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Littleneck Clams, Salmon & Collards Skewers, Grilled Asparagus

This Spring has been absolutely lovely. The weather, in what I can only take as a third trimester miracle, has been actual spring weather, for weeks. Usually in these parts we get a few days of glorious spring and then it’s 90F+ and 100% humidity out until November. But we’ve had the most incredible stretch of cool, clear days, just warm enough that the whole of town has erupted in bloom.

 

salmon skewers

 

Our farmer’s market on the river opened up for the season a few weeks ago, and I was pleasantly surprised by all the options, especially the greenhouse heirloom tomatoes that were too beautiful to resist. This morning I picked up tomatoes, asparagus, littleneck clams, fresh mozzarella, garlic, salmon, onions, and collards and we had a spring feast, firing up the grill for the first time this season.

 

clams 2

 

In what was maybe the best change-of-season use of collards imaginable (I love collards but I’m a little tired of my tried and true winter collards), we decided to fold the collards and add them to the kabobs. Along with sliced lemon, red onion, and salmon it made a fantastic kabob, coming off the grill tender and bursting with flavor. We also grilled the asparagus, with lemon juice and olive oil, and the clams. My clam sauce is classic and irresistible- white wine, butter, garlic, salt, basil. The tomatoes and mozzarella were tossed with olive oil and basil, salt and pepper, and tasted like everything that is good about summer.

 

grilled asparagus 1

 

Eating has been different these past 7 months, and my relationship with food has changed dramatically. It’s been interesting to watch, and a little bit like a roller coaster to experience. With 9 weeks until my due date I’ve reached the place where I’m low on space in my stomach, and I’m finding myself gravitating towards the foods that are gentle on me. I predict that by July this baby will be mostly composed of watermelon and tomatoes.

 

clams 1

 

I’ve been thinking a lot the past few months about what I want to happen with this blog, this space. All these life changes- finding out I have celiacs, getting pregnant- have forced me to really step back and have given me the chance to evaluate what this all looks like going forward. I don’t have all the answers, but I have realized something important- I want to share the best of what I have to offer here. So instead of pushing myself to come up with scheduled content, I will be here when I have something valuable to offer, something I think you’re hungry for. This week, that means clams, asparagus, and salmon skewers. I’ll be back soon with the next delicious thing to cross my table. In the mean time, there are eight years of archives to keep you full.

 

 

Salmon, Lemon, & Collard Skewers

 

1lb fresh salmon

2 large lemons

6-8 collards leaves

1/2 red onion

Olive oil

Salt

 

Cut your salmon into cubes, your onion into chunks, and one of your lemons into slices and halve the slices. De-rib your collards. Add your ingredients to the skewer, taking care to pass the skewer through the middle of the salmon and onions and on the rinds of the lemon. Fold your collards into a cube before skewering them.

Toss with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Allow to marinate 1-3 hours before grilling. Grill 5-6 minutes on each side, and serve hot.

 

Grilled Asparagus

 

1 bundle asparagus

1 lemon

Salt

Olive oil

 

Trim your asparagus ends. Make a tin foil boat and toss the asparagus with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Grill, tossing occasionally, for 15-20 minutes, or until tender.

 

Little Neck Clams in White Wine Sauce

 

2 dozen clams

1 stick butter

3 cloves garlic

1 tsp sea salt

1 cup dry white wine

Handful fresh basil

 

Grill your clams for 10-12 minutes until they are wide open. While they’re on the grill melt the butter with the minced garlic over low heat. When the butter has browned slightly, stir in the wine and the salt. As soon as the clams are off the grill toss them in the sauce and transfer to a serving bowl. Top with chopped basil. Serve hot (you might want some bread for lapping up that sauce afterwards!)

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Buttermilk Biscuits

Last weekend we had a baby shower here in Wilmington celebrating the forthcoming baby Rosemond-Hoerr. I have to say, it was pretty kick ass. It was a co-ed shower at our favorite local home-brew shop/brewery, and it was just the sweetest afternoon where everyone hung out and drank beers (not me, clearly), and played ring toss and corn hole, and caught up, and celebrated, and ate biscuits, and took silly photos in the photo booth. It doesn’t get better than that!

 

biscuits 5

 

After a lot of me pushily offering to help in any way possible (I’m really bad at not helping) the hosts graciously agreed to let me make biscuits for a biscuit bar, and it was fantastic. We had buttermilk biscuits (gluten free and traditional), ham, a cheese spread, mustard, lemon curd, jams and jellies, honey- all the fixins. I’m not usually one to pat myself on the back, but damn. Those biscuits hit the spot.

