Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bacon, cheddar and chive biscuits

bacon, cheddar and chive biscuit recipe
You might not guess it from this blog, but we tend to eat salads for dinner several times a week. That said, they are usually what I like to call a man salad — loaded with things like fried chicken, toasted nuts or sunflower seeds, dried fruit, cheese and more often than not, a biscuit on the side. We're crazy for the biscuits. And these biscuits are just over the top. You could have them with a salad, or use them to make some seriously hearty ham sandwiches. Yum.

Bacon, cheddar and chive biscuits
Adapted from Bon Appetit, February 2010

Makes 12.

6 thick-cut bacon slices
3 3/4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 Tb baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, plus melted butter for brushing
2 1/2 cups (packed) coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 12 ounces)
1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
1 3/4 cups chilled buttermilk

Position rack just above center of oven and preheat to 425°F. Line heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium heat until crisp and brown. Transfer to paper towels to drain, then crumble into bits.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and toss with a fork to blend. Add butter cubes. and cut in with two knives or your fingertips until formed into a coarse meal. Add cheddar cheese, chives, and bacon pieces; toss to blend. Gradually add buttermilk, stirring to moisten evenly (batter will feel sticky).

Using lightly floured hands, drop generous 1/2 cup batter for each biscuit onto prepared baking sheet, spacing batter mounds about 2 inches apart.

Bake biscuits until golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Brush biscuits lightly with melted butter. Let cool 10 minutes. Serve biscuits warm or at room temperature with honey, if desired.

Twelve is an awful lot of biscuits — even as tasty as these are. This recipe is easily halfed.

bacon, cheddar and chive biscuit recipe

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Citrus Sauce

Looking for a bright, refreshing chicken recipe? After lots of wintery stews and simmering soups, the springy weather we've had this week had me planting seeds for our balcony garden and craving something lighter. I was ready for a citrusy change and this provided just the thing.

Pan Roasted Chicken with Citrus Sauce
Adapted from Food & Wine, January 2010

1 navel oranges
1 limes
3 6-ounce chicken breast halves, on the bone with skin
1 Tb vegetable oil
1/2 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1 thyme sprig
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 1/2 Tb extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Cut 3 long strips of zest from the oranges and 2 long strips from the limes. Peel the oranges and limes with a knife, removing all of the white pith. Working over a bowl, cut in between the membranes to release the orange and lime sections. Reserve 1/4 cup of juice.

Cut the breast meat from the bones, or have the butcher do this for you. Coarsely chop the bones. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the bones and cook over high heat, turning occasionally, until browned, about 4 minutes. Add the onion, garlic and thyme and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is golden brown, 5 minutes. Add the wine and boil over high heat until reduced to 1/4 cup. Add the stock and the reserved zest strips and simmer over moderate heat until the stock has reduced by half, 10 minutes. Add the reserved citrus juice and simmer for 10 minutes longer. Strain the sauce into a saucepan and boil over high heat until reduced to just over 3/4 cup, 8 minutes. Wipe out the skillet.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Heat the olive oil in the skillet. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and add them to the skillet skin side down. Cook the chicken over moderately high heat until the skin is browned, about 4 minutes. Turn the chicken over and roast in the oven for 10 minutes longer, until just cooked through. Transfer the chicken to plates.

Pour off the fat in the skillet. Add the citrus sauce and boil over high heat, scraping up any browned bits that have stuck to the bottom, until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 2 minutes. Add the reserved orange and lime sections and cook to warm through. Remove the skillet from the heat and gently stir in the butter. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Spoon the citrus sauce and citrus sections over the chicken breasts and serve right away.

(The original recipe is doubled for six chicken breasts.)

P.S. So sorry if you've gotten this post multiple times in your feed — I'm having trouble making the text formatting stick today for some reason — my apologies!

Monday, March 22, 2010

You will never win if you never begin.

I'm always running into design contests I want to enter. I frantically make note of the deadlines with the best of intentions. Unfortunately, more often than not, my expectations far exceed reality and I don't often enter these contests. But I thought I'd share with you some of the ones going on currently that I would love to participate in. Perhaps you will be more on your game than I.

Design a new banner for this blog dedicated to crafts, art and interior design for kids.
Deadline: March 26.
Details here.

Create a design for the latest in the Strand Books
Artist Series of tote bags.
Deadline: March 31
Details here.

Art “Works Every Time” Design Competition
sponsored by Beautiful/Decay
Create a t-shirt design interpreting Colt 45’s logo
and catch phrase “Works Every Time.”
Deadline: April 15

Sock It to Me
Design a fun, new knee-high sock.
Deadline: ongoing
Details here.