It is almost that time. Football is near. Where did the summer go? Who cares, I'm ready for kickoff. While the debate rages on about who the starters should be on the O-line and who will be the breakout linebacker for the Tigers, I know these debates require sustenance. In addition, because we already have a couple of morning games on the schedule, I offer you my beloved cheese biscuits and some thoughts on bloodys.
This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. I refuse to tell you which brand of cheese I use, but I will suggest that you select one with a very strong flavor.
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup cold buttermilk, shaken
1 cold extra-large egg
1 cup grated extra-sharp Cheddar
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water or milk
Maldon sea salt, optional
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Place two cups of flour, the baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, add the butter and mix until the butter is the size of peas.
Combine the buttermilk and egg in a small measuring cup and beat lightly with a fork. With the mixer still on low, quickly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and mix only until moistened. In a small bowl, mix the cheese with small handful of flour and, with the mixer still on low, add the cheese to the dough. Mix only until roughly combined.
Dump out onto a well-floured board and knead lightly about six times. Roll the dough out to a rectangle 10 by five inches. With a sharp, floured knife, cut the dough lengthwise in half and then across in quarters, making eight rough rectangles. Transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with the egg wash, sprinkle with salt, if using, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the biscuits are cooked through. Serve hot or warm.
Buttermilk is not always on hand in my kitchen, so I have "made" buttermilk using half of a cup of regular milk mixed with half of a tablespoon of either white vinegar or lemon juice. I generally make golf ball-sized balls of the dough instead of cutting it into rectangles and can get 10-12 biscuits from this recipe.
These are fantastic on their own, but if we are tailgating at home for an away game, we like them with an egg and some bacon. Personally, I like them with a bloody mary. I would love to tell you that I make my own mix, but I have to prepare Waffle House shots and Vegas bombs and cannot be bothered with that. I rely on Fat & Juicy mix from Charleston and Bakon vodka. For more heat, add a little Cholula sauce and garnish with a lime and a pickled okra. Serve in Mason jars.
If you are like me and already know that the star of the defense is Woodlawn's own Chris Davis, then pull up a chair and I'll make your bloody for you. Until next time, War Eagle!