Blog - biscuits and such
southern food blog
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Sauerkraut & Dumplings

For the past few years I’ve been on a quest to understand how my family’s history is interwoven into the history of my home state, North Carolina. My family, Rosemonds and Ballengers and Caudells and Walkers (and on and on), has roots in this state that go back centuries. One of the most interesting components to exploring that for me has been the food, the food that is important to my family and the food that is important to my state.



A few years ago my Uncle Ted and Aunt Ann taught me how to make my great grandmother Flossie’s pound cake. While we were together, talking about food, my Uncle Ted told me about one of his favorite family recipes, a Caudell family favorite- sauerkraut & dumplings.



Flossie was from St Pauls, North Carolina, and her family was the blend of Scots-Irish and English that was typical of the Southern piedmont. While Ted wasn’t sure of the origins of the recipe it appears as though somewhere along the line a twist of German inspiration made its way into the family recipe book. Sauerkraut & dumplings is as straight forward as it sounds. The sauerkraut is made quickly on the stove with caraway seeds and apple cider vinegar and topped with light and fluffy dumplings. The combination is wonderful- the tangy vinegar and the salty dumpling, the crunch of the cabbage and the lightness of the dough. I understand why it’s a beloved family recipe that has been passed down through generations.



Sauerkraut & Dumplings




1 head cabbage, shredded

2 cups apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp caraway seeds

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp ginger powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cayenne pepper




1 cup buttermilk

1 egg, beaten

1 cup sifted flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt


Combine half of your shredded cabbage and your vinegar in a large skillet. Simmer for 10 minutes, and stir in the remaining cabbage and the spices. Simmer over medium low, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes.


Mix your dumpling ingredients together. Spoon onto the hot sauerkraut and cover. Cook, leaving covered, for 30 minutes, long enough for the dumplings to set. Serve hot.


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Biscuit Topped Chicken Pot Pie

February has always been the hardest month of the year for me. It’s cold, dreary, vast, and what comes to mind when I hear the phrase “bleak mid-winter.” While Wilmington’s winters are incredibly mild compared to most places in our hemisphere, I still find myself bogged down by the lack of sunshine and the scarcity of fresh fruits and vegetables that haven’t been carted across the globe. Maybe it’s seasonal depression, maybe it’s the post-holiday slump, but I’ve been wanting nothing more than to just lay under a mountain of fleece blankets and let Ev stack legos on my head. Pot Pie



I vacillate between the New Year compulsion to eat like a caveman and hit the gym every day (why we do that to ourselves during winter I’ll never understand) and the hibernation mode approach of eating only foods made with heavy cream and hiding under a heated blanket.



For those moments, the hibernation moments, pot pie is ideal.┬áThere is something to be said for comfort foods in times like this, and the combination of creamy meat and vegetables with hot flakey biscuits is deeply comforting to body and soul. It feels slightly disingenuous to post this today because I spent the morning drinking coffee on my back deck in 60 degree loveliness, but since my instagram feed is still full of pictures of snow, I’ll assume that some of you probably really need this today. So for you, friends, remember that winter will end. Spring is coming. The jonquils will bloom and the birds will sing and we’ll all forget the days of bitter cold.



Biscuit Topped Chicken Pot Pie


6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

2 cups peas

2 garlic cloves

3 tbsp butter

5 medium sized carrots

10-12 cremini mushrooms

1 yellow onion

1 sweet potato

2 cups milk

1 cup heavy cream

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp smoked paprika


for biscuits:


2 cups all purpose flour

1 stick butter

Pinch of salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup buttermilk


Begin by prepping all of your vegetables. Clean and chop your carrots, onions, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes. Mince your garlic.


Melt butter in skillet. Chop chicken thighs and brown in skillet over medium heat. Add salt, pepper, paprika, onion, and garlic and continue to cook. After 2-3 minutes stir in carrots and sweet potatoes, taking care to coat with butter. After 3-4 minutes stir in heavy cream, milk, mushrooms, and peas. Reduce heat to a simmer.


Heat oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Cube butter and cut in with your hands, working the butter and flour together until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Stir in buttermilk. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and pat into a rectangle. Fold onto itself once and then pat flat. Repeat this 3-4 times.


Stir the simmering mixture and then begin cutting your dough into biscuit rounds. Space evenly on top of filling. To cover a 12″ skillet you’ll need 12 biscuits.


Transfer to the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown. Serve immediately.


Make this gluten free:


Use a measure for measure gluten free all purpose flour. If necessary increase the amount of buttermilk by 1/4-1/2 cup until the dough comes together easily.





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Five Bean Chili

Growing up there were two kinds of winters- Brunswick stew winters and chili winters. Every year my dad would make an insanely large batch of one or the other (really, something like 40 quarts) and freeze it in batches big enough to feed our family of eight. That way all winter long our bowls were full of something warm, nourishing, comforting, and delicious.



This winter in my house has definitely been a chili winter. We may only be a month in to the season, but we’ve eaten chili no less than five times. And while I make it in five quart batches instead of forty, it is still being devoured with gusto. In fact, it appears as though Everett is a chili fiend. He can easily put away two adult sized portions, asking for more long after Dan and I are full.



I vary the ingredients a little each time (Ev’s enthusiasm for it has lead me to include some veggies I wouldn’t normally put in chili) but the basic framework stays the same- five (or more!) varieties of beans, tomatoes, corn, onion, garlic, and lots of spice. Simmered, low and slow, for as many hours as it takes for your house to smell cozy. Served with sour cream, shredded cheese, green onions, cilantro, and hot sauce. It may seem silly for me to sit in my coastal Carolina kitchen and complain about the cold weather but honestly, I’m frozen solid and counting my blessings that I’ve got a pot of chili simmering on the stove.



Five Bean Chili


1 yellow onion

4 garlic cloves

1 tbsp olive oil

1 6oz can tomato paste

1 102oz can diced tomatoes

1lb ground beef (or pork, or turkey)

1 tbsp salt

2 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp cumin

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 28oz can black beans

1 28oz can kidney beans

1 28oz can red beans

1 28oz can garbanzo beans

1 28oz can great northern beans

2 cups water

2 cups corn kernels


2 large carrots

1 red bell pepper



toppings (optional):


Sour cream

Hot sauce


Grated cheddar cheese




Mince onion and garlic and combine in Dutch oven with olive oil. Cook over medium heat until onions have begun to soften. Mix in tomato paste and stir well to coat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes while the paste browns. Add meat to the pan and stir well to combine. Add spices and cook for 4-5 minutes until the meat has browned.


Add the beans and their juices, one can at a time, stirring well as you add. Next add diced tomatoes, corn, and water. Stir well. Chop carrot and bell pepper and add to the pot. Allow the pot to come to a low boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.


Cover partially with lid and simmer for 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally. Taste test and adjust salt and spices as needed. Serve hot with all your favorite chili toppings.







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