05 February 2008

bacon biscuit breakfast happy fun time

On Sunday morning, I went where many of my friends and family might not think I dare to tread. I ate bacon. I not only ate it, I shopped specifically for it, and cooked it-- in all of its greasy glory.

It all started with a photo from the cover of this month's Gourmet, showing a plate toppling over with perfect-looking buttermilk biscuits. Couple that with an always present, but quiet and subdued craving for bacon, and there was no stopping me.

Hoping to find some nice, local, happy pig bacon at the Union Square Greenmarket, I looked for it there on Saturday, and despite not beating the early morning crowds, I managed to snag one of Hawthorne Valley Farm's very last packages of bacon (there was only one left after me). I was also grateful to find some real buttermilk made from organic, grass-fed cow's milk, at the market that day, too-- excellent for biscuit making.

Having looked forward to this special breakfast all week, I woke up Sunday morning feeling gleeful and ready to begin! I got to work on the buttermilk biscuits, using an altered version of the recipe found in the magazine (my version below). Their traditional Southern recipe called for lard as the fat, but despite my excitement about the bacon, I'd rather not use lard, or it's Crisco-y commercial counterpart. I substituted organic, virgin coconut oil instead. With the biscuits in the oven, I heated up a pan and threw in the very thickly cut bacon slices ($7+ for 6 pieces!) and let them do their thing. I already had some local farm-fresh eggs in the fridge, so I started putting those together with some salt and pepper for an easy scramble.

Everything was soon completed and on the table, along with a salad to cut the grease (and the guilt) of this breakfast. I only managed to get down 2 pieces of bacon, but it was delicious, as were the coconut-scented biscuits which I loaded up with butter, grape jam, and/or raw honey. This meal took me to a happy, sticky finger-licking, childish nostalgic place-- and what made it that much more satisfying was that I was able to feature locally grown/raised/produced products, and satisfy my urgings-- I generally believe that cravings appear for a reason, so you should indulge and honor them and be happy. I sure am.

Recipe: Coconut-Scented Buttermilk Biscuits
Makes about 15 tasty biscuits

5 cups sifted organic unbleached all-purpose flour (measure after sifting)
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1 tablespoon sea or kosher salt
1/2 cup organic, virgin coconut oil (cold or room temperature)
1 1/2 cups shaken farm-fresh buttermilk (if possible, otherwise use what you can get at the store)
3 tablespoons unsalted natural butter, melted (I use Kate's because it is so tasty!)

Preheat the oven to 475ºF with the rack in the middle.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add the coconut oil, coating it with flour, then rub the mixture with your fingers until coarsely blended.

Make a well in the flour mixture, add buttermilk, stirring until a dough forms (it will be soft and sticky). Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 8-10 times. Roll out dough with a floured rolling pin into a 12-inch round about 1/2-inch thick. Using a fork dipped in flour, prick all the way through about every 1/2 inch.

Cut out as many rounds as possible with a 2 1/2- to 3-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter dipped in flour (do not twist cutter).

On an ungreased heavy baking sheet, bake the biscuits, almost touching, rotating after about 6 minutes if browning unevenly. Bake until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Brush tops with melted butter and serve warm or at room temperature.

If you have any leftover, which is highly unlikely. Store on the counter in a dish covered with plastic wrap. They'll stay fresh-ish for about 2 days. Reheat in the oven.


Jason said...

I don't think I've ever been more proud. :)

SABS said...

You are brave Aja, I don't eat bacon either and the smell of its grease does not work wonders for my appetite. Despite this, your recipe sounds delicious and I may try it with the Kentucky Hot Browns that my brother are going to venture making this weekend. So here's a comment for readership, for thanks, for inspiration, and finally.. an early happy Lunar New Year!

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