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Much Ado About Nothing

Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttermilk biscuits baked in a cast-iron skillet.  It doesn’t get any better than that!

Buttermilk Biscuits
Serves 8
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Cook Time
35 min
Cook Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups flour
  2. 4 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  5. 2 tablespoons butter
  6. 2 tablespoons shortening
  7. 1 cup buttermilk, chilled
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs. (The faster the better, you don’t want the fats to melt.) Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together. The dough will be very sticky.
  3. Turn dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 5 or 6 times. Press into a 1-inch thick round. Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch cutter, being sure to push straight down through the dough. Place biscuits in a 10-inch cast iron pan so that they just touch. Reform scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting. (Biscuits from the second pass will not be quite as light as those from the first, but hey, that’s life.)
  4. Bake until biscuits are tall and light gold on top, 15 to 20 minutes.
Notes
  1. If you don’t have buttermilk, add 2 tbsp vinegar to 1 cup milk.
Adapted from Alton Brown
Adapted from Alton Brown
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What Do You Do With Green Tomatoes?

If (like me) you’re stuck with a huge crop of tomatoes that just won’t ripen, try this. AM-A-ZING.

Green Tomato Salsa
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 quarts diced green tomatoes
  2. 3 cups chopped onions
  3. 6 jalapeño peppers, seeded, finely chopped
  4. 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  5. 2 six-ounce cans tomato paste
  6. 2 cups bottled lemon or lime juice
  7. 1 tablespoon salt
  8. 1 tablespoon sugar
  9. 1 teaspoon black pepper
  10. 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  11. 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Ladle into sterile pint-size canning jars, and process (via hot water bath) for 15 minutes.
  3. Makes about 6 pints.
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Making Fresh Tomato Soup

I had a lot of late-season tomatoes ripen this week and didn’t particularly want to get the whole canning outfit set up for pasta sauce or chili base, so I decided to try my hand at making tomato soup from scratch.  Elbow grease is definitely required, and this is one of those “I just eye-balled it” recipes.

Fresh Tomato Soup
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. Tomatoes
  2. 1 Red Onion
  3. Garlic (peeled)
  4. Balsamic Vinegar
  5. Olive Oil
  6. Salt
  7. Pepper
  8. Heavy Cream
Instructions
  1. Drizzle oil over a broiling pan.
  2. Slice tomatoes in halve and place cut-side down on broiling pan. Cut onions into wedges and place on broiling pan; add a few cloves of garlic too. Drizzle tomatoes, onion, and garlic with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Top with salt and pepper.
  3. Broil on high until tomato skins start blackening. Turn tomatoes over. Drizzle with more olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Broil on high until cut-sides blacken and the seed jelly bubbles.
  4. Use a food mill to remove seeds and skins from tomatoes. Place tomato pulp and everything left on the broiling pan into a food processor and puree. Poor liquid into a pan and add whipping cream (an amount equal to volume of tomato puree). Warm & serve.
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