March 10, 2019

Cheddar and Chive Biscuits

The Charleston Wine and Food Festival took place these past few days and while I didn't attend, after seeing all the posts on social media, I wish I had!  Seeing all the pictures of the amazing looking food had me hankering big time for Southern cuisine.  What could be more quintessentially Southern than the buttermilk biscuit?  In Charleston there is none more famous than Callie's homemade biscuits so I had to give them a try for myself.

According to Carrie Morey, the owner of Callie's and its namesake's daughter, the secrets to their delicious biscuits are White Lily self-rising flour and cream cheese.  Some of you may recall that I brought back several bags of White Lily when I was in Florida last year.  Luckily I still had a few bags tucked safely away in my freezer so I had all the ingredients ready to go.  I ended up making Callie's Cheddar and Chive Biscuits because I wanted something savory.

Seriously the most strenuous part of this recipe was grating the cheese and chopping the chives.  Everything else was easy peasy since it doesn't require any appliances like a food processor.   The biscuits came together in no time.  Hot out of the oven and with a pat of butter I can't think of anything more simple and delicious!  If only I had some fried chicken to accompany them! 

Cheddar and Chive Biscuits

Makes 12-24 biscuits (depending on the size of your cutter)

6 cups White Lily self-rising flour
6 tablespoons salted butter,  room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/3 cup chopped chives
2 1/4 cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon salted butter, melted (to brush on top)

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Slightly grease a baking pan, or use a piece of parchment paper. 

Place flour, butter, and cream cheese (torn into small pieces) into a large mixing bowl. Quickly use your fingers to partially incorporate the butter and cream cheese into the flour. (You want to see some small pieces left after the mixing process is done. Don't overmix; you want a consistency between cornmeal and shaggy.) Mix in the chives and cheddar cheese. Make a well in the center of above mix, and pour in the buttermilk. 

Now, it is crucial not to overmix your dough. You don't want visible flour pockets, so as soon as all is incorporated, stop. Transfer the dough from the bowl to a well-floured surface, and lightly dust the sides and top of the dough. Pat into a smooth shape, and use a rolling pin to get the desired thickness (about 1/2 inch). Have a small bowl of flour nearby. Dip your biscuit cutter into the flour, and start "stamping" your biscuits, and placing them side by side — touching — into your pan. Be sure that your biscuits touch, so they will rise up, not spread out. The key to good biscuits is to not have to roll your dough out too many times. 

Brush liberally with melted butter, and place in preheated oven for 15 to twenty minutes, rotating the pan once, halfway through. Every oven is different, so the first time, you need to watch them more carefully. You may need to adjust the temperature 10 to 25 degrees, or the time to 25 minutes.


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