Strawberry Banana Biscuits

My new breakfast!  Probably good other parts of the day, too.  I think biscuit is my new favorite word.  

I've been wanting to make these forever but was procrastinating working on a recipe but today, I woke up feeling energized, needing to bake and craving biscuits.  A winning combination. The outcome being these tender biscuits that are a bit sweet, fruity with a hint of banana and bites of fresh strawberry.  

Makes about 16 biscuits (2.5") 

Strawberry Banana Biscuits

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces

1 cup well mashed banana (about 1 large)

1/3 cup sliced strawberries

1/3 cup buttermilk (more or less)

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Lightly grease baking tray.  Set aside.

Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and sugar.  Add cold butter, work into flour with fingers until butter pieces are very small but visible.  Stir in banana and strawberries.  Slowly add buttermilk until dough comes together.  It will be slightly sticky.  Adjust with more flour or more buttermilk, as needed.  Give it a couple quick kneads.  

On a floured surface, flatten dough to 1/2" thick.  Use a 2-3 inch sized biscuit cutter or drinking glass to cut biscuits.  (Dip in flour if it starts to stick.  Arrange biscuits on tray.  Bake 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.  (The best way to check is to pick one up off the tray, turn it over and look for a nice toasty, color and texture.)  

 

Buttermilk Cornbread Pancakes

Oh, pancakes.  Nothing says 'it's the weekend' more strongly than homemade pancakes.  Made these last sunday and happily drowned them in maple syrup.  Cam ate his topped with two sunny eggs.  He's so sensible.  

Makes 6 pancakes.   

Cornbread Pancakes

1 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup all purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

pinch salt

1 egg

1 cup buttermilk

high heat oil, as needed for cooking

Whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Whisk in egg and buttermilk until just combined and flour is hydrated.   

Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat.  Oil surface if necessary.  Pour 1/2 cup ladlefuls of batter onto the hot skillet.  Leave enough room for flipping.  When the edges bubble, flip.  Cook until the bottom side is light brown.  

Serve warm with maple syrup and butter.   

Strawberry Rhubarb Buttermilk Pancakes

Walking around Williamsburg, brooklyn the other weekend and saw these on a brunch menu.  Although I did not try them (I was on a BLT mission.)  I have been thinking about them since.  In fact, they've been on the top of my to do list for the past two weeks.  

Finally.  Strawberry rhubarb pancakes.  

If you find you have extra compote left make fruit leathers!  Just blend it smooth, spread it evenly on a silpat lined sheet tray and bake it at 160 degrees, in the oven until set.  Remove from oven, cool and cut to desired sized strips.  

About 12 pancakes

Buttermilk Pancakes + Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

for the compote

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons water

squeeze of lemon

2 rhubarb stems, chopped

1 lb strawberries, stemmed, sliced

for the pancakes

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons sugar

2 eggs

2 cups buttermilk

2 tablespoons olive oil 

high heat oil, for the griddle

Warm sugar, water and lemon juice in a small pot over medium low heat, stir to dissolve sugar.  Add rhubarb and strawberries.  Let simmer 15 minutes, or until rhubarb is soft, stirring frequently.

While compote is stewing, set a griddle or skillet on stove and brush with oil.  Turn on burners to medium heat.    

In a bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, powder, salt and sugar.  Set aside.  

In another bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk and oil.  Fold into flour mixture.  Fold until all flour in hydrated but batter still contains small to medium lumps.  Use a 1/3 cup to portion out pancakes.  Pour onto hot griddle.  Wait for bubbles to form, about 2 minutes, and flip.  Cook 2 minutes more.  Reduce heat if needed to avoid burning.  Work in batches.  Cooked pancakes can be held in a 200 degree oven, if needed.  Stack just before serving to help maintain fluffiness.  

Top with warm compote and serve.  

 

 

 

 

 

Blueberry Buttermilk Cupcakes

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I can't believe I'm saying this but I really prefer these without frosting because the actual cake base is so flavorful.  The buttermilk adds a little tanginess and the (in season) blueberries are juicy and sweet.  If you do want to frost these, after all these are cupcakes and what's a cupcake without frosting?  (practically a muffin.) , consider a lemon glaze or a lemon cream cheese frosting.  

I like to smash the blueberries instead of leaving them whole, they float in the batter instead of sinking.  Just put them in a bowl and smash them with a spoon, fork or masher.  

Makes 24 standard cupcakes

Blueberry Buttermilk Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 stick butter, very soft or melted

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 pint blueberries, lightly smashed

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Prep cupcake tin with papers or oil.  Set aside. 

In a bowl whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.   

In a large mixing bowl, mix butter, sugar and vanilla.  Add eggs.  Mix until pale yellow.  Add flour mix and buttermilk.  Add vinegar and fold in blueberries.  

Spoon into prepared cups, filling 2/3 full.  Bake 20 minutes or until they test clean.  Carefully, remove from tin, cool completely before frosting.   

 

Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken + Quick Gravy

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Frying chicken, or anything, is kind of a big deal around our house, mostly because it's a little messy and we don't eat a lot of deep fried foods.  But sometimes I have a hard time saying no to the idea of fried chicken.  Of course steamed corn, mashed potatoes and gravy are part of the package, too.  (I stopped myself at biscuits.)

The buttermilk soak adds moisture and tangy flavor to the chicken.  Adding the hot sauce to the buttermilk and cayenne powder makes it spicy.  If you're not into spice, omit these two ingredients.  Also, I dislike meat on the bone, so I used 1 1/2 lbs white skinless, boneless chicken breast but traditionally, one would use a whole 3 lb chicken cut into 8 pieces.  Ingredients will need to be increased by 50%.  

Since we are frying and have no drippings to make a proper gravy, stock, butter and flour can be used to make a quick, basic gravy.   

Serves 4, or 2 with leftovers

Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken

1 1/5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thirds

1 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons hot sauce

1 cup self rising flour

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon chile powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1-2 liters frying oil (canola, veggie...)  amount depends on pot size

 

Quick Gravy

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon flour

1 cup chicken stock

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For the Chicken:

Place chicken in a bowl with buttermilk and hot sauce.  Cover and place in fridge for 6 to 12 hours.  Mix all dry ingredients together and set aside for later.  

When you're ready to fry, place a large cast iron skillet on the stove and fill with about 2 inches of oil and heat to 350 degrees. Remove chicken from fridge and buttermilk soak.  Working in batches if needed, toss chicken pieces in prepared flour seasoning mixture, until coated and carefully place in skillet.   Fry 6 minutes, flip and fry 4 minutes more.  (Dark meat will take a couple minutes longer.)   Transfer to towel to drain and serve hot.  

For the Gravy: 

While your last pieces of chicken are frying, melt butter in small pan over medium high heat and add flour.  Stir continuously until mixture becomes golden.  Add stock, stir until thickened.