Seriously, as much as we try, it has been really hard to get ahead lately. Back to school, day jobs, side jobs, new jobs, meetings, paperwork, life... If it weren't for the promise of our work finally paying off soon, we may have finally made good on our "drop off the earth" promise. However, the beach hut on a deserted stretch of coast, still sounds pretty swell.
Our time in the kitchen recently has been devoted almost exclusively to recipe development, for restaurant use. This has been great for us, but not necessarily the best fodder for blogging. As much as we know you all like us, I am fairly certain that 15 versions of one sauce is not the most interesting read.
This recipe may, or may not be part of our development efforts (seriously, you can't expect us to share all of our secrets), but it did remind us of our culinary touchstones. That'd be our respective Grannies. Deceptively simple, and comforting. Sometimes, things are just too good not to be shared.
Also, it should be noted, we went back and forth on what to call these; biscuit, or dumpling. According to our Grannies, the only difference was the use of liquid in the cooking process. The ones we made turned out to be about half, and half. So we erred on the side without "dump" in the name. Ya know, marketing.
caramelized onion, bacon and cornmealbiscuits + collards
- 2 1/2 cups AP flour (+ extra for dusting.)
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 buttermilk
- 2 Tb sugar
- 1/4 cup bacon (reserved from collards)
- 1/4 cup caramelized onion (reserved from collards)
- 1# collard greens, washed, rough chopped
- 1 small onion, divided
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 quart stock (vegetable, or chicken)
- 2 Tb apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp salt (+ more to taste)
- 1/2# bacon, torn into large pieces, divided (even though you only technically need a half pound, just go ahead and make an entire pound for snacking while you wait)
- hot sauce to taste
Cook bacon. Drain and reserve fat. In a large dutch oven, heat 2-3 tablespoons bacon fat over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until soft and caramelized, about 10 minutes. ( If you notice onions are browning too quickly at any point, reduce heat to medium low. ) Separate 1/4 cup of onion and reserve for biscuits. Next, add garlic. Cook for about a minute, being careful not to burn it.
Add collards, apple cider vinegar, stock and about 1/4 # of the bacon. Bring to a simmer. Put lid on the pot, and reduce heat to low. Cook 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
For the biscuits:
Combine 2 cups of AP flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder in a large dish. Whisk to combine. Add onion and bacon to the mix. Toss to disperse. Add shortening and butter into dry mixture. Gently work into the flour mixture until the smallest pieces of butter and shortening resemble large peas.
Whisk egg and buttermilk together. Slowly pour into flour mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon until dough starts to come together. Dump out onto a well floured board and fold dough onto itself four or five times, lightly flouring the top of the dough if it still seems wet.
Gently roll dough out to 1/2 inch thickness. Using a 2 inch biscuit cutter, press straight down without twisting, to cut biscuits out. Place onto an unlined cookie sheet. Push remaining dough together and repeat. Add the remaining biscuits to the cookie sheet. Chill in freezer before baking.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Get out a 9 x 13 pan. Add salt and hot sauce to the greens to taste. Remove from heat and add them to the bottom of your 9 X 13. Add reserved bacon pieces. Place biscuits on the top. Bake for about 18-20 minutes. You can check on the biscuits around minute 15, just to see how they are doing.
Remove from oven and enjoy!