Monday, February 27, 2012

Breakfast Bread Pudding

I am currently reading the book, “Home on the Farm, If Chickens Could Talk” written by Lorene McCormick Burkhart.  It is a great and amusing book that tells the story of life on an Indiana farm in the 1930s and 1940s.  I noticed that food was a very important part of life on the farm and even social events seemed to revolve around it.  Back then it was an important job to keep not only your family fed daily, but also farm hands during the day.  And if that wasn’t enough, you had to make sure the family had food during the winter by canning & preserving fruits & vegetables during their peak season.  You could not run down to the supermarket like we do today.  One of my favorite parts of this book is that Lorene Burkhart added a collection of favorite family recipes, including two biscuit recipes – one of which I will share with you.

Mile High Biscuits
  • 3 cups sifted flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup shortening
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup milk

Sift together the dry ingredients into a bowl.  Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Combine egg and milk and add to flour mixture all at once, stirring with a fork just enough to make a soft dough that sticks together.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly 15 times, then roll to 1-inch thickness.  Cut with floured 2-inch cutter and place about 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake in a 425°F preheated oven 12-15 minutes or until golden brown – makes about 16 biscuits.

So to continue with the biscuit theme this month I am sharing with you a recipe from Paula Deen that I have tweaked to make it more of a breakfast casserole.  I love watching the Food Network and have enriched my recipe library with those I have seen on their shows.  I have many favorite Food Network celebrities and while watching one--Paula-- I thought to myself, “If I just added this and switched up that, this would make a great breakfast dish.”  So I did and it was scrumptious (better than yummy)!

Before I give you all the details –…I must share a secret  … my oven is possessed! It all started two weeks ago. I would go to use the oven and no heat…no gas.  I would go back and Emeril would say “BAM!” magically “fix” itself.

Well, I decided to this recipe was so good that I would make it for our church coffee hour.….  That weekend, Friday I believe, we decided to have baked fish for dinner.  So I preheated the oven, prepared the baking dish --BUZZ!  The oven was now ready for dinner’s main course, or was it? (Do you hear The Twilight Zone theme?)  I opened the oven and there was no heat – it wasn’t even getting any gas.  We had fried fish that night. 

Both Saturday & Sunday – same thing - no heat. 

I finally decided to call the repairman (or maybe a priest) but then… you guessed it “BAM!” While cooking we heard what sounded like the lighting of the gas grill, which by the way isn’t working either.  So I tried to preheat the oven and to my surprise it lit – so we had crescent rolls that night.  It was a fluke, it hasn’t worked since.  Oh well, it is over to Mom’s or Sis’ to bake!

Breakfast Bread Pudding
  • 1 pound of ground sausage, cooked & crumbled
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) bleu cheese crumbles
  • 2 cups (8 oz,) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 chopped bell peppers (Red, Yellow or Green)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, diced
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 12 day old buttermilk biscuits

Preheat your oven to 350°F. In a skillet, fry your sausage until done, crumble while frying - then drain the grease.  Butter a 13 by 9-inch baking dish.  Now sprinkle ½ cup of the bleu cheese & ½ cup of cheddar into the baking dish. Melt your stick of butter over medium-high heat and then add the bell peppers and onions and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Now stir in the thawed corn and jalapenos and cook for 1 minute more. Take the skillet off the heat and allow the mixture to cool.
In a large bowl, mix the cream and eggs. Crumble the biscuits and the remaining cheese into the egg mixture and stir to combine. Now add your sautéed vegetables, sausage and then salt and pepper to taste. Pour the mixture into the baking dish. Bake until golden and set in the middle, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and serve hot.
Hot out of the Oven!
With the lights, it does look like a Oven Monster

To all my “AG Me On” Foodie Followers – this was a tough month, two biscuit recipes to bake and my oven has decided it is only going to work when it wants to.  I need to thank the local market for carrying prebaked biscuits!

I hope you enjoy my version of this Food Network recipe.  I will be visiting the National Maple Syrup Festival which is held the first two weekends in March at Burton’s Maplewood Farm and Medora Community School…stay tuned to hear of my AGventure!

Until next time – Keep your Foodie Fluids Flowing, and AG Me On!


Monday, February 13, 2012

Biscuits fit for the “King”!

This month I am going to dazzle your mind with two great and unexpected recipes using the common biscuit.  My inspiration for this first one is the “King of Rock & Roll” Elvis Presley.  Did you know that February was a very special month for Elvis?  On February 1st in 1968 Elvis became a father when Priscilla gave birth to Lisa Marie.  So my “King” inspired dish de jour is…Elvis’ Biscuits & Gravy.  But first, let me give you some history on a recipe that I believe would even make Paula Deen cry for joy!

For the past 14 years or so my Indiana family (yes, I grew up a Michigander – but I am now a proud Hoosier) has been teasing me with a dish that I really thought they made up, “Chocolate Gravy.”  I had never heard of such a thing before and I even wondered what you would eat it with-- definitely not steak and potatoes.  Well last year, during a family vacation, I found out.  I was awakened to the sounds of breakfast being made and as I made way to the kitchen I was told we were having “Chocolate Gravy & Biscuits” for breakfast.  What a treat!  I watched in awe as they made the gravy and as it was done watched everyone split open their biscuits and dredge them with the savory chocolate liquid.  Now came my turn, don’t get me wrong – I like chocolate, but in moderation.  That was just WAY too much chocolate for me to eat in one sitting.  I thought to myself, what can I do to make this it more to my liking?  I remembered we had a jar of peanut butter in the cabinet (actually there were four jars – everyone had to bring there own on this trip) and I put a generous helping on my open biscuits then spotted the bananas.  Yes, I peeled one and added slices to my creation.  Next of course came the gravy, not too much – I still want to taste the other ingredients.  So on to the breakfast table and as I sat down everyone stopped eating -- looking at my plate wondering, “What did you do?”  They all had to try my new creation; it was an instant hit and a great piece of family history we all treasure.  Jokingly this dish was dubbed – “Elvis’ Biscuits and Gravy.”

Let’s start with the Chocolate Gravy – with these five simple ingredients you will make the most decadent gravy you will ever have.  In a skillet melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add 2 tablespoons of flour to make your rue.  Now over a medium heat, add 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder.  Continue stirring and simmer until gravy is the right consistency – about 6 minutes.  This will make enough gravy for about 4 servings.  Now you are ready for a breakfast that will have you singing, “You are Always on My Mind”.

Now you will need:
  • Biscuits – I would use your favorite recipe or store bought.
  • Peanut Butter – Creamy or Chunky, your choice.
  • Bananas
  • Chocolate Gravy
Once you have made the gravy and freshly baked your biscuits, split biscuits in two and place on your plate.  Add a generous helping of your choice of peanut butter and top with banana slices.  Now comes the fun part – cover the biscuits with the chocolate gravy.  I will leave it up to you, either just a drizzle or a drench – I prefer somewhere in the middle.

Now share this with someone special – remember Valentine’s Day is coming up!

Until next time – Keep your Foodie Fluids Flowing, and AG Me On!