Wednesday, April 21, 2010

blue cheese scallion drop biscuits

blue cheese scallion drop biscuits

On Monday, I went foraging. Well, urban foraging, that is, at the Greenmarket. I set out to find these mythical local provisions that many of you have assured me now exist in New York City, things like ramps and aspargus and even strawberries and I’m now convinced that someone is playing a mighty joke on me.*

green onions
chopped green onions

But no matter, I found freshly grown scallions and maybe they don’t have the pearly pink skin of fresh rhubarb or the mysterious promise of morels, they might be waved off by fancier people than me as a ubiquitous circa-1970s garnish, but they make me happy. Part herb and part baby onion, recently from the ground they’re amplified, with more green freshness and more bite. I like ’em raw, I like ’em cooked, I like them instead of chives (which, amusingly, I found but they looked terrible; foiled again!) as a garnish and I like them especially in my biscuits.

crumbled blue cheese
adding the buttermilk

Yes, biscuits again. No, I do not believe that a single website can have too many biscuit recipes. There are sweet biscuits and savory biscuits, rolled and cut biscuits, patted down and wedged biscuits and dropped from a giant tablespoon biscuits and I have room in my larder for all of them and now even one more: blue cheese drop biscuits.

drop biscuit, about to drop
blue cheese green onion drop biscuits

Because I’d started with a cheddar biscuit recipe, I had all sorts of doubts about this blue cheese whim of mine — Does blue cheese bake well? Will it just melt and trickle away? Will it taste a little funny? I had so many doubts that I halved the recipe, which as you all know, is the beginning of almost every sad kitchen tale. Guaranteed, any time I halve a recipe I will live to regret it. And right now, with the smell of baked and browned cheesy heaven and fresh green onions softened in a broiling oven bouncing off my apartment walls and me making a face like the baby when he spies something delicious coming towards him, I know I’ve made a terrible mistake. Don’t do what I did; make the whole batch; then scramble up an egg, crisp up some bacon and have breakfast for dinner tonight.

blue cheese scallion drop biscuits

One year ago: Pasta with Favas, Tomatoes and Sausages
Two years ago: Almond Cake with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote
Three years ago: Black Bean Confetti Salad

Blue Cheese Scallion Drop Biscuits
Adapted from Gourmet

These are everything a good drop biscuit should be; super speedy to make (one bowl!), with a golden craggy crust and soft interior. I (only) made a couple changes to this. Based on responses on the original recipe, I added an additional scallion and because I completely missed the ingredient when I read the recipe, I didn’t add the baking soda. And they were still fluffy and delicious. But I bet they’d even be more so with it.

If you’re blue cheese-averse, you can make this with an equal volume of coarsely grated cheddar.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick or 3 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups crumbled blue cheese
4 scallions, finely chopped
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk (or, you can make your own)

Preheat oven to 450°F. Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, then blend in butter with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in blue cheese and scallions. Add buttermilk and stir until just combined.

Drop dough in 12 equal mounds about 2 inches apart onto a buttered large baking sheet, or one lined with parchment paper. Bake in middle of oven until golden, 16 to 20 minutes.

Do ahead: Biscuits are always best the day they are baked. However, if you wish to get a lead on them, you can make them, drop them onto your baking sheet, freeze them until they are firm, and place them in a freezer bag or container until you’re ready to bake them. They can be baked while still frozen (straight from the freezer), you’ll just want to add a few minutes to the baking time.


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