So, biscuits are French?
They are if you rename them:
What I learned from this week's French Fridays with Dorie recipe is that if you add a little something to the ingredient list of an otherwise well established staple you can then give it an extraordinary sounding name of your own choosing.
Dorie added onions to the ordinary biscuit and rechristened it with the very French sounding "Saint-Germain-des-Prés Onion Biscuits". I added a bit of fresh thyme to the mix and was going to rename them once again but who can come up with a name better than this?
Unlike Dorie, I'm not likely to serve these to friends with a bottle of champagne for madcap effect.
"Oh look at us! We are eating biscuits with our champagne! Aren't we crazy!"At least not while I still know how to make the more elegant gougères.
An American serving biscuits to the French must be akin to a Frenchman serving gougères to Americans, don't you think? (At least this makes sense to me if not to you.)
Half of Dorie's biscuits (with thyme, mind you) found their way to the freezer. The other half found their way to lunch where they anchored some rather tasty bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches.
What small tweaks to you make to rather common recipes that transform them into your house specialty?
Saint-German-des-Prés Onion-Thyme Biscuit BLT's
adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table. Inspired by bacon.
- 6-1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, peeled, trimmed, and finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 Tablespoons minced thyme leaves
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup cold whole milk
- bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayo
Put 1/2 tablespoon of the butter in a small skillet or saucepan and cut the remaining 6 tablespoons butter into 12 pieces.
Set the pan over low heat, melt the butter, and add the onion. Cook, stirring, just until it softens, about 3 minutes. Pull the pan from the heat.
Put the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt into a mixing bowl and whisk the ingredients to combine. Drop the butter pieces into the bowl and, using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour mixture until you’ve got a bowl full of flour-covered pieces, some small and flakey and some the size of peas.
Scatter the cooked onions over the mixture, then pour over the cold milk and, using a fork, toss and turn everything together until you’ve got a soft dough. If there are some dry bits at the bottom of the bowl, reach in and knead the dough gently a couple of times.
Lightly dust a work surface with flour, turn the dough out, and dust the top of the dough very lightly with flour. Pat the dough down gently with your hands (or roll it out with a pin) until it is about 1/2 inch thick. It doesn’t have to been an even square or round; it doesn't even have to be an even 1/2 inch thick. Just do the best you can and do it quickly.
Dip the biscuit cutter into the flour bin and cut out as many biscuits as you can--cutting the biscuits as close to one another as possible – and transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet, leaving a little space between each one. Gather the scraps of dough together, pat them down, and cut as many more biscuits as you can; put these on the lined baking sheet, too. (You can make the biscuits to this point, freeze them on the baking sheet and then, when they're solid, pack them airtight and freeze them for up to 2 months. Bake them without defrosting--just add a couple of minutes to the baking time.)
Alternatively (and perhaps more economically), you can pat or roll out the dough, then, using a long knife, cut square biscuits, making each biscuit about 1- to 1-1/2 inches on a side.
Bake the biscuits for 15 to 18 minutes, or until they are puffed and lightly browned.