Biscuits

This is about Southern breakfast biscuits, not the cookies that the United Kingdom thinks of when they hear the word.  I have been given instructions by one of my great-aunts and my grandmother.  One didn’t measure anything and the other used Bisquick.  My brother-in-law, Gary, makes excellent biscuits and he shared his recipe with me.

He uses self-rising flour and heavy cream.  Mix the 2 together to get the amount you want and bake ’em.   If you don’t have self rising flour you can make your own by combining 1 cup of flour, 1½ teaspoons baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt.  I think I would add ¼ teaspoon of xanthum gum to that if I was using GF flour.

The most important part, according to all 3, is not to handle the dough too much.  Mix the batter in a bowl until it is a sticky blob. How to know if you have too much of one or the other?  If it is too wet, it will try to spread out; if it is too dry, it won’t move at all.  Let it slump but hold together.  The advantage of Gary’s recipe is that you can add a little liquid or a little more flour without having to worry about the fat proportion getting off.

Dump the dough out onto the counter that has more flour sprinkled on it.  Sprinkle a little flour on top so that your hands or a rolling pin don’t stick to the dough and roll it out or pat it down to about half an inch tall.  You can cut the dough into squares or use cookie cutters and make shapes.  If you use a cookie cutter, or a juice glass like my grandmother did (she liked little biscuits.), be sure to cut straight down.  If you cut at an angle you will get a biscuit that looks like the Tower of Pisa.  This is the Voice of Experience.  Or you can just pinch off balls of dough and drop those onto your cookie sheet.   Those are called drop biscuits and are kind of lumpy looking, but still tasty.

Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350°F/175°C until golden brown,  usually 10-15 minutes, depending on how big you have made your biscuits..

Curry Leaf

Non-Indian cooks trying Indian recipes for the first time will see “curry leaves” in lists of ingredients.

This is what they look like.

Curry leaves

The stem isn’t edible, but the leaves are.  I love the flavor.  It is very much its own thing, not like anything else.

Curry leaves are available in the refrigerated sections of Indian groceries and are best kept in the refrigerator, but can be stored in the freezer if you aren’t going to use them up fairly quickly.

If they have had time to turn brown, just trash them.  In my experience, there is not enough flavor to do any good if they have dried out.