Cornmeal Biscuits ~~~from America's Test Kitchen
oven to 450
1 cup (5 ounces) yellow cornmeal
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp honey
2 cups (10 ounces) flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
12 Tbsp (1 and 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter cut in pieces
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk the cornmeal, buttermilk and honey together in a large bowl and set aside.
Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of a processor along with the butter pieces and pulse about 10 times until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
Add the buttermilk mixture and pulse just enough to bring the dough together.
Turn out onto a floured board and knead about 10 times until the dough is workable. Add in extra flour if it's too wet.
Pat into a 9 inch round and cut out about 8 biscuits with a 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 inch biscuit cutter.
Bake for 5 minutes, until they just start to rise, and then turn down the heat to 400, and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes, until golden.
Cool on a rack.
Notes: Make sure your biscuit cutter is big enough. I don't have a biscuit cutter, so I first tried using a glass, but I found that it squashed the dough down as it cut. You really need a sharper edge, so after searching around the kitchen I landed on the metal top of a cocktail shaker! It measured 2 3/4, and it was perfect. You don't want wimpy biscuits.
If you don't have buttermilk, add 1 Tbsp of lemon juice to the milk and set aside for 10 minutes. It will do just fine.
The recipe says to rotate the pan halfway during the cooking. I didn't do that. I think that's to insure an even rise. Some of my biscuits lilted to one side, but I didn't care enough to watch the clock and rotate the pan.
I like to make my chili with good meat and really spicy. This batch stars steak tips, white beans, two kinds of hot chilies, ale, and a secret ingredient (sweet potato, shhhhh....)
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeds and all, minced
1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 lb steak tips, cut in bite sized chunks
1/2 bottle of beer (any kind)
1 14 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes, pureed or diced
1 small can mexican chilies
1 cup beef stock (I keep those little containers of stock around, you can also use water)
1/2 bottle of beer
1 cup cooked white beans, (made from dried is best, but you can use canned)
1 heaping tsp chili powder
1 heaping tsp ground ancho chili pepper
1 heaping tsp chipotle chili pepper
1 heaping tsp ground cumin
salt to taste
2 Tbsp masa harina
Saute the onion, peppers anfd sweet potato in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until the onion is translucent. Remove from the pan and set aside.
In the same pan, heat a bit more oil over medium high heat and sear the steak tips on all sides. I did this in two batches to get good color. Too much meat in the pan and it just steams instead of sears.
Add in the ale and put back the vegetables. Add in the tomatoes, broth, can of chilies and spices. Mix it well and let it simmer on low for about 45 minutes. Add in the beans toward the end of the cooking time. The chili is best if it gets a chance to rest before you eat it, so put it aside to cool, and then refrigerate until ready to eat.
When you are ready to eat, reheat the chili. Make a paste out of the masa harina and a little water, and add to the pot. Stir to combine and heat for another 10 minutes. The chili will thicken slightly.
Notes: I really like the fiery hot chili tempered by the sweet potatoes and creamy white beans. You don't really taste the sweet potato, it just melts into the background and gives added richness to the chili. I think using steak or chunks of beef gives it a much needed variety of texture, and it allows you to actually taste the beef.