Friday, February 8, 2013

Goat Cheese Biscuits in a Skillet

Biscuits are one of my all-time guilty pleasures. Every now and then I get this intense craving that can't be satisfied by anything other than a warm, savory biscuit. If given the choice, I'd take one of those cheddar biscuits from Red Lobster...those things are so good, don't argue with me here!

This biscuit recipe is packed with goat cheese, chives, and buttery goodness. They get baked in a cast iron skillet, which is amazing because this lends itself to a delightfully crispy bottom. These are rustic and imperfect in all the right ways.

I was inspired by a goat cheese and honey biscuit recipe in my Joy the Baker cookbook, which I may or may not have gotten signed by Joy herself.

No, seriously. I met her this past December at the Eat Boutique holiday market, and she signed my cookbook. She's so awesome!

While the goat cheese and honey combination makes my knees go weak, I needed something salty and savory. I kept the goat cheese, because Lord I love goat cheese. I upped the ante with fresh chives and a garlic butter. Everything was so right, just in time for this "once in a century" blizzard we are enjoying in New England right this moment.

These biscuits come together in no time at all. It starts with flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Cold butter and goat cheese are cut into the mixture until it resembles course crumbles.

A faux buttermilk mixture is created by incorporating Cream of Tartar with skim milk (another JtheB tip). This is gently stirred into the dry ingredients.

Fresh, chopped chives are folded in...and that's it! We're ready to bake.

First, a 10-inch cast iron skillet gets preheated in a 400 degree oven. Butter is melted on the bottom of the skillet and the biscuits are dropped in by the 1/4 cup-full. More melted butter gets mixed separately with a touch of garlic powder and black pepper, and this mixture gets brushed on top of each biscuit before baking.

When the biscuits have puffed up and turned golden brown, they are ready to devour! Salty, tangy goat cheese and garlic. Fresh chives and smooth butter. The crispy crust and the fluffy, what more can I say? I think I need another batch ASAP!

If you've got the snowy blizzard blues, or just need a general pick-me-up, then this recipe is for you! These are delicious with scrambled eggs for breakfast but would also make a great accompaniment to a chili or jambalaya.

Here's what you need for Goat Cheese Biscuits:

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons goat cheese
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
1 cup skim milk
1 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 chives, chopped (white and light green parts are best)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 teaspoon garlic powder and cracked black pepper

Here's what you do:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven while it heats.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Using a pastry cutter, cut the goat cheese and cold butter into the dry ingredients. Do this until the mixture resembles course crumbles.

In a glass measuring cup, whisk together the cream of tartar with a tablespoon of the milk until smooth. Add in the rest of the milk and stir.

Pour the milk into the dry ingredients and gently combine using a fork. When there is no dry flour left, carefully fold in the chives, being sure not to overwork. Dough will be fairly loose.

Remove the skillet from the oven and melt 1 tablespoon of butter by swirling it around the bottom of the skillet. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop the mixture into the buttered pan, leaving about 1 inch of space between each biscuit. You may need to do 2 batches.

Melt the remaining butter and stir in the garlic powder and pepper. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the top of each biscuit with a bit of the butter mixture.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the biscuits are puffed and golden brown. Allow to cool just slightly before serving. These are most delicious hot out of the oven, but they will also make your taste buds dance at room temperature.

Yields 8 jumbo biscuits.

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