Friday, September 30, 2011

Free Recipe Friday. . .BACONNN!!!

Have you ever had those cheeeesy biscuits from Red Lobster???
Yea well, you will want to throw those in the trash
after you try THESE Cheddar-Bacon Biscuits...
thank you William-Sonoma
One of my FAV stores/catalogs in the whole world!!!!

You should make these for breakfast,
you should make these for lunch
and if you make them right now,
everyone will love you a whole bunch!

So, today's Free Recipe Friday is biscuits.
That's right. Biscuits.
Have you ever made biscuits?
I mean like homemade biscuits?
Don't be scared.  Reach wayyyy back into your memory banks
to those days of Home Ec...when you learned to "cut in" shortening and flour...
do you remember that?!?!??!!!??
 "Cutting in" means incorporating shortening or butter
 into the flour in such a way that little lumps of the raw fat remain whole within the flour mixture.
When the dough is baked, these little lumps create separation in the structure of the product,
which is what gives it that flaky consistency.

The EASIEST way to do this is with a pastry blender/cutter...
but in MY middle school Home Ec years,
we were taught to use two knives. NOT FUN!
No fancy pastry blenders/cutters in those days! Oh nooooo!
It was one of those things that when you are in middle school you are thinking
 'this is the dumbest thing in the world...I will never use this skill, ever!
And to be honest, it's still not my favorite part of biscuit making
or pie crust making for that matter.  But it's oh so easy.
When you're all done you will realize, hey, what was the big stinkin' deal?!
Some people choose to use their fancy food processors for pastry making,
I guess I am just old long as I have a pastry/blender cutter!

So here goes...push your sleeves up...we are going to make biscuits!
You'll be glad you did!


6 oz. bacon, diced
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt (or substitute table salt)
2 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
8 Tbs. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces,
plus 2 Tbs. melted butter
3/4 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
(it's the best, but you can use colby)
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
(and egads! you can use that cheap powdery stuff in a can...if you must!)
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. buttermilk
(don't have that either? you can add a few spoonfuls
of lemon juice or vinegar to regular milk. voila!) 

See THAT wasn't so hard, was it???


Preheat an oven to 400°F.
In an 11-12 inch fry pan over medium-high heat,
cook the diced bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 10 minutes.
(You could also BAKE your bacon strips on a sprayed cookie sheet,
drain and then crumble with the same results - make it easy on yourself!!!)
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined drain
Reserve that bacon grease for another recipe! :)
Set crumbled bacon aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour,
baking powder, salt, sugar and pepper.
Using a pastry blender or 2 knives,
cut in the cold butter until pea-size crumbs form,
then use your fingers to pinch the crumbs into flat disks.
Stir in the cheddar and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses and the bacon.
Stir in the buttermilk until the dough just comes together.
Transfer the dough to a floured work surface
and roll or smoosh it out into a rectangle about an inch thick.
Fold the dough into thirds, rotate 90 degrees
and roll out into the same-size rectangle and same thickness.
This step, though not common with all biscuit recipes,
increases the flakiness of the biscuit.
Now, using about a 2 inch floured biscuit cutter,
round cookie cutter, or empty antique tomato paste can, as I did, 
cut out the biscuits and place on a sprayed baking sheet.
Gather up the scraps, reroll the dough and cut out more biscuits...
repeating this process until all of your dough is used up.
Ours made about 12-15 biscuits.
Hopefully all of your family members will be out of the kitchen
and not be temped to come grab clumps of raw dough!
Be forewarned! :) 
Bake the biscuits until golden brown
and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
Brush the tops of the biscuits with the reserved melted butter
as soon as they come out of the oven.

Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Oh my word, we ate on these all day one Saturday!!!!!

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