 

 

The past six months have been really surprising in so many ways, but every moment of this journey I have been overwhelmed by how much this baby is loved. I mean, I know Dan and I are out of our minds excited to meet this kid, but it brings me to tears how much joy there is in our community of friends and family about this baby. We are incredibly lucky.

 

biscuits 1

 

An extra special thanks is owed to my friends Megan, Liz, and Lauren for orchestrating this whole spectacular day. When I count my blessings these three are high on the list, and not just for throwing a killer shower. All three of them were incredible support during the long road leading up to this pregnancy, and all three of them have endured more text messages about my pregnancy symptoms than anyone should have to read. They are really good eggs, those three.

 

biscuits 3

 

Buttermilk Biscuits

biscuits:

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 stick butter

1 cup buttermilk

 

to make the biscuits: 

 

Heat oven to 425F. Mix together dry ingredients. Cube butter and work in with your hands, breaking the butter up into small pieces and mixing in with the dry ingredients, until the texture resembles cornmeal. Stir in the buttermilk. Transfer to a floured surface and press into a rectangle. Fold on itself and pat into a rectangle. Repeat three or four times, finishing with a large rectangle of dough that is 1″ thick. Use a biscuit cutter to cut into rounds and place on a lined baking sheet. Brush the top of each biscuit with melted butter and bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.

 

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Angel Food Cake with Berries & Honey

To be totally honest, this cake was a comedy of errors. If it hadn’t been for a pure and intense craving for angel food cake, I would have thrown the towel in half way through baking it. Everything was going smoothly as I added the flour to the egg whites, but when I poured the batter into the baking dish I noticed all the flour was clumped at the bottom. So I pulled it out and remixed it, and then put it back into the baking dish.

 

angel food cake 5

 

Fifteen minutes after I put the cake in the oven I smelled burning, so I checked and realized that I had grossly underestimated the necessary pan size for the amount of batter I had, so it was bubbling up and overflowing a bit, dripping onto the bottom of the oven. There wasn’t really much I could do, so I let the cake finish baking and after it was out of the oven I began the dirty work of scraping the cake out of the pan. I think because I’d taken the batter out to finish mixing and put it back it stuck to the pan something awful, and then the edges sealed when it bubbled up and over. It was kind of a mess, but frankly I ate what I pulled off of the cake as I was working it out of the pan, so at least it was delicious work.

 

angel food cake 4

 

I know that the general theme in the past few posts has been “me coping with having celiacs” but that’s pretty much where I am right now, so I hope you don’t mind coming along for the ride. It’s actually been a bit of a blessing in this pregnancy, because I haven’t been able to just fold and give in to all the cravings (like spicy chicken sandwiches and all the donuts), I’ve had to come up with homemade alternatives that I can have. So when I saw angel food cakes in the bakery and realized I needed to have one as soon as possible (and the craving stayed for a week), I made it happen. And it was fantastic.

 

angel food cake 1

 

Angel food cake has long been one of my favorite desserts, practically perfect for Spring. And I know it’s not quite Spring, but the grocery had local winter berries and it’s going to be almost 90 degrees this week in Wilmington, so forgive me for indulging a little early. Traditional angel food cake is light, airy, and spongey. With gluten free flour, this was no different. It was absolutely perfect, and completely hit the spot.

 

angel food cake 2

 

Angel Food Cake with Berries & Honey

 

cake:

1 cup cake flour

1 1/2 cups super fine sugar

11 egg whites

1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp salt

2 tsp vanilla extract

 

mixed berries & honey:

pint of strawberries

pint of blueberries

1/4 cup honey

 

whipped cream:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

Preheat your oven to 350F. Sift together flour, salt, and half of the sugar. Set aside.

In the mixer (or in a large bowl) combine egg white and cream of tartar. Beat for a minute on slow, until frothy. Add in the vanilla and beat for 5 minutes or until the egg whites are whipped and stiff. Add in the remaining sugar, a little at a time.

Turn off your mixer and, using a rubber spatula to fold, add the dry ingredients a little at a time. Mix well and make sure you get all the flour mix well incorporated! Transfer into an ungreased 10″ angel food cake/tube pan.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Invert onto a rack and allow to cool fully, about two hours, before removing the pan.

While your pan is cooling, chop your strawberries and mix with blueberries and honey. Set aside to allow the juices to blend. Whip together cream, sugar, and vanilla. Beat until stiff and chill.

Serve cake sliced with berries and whipped cream. And enjoy!

 

Make this Gluten Free

 

This recipe was really easy to adapt! Just:

 

  • Substitute 1 cup cake flour for 1 cup gf blend (I used King Arthur)
  • Add 1/4 cup of cornstarch to the dry ingredients
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