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Kitchen Adventures: New Spin on old country favorite

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Food column by Becca Owsley

By Becca Owsley

A few people have expressed to me their frustrations over their difficulty in making biscuits. Being a fan of the biscuit, I’ve tried to make several recipes and a few haven’t been too complicated.

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In fact, biscuits are so amazing you probably should have a purpose for them before making them or you’ll be tempted to eat the entire pan. I hope that’s not just me.

A favorite comes courtesy of a Food Network cookbook — Parmesan, Pepper and Lemon Biscuits. In fact, I realized I like this recipe so much that it’s bookmarked in the cookbook, it automatically opens to that page and I’ve rarely glanced through the rest of the book to try other recipes.

Usually I don’t have a lemon on hand, so mine are more parmesan pepper biscuits.

You also can use this biscuit for a sandwich. Basil, tomato and ham blend well with the parmesan taste. Prosciutto or country ham works best.

The cookbook describes this recipe as a twist on the traditional southern biscuit. Leave out the lemon, pepper and parmesan to make regular old biscuits.

Using biscuit cutters is ideal but if you don’t have any around the house, use a drinking glass to cut out the biscuits. If you want mini biscuits, use the lids of spice containers or other smaller circles.

Don’t let the lack of tools keep you from making fresh homemade biscuits. This recipe doesn’t even require a rolling pin. You can simply press the dough out.

While the easiest way to make biscuits is from a can, there is one version that’s a step up from the can. Bisquick, or the various off brands, has an easy way to make Drop Biscuits.

They are as simple as it sounds. Follow the instructions for the Drop Biscuit on the box and simply drop the spoonfuls of batter on a baking sheet and bake.

Add biscuits to a meal or save them for a yummy dessert by pilling on strawberries and whip cream. Don’t stop at strawberries, top with peaches or any other fruit. Drop Biscuits probably would be good with some baked apples on top, too.

Also, mixing other ingredients in the dough can dress it up a bit. Add cheese and garlic powder and the drop biscuit becomes a garlic cheese biscuit.

Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

PARMESAN, PEPPER AND LEMON BISCUITS

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

½ teaspoon fine salt

6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

½ diced plus ¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

¾ cup milk

Makes 8 biscuits

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk the flour with the sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, black pepper and salt in a large bowl. Cut butter into tablespoon-size pieces. Rub in two tablespoons of the butter with your fingertips until no visible pieces remain. Rub in the remaining four tablespoons butter just until it is in even, pea-size pieces. Scatter grated and diced cheese over the top and toss with a rubber spatula. Using a wooden spoon, stir the milk in to make a loose dough.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface and pat into a rectangle about a half inch thick; don’t worry if dough doesn’t all come together. Fold dough in thirds, like a business letter, and pat lightly into an 8-by-5-inch rectangle about 3/4-inch thick. Using a 2- to 3-inch round biscuit cutter, cut six biscuits and place on baking sheet. Press dough scraps together and cut two more biscuits.

Bake until tops are lightly brown, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly on a rack and serve warm.

Source: Food Network “Favorites” Cookbook