In another bowl, stir together sweet potatoes and buttermilk. Pour into the flour mixture and combine until mixed.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead very gently until dough comes together but is still lumpy. Shape into a disk and pat into 1-inch thickness. Cut with a floured biscuit cutter.

Place biscuits on a buttered sheet pan, arranging them close together. Brush the tops with melted butter and bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until golden.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Tex-Mex Migas

WHEN THE WEATHER IS CHILLY, GRAY, AND DAMP, I often want to eat something breakfasty. I started using the word, breakfasty, several years ago when I learned it from a little boy who had spent the night with us. Next morning, I asked him if he would rather have eggs or oatmeal. Nope, he wanted something breakfasty. Fruit? No, something breakfasty. I kept offering more and more options and he declined all of them, repeating that he wanted something breakfasty. Finally, I asked him what he considered breakfasty and he replied, "donuts". Apparently he had already spied the Krispy Kreme box I thought was out of sight on top of the refrigerator.

My idea of breakfasty is more on the savory, even spicy side.  Thus, Migas. My husband is never excited when he comes home and sees me making this dish for our supper. And I admit, it is not a show-stopper appearance wise. But he eats it with enthusiasm and growing appreciation and even goes back for seconds.

Migas is scrambled eggs with onions, peppers, leftover tortillas, and cheese. The recipe is very flexible, any kind of peppers can be used, crushed tortilla chips from a bag work fine, any cheese works. Everything is to taste. I like to use corn tortillas, skillet fried until crisp, poblano peppers, and Monterrey jack cheese.

Tex-Mex Migas
1/4 cup mild cooking oil
5 corn tortillas, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 small onion, chopped
2 - 3 poblano peppers, diced
1 tomato, peeled and chopped
8 eggs
2 Tbsp. milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Toss the tortilla pieces in the hot oil, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes, until crispy. Remove to paper towels and set aside while you saute the onions and peppers, in the same skillet, for a couple of minutes. Stir in the tomatoes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Add to the onion mixture along with the tortilla pieces. Gently lift the vegetables and tortillas to let the eggs get evenly distributed.

When the eggs look nearly done, turn off the heat, sprinkle on the cheese and put a lid on it.

When the cheese is melted, serve with salsa, sour cream, avocado slices or guacamole.