This morning was cause for a celebration. No more work for my husband. No more school for the kids. No more hectic running around to concerts, school parties, or even shopping malls. A couple weeks of downtime is just what we need right now. So, to settle in for a nice break I made Ina's Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits
, as well as her Country French Omelet
. It was a little more laborious than my normal weekend breakfast, but also a little more special....and well worth it.
Ina's Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits
are really fluffy and fantastic, with lots of flaky layers and great cheddar flavor, but they are really huge. Instead of making 8 larger than life biscuits you could easily make 16 regular-sized biscuits (especially if you're serving children and other small eaters).
The directions below indicate to make your biscuit dough with a mixer. I've never heard of making biscuit dough in the mixer so I chose to make the dough by hand, cutting the butter in with a pastry blender, being careful not to overmix, and making sure my dough (mainly the butter) stayed cold. I've included Ina's directions below for those who feel more comfortable with a mixer.
Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits
Adapted from Back To Basics by Ina Garten
Serves 8 (or can easily be cut to serve 16)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup cold buttermilk, shaken (I used whole milk with great results)
1 cold extra-large egg
1 cup grated extra-sharp Cheddar
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water or milk
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Place 2 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 glass 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 Cheddar with a 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 5 x 10 inches. With a sharp, floured knife, cut the dough lengthwise in half and then across in quarters, making 8 rough rectangles. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (I didn't use parchment. I just buttered my baking pan). Brush the tops with the egg wash, sprinkle with sea salt, and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the biscuits are cooked through. Serve hot or warm.
Country French Omelet
Adapted from Back to Basics by Ina Garten
Ina says this serves 2 (it could easily serve 4)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup (1-inch-diced) unpeeled Yukon Gold potatoes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 extra-large eggs
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon fresh chopped chives
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch ovenproof omelet pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook for 3-5 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is browned but not crisp. Take the bacon out of the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate.
Place the potatoes in the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Continue to cook over medium-low heat for 8- 10 minutes or until very tender and browned, tossing occasionally to brown evenly. Remove with a slotted spoon to the same plate with the bacon.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat the eggs, milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together with a fork. After the potatoes are removed, pour the fat out of the pan and discard. Add the butter, lower the heat to low, and pour the eggs into the hot pan. Sprinkle the bacon, potatoes, and chives evenly over the top and place the pan in the oven for about 8 minutes, just until the eggs are set. Slide onto a plate, divide in half (or fourths), and serve hot.
Here's to lots of lazy days!!