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Biscuits are a way to transport Southerners and non-Southerners alike back into a, if not their, memaw's kitchen. And, a good biscuit needs little more than some butter or jam.
That’s definitely the case at Tupelo Honey Cafe in Asheville, North Carolina, where executive chef Brian Sonoskus puts biscuits on every table - no matter the time of day.
Below, Chef Sonoskus smothers the home cook with bells and whistles for the flaky staple.
1. Sop it up
Tupelo Honey Ginormous Biscuits
2 cups bread flour
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sour cream and salt in a large bowl.
With a cheese grater, grate the frozen butter using the largest holes; quickly cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or fork until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Add the buttermilk to the flour mixture a little at a time. Stir just enough so it clumps together and is no longer crumbly. Do not overmix.
On a floured surface, turn out the dough and roll out to a one-inch thickness. Using a three-inch biscuit cutter, cut the biscuits and place on a sheet pan. Cook on the top rack of the oven for 20 minutes or until light brown. Remove from the oven. Brush the melted butter on top of each biscuit and return to the oven for about five minutes longer or until the biscuits are golden brown.
2. Traditional gravy
Low Country Gravy
2 slices bacon, chopped into small pieces
In a thick-bottomed saucepan, brown the bacon on high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium and add the flour, stirring constantly for four minutes to make a roux.
Add the cream, cayenne, sage, salt and black pepper and continue cooking over medium to low heat for five to seven minutes, stirring often until thick and creamy. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to seven days.
3. Forget the cream, focus on veggies
Cremini Sweet Onion Gravy
1 1/2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced thick (about 4 ounces)
In a heavy saucepan, sauté the mushrooms and onion in olive oil over medium heat for about seven minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add the demi-glace and salt. Bring to a boil and then lower to simmer. Leave uncovered and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by about one-third. Add the pepper and serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to seven days. This may also be frozen for up to six months.
4. Sweet and fruity
While making preserves yourself can take time, there’s always the option of a skillet jam. Mix sugar, pectin, blackberries (my favorite) and lemon juice together in a skillet and in 10 minutes you have the perfect sweet berry topping for your biscuit.
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