Saturday, January 29, 2011

I made Tomato Soup and Cheddar Chipotle Biscuits!

This meal was a fancified tomato soup and grilled cheese. I made it on Monday when it was freaky cold and I wanted a cozy meal and a way to use up the buttermilk in the fridge. I bought buttermilk a few weeks ago for something (I can't remember what right now) and only used half a cup, and the remainder has sat there ever since, reminding me of my New Year's resolution to waste less food. The soup recipe is from Not Eating Out in New York and the biscuit recipe is from the Baked cookbook but I found it on Serious Eats.

Tomato Soup to Write Home About
(makes about 6 servings - maybe if you were having multiple courses. 3-4 servings otherwise)
1 large can peeled Italian plum tomatoes
1 small onion, chopped
1 small celery rib, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped

2-3 fresh cayenne or serrano peppers, seeded and chopped (or substitute with dried red chile flakes to taste) (I used on jalapeno, seeded. It was kicky but not overpowering).
1 bunch fresh basil leaves (She leaves them whole, but I decided to chop them)
salt and freshly ground pepper
3-4 TBS olive oil (plus more for drizzling as garnish)

Sweat the onions, carrots, celery and chiles in olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and cook, stirring over low heat for about 8 minutes or until softened and lightly browned (this took about 15 minutes for me). Add the tomatoes and all their juices. Transfer mixture to a blender (or use your immersion blender) and pulse until mixture is completely smooth. Return to the pot and bring just to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for at least 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the basil leaves and serve. Garnish each bowl with a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.

Chipotle Cheddar Biscuits from Baked
makes about 20 small biscuits (I ended up with 16)

  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (it’s a lot of grinding, but it’s worth it!)
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle powder (I have chipotle chile powder and it’s really versatile and awesome. I wonder if you could use the adobo from canned chipotles if you don’t have the powder on hand?)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups grated and tightly packed sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • Kosher salt for topping
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, pepper, chipotle powder, sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar, and the 1 teaspoon of salt.
  3. Add the butter and, using your hands or the back of a wooden spoon, work the butter into the dough. (If you use your hands to do this, don’t touch your eyes - they will burn!) The mixture should look like coarse sand. Add the cheese and stir to thoroughly incorporate it into the dough.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Add to the flour mixture and stir until just incorporated. Do not overmix.
  5. Use a small ice cream scoop or a 1/4-cup measuring cup to scoop the dough and drop it in mounds onto the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with kosher salt and bake in the center of the oven for about 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through the baking time, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a biscuit comes out clean.
  6. Transfer the biscuits to a cooling rack. The biscuits can be served slightly warm or at room temperature (we like them slightly warm).
  7. Store the biscuits in an airtight container for up to 2 days. (A toaster oven is great for re-heating)