- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 22, 2005

For anyone who isn’t a Southerner, the charm of fresh baking powder biscuits may not be immediately apparent. Biscuits don’t have the malt flavor or the elasticity of the Northeast’s bagels or the sweet moistness of Midwest muffins.

The crisp shell and tender, light insides make biscuits a pleasurable contrast of textures. Not only are they delightful slathered with butter and jam, but the mild flavor makes them the perfect foil for just about any topping.

And that’s what you want when you’re left with too much Thanksgiving turkey and not enough people to warrant a casserole. Partner homemade biscuits with bits of turkey, and you’ll have a delicious meal for two.

In the recipe that follows, cheddar biscuits are smothered with creamed turkey for a rich and hearty brunch or dinner. Dark turkey meat is preferable in this dish, but use whatever you have available.There is one caveat for this dish: You must split hot biscuits with your hands, not a knife, so you create a craggy surface for the sauce.

Turkey and biscuits



Cheddar biscuits (recipe follows)

4 teaspoons unsalted butter

1 small jalapeno chili, cored, seeded and minced

1 celery stalk, trimmed and chopped

1 shallot, minced

1 cup sliced shiitake mushroom caps

1 packed cup diced cooked turkey

1 tablespoon flour

½ cup chicken broth, or more to taste

½ cup half-and-half

1/8 teaspoon ground sage

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Salt

Prepare cheddar biscuits.

While biscuits are baking, make the creamed turkey. Melt butter in medium saucepan. Add the chili, celery and shallot and saute over medium-high heat for 2 minutes.

Stir in mushrooms and saute 2 minutes longer, or until vegetables are tender. Stir in turkey.

Add flour and toss ingredients to coat. Stir in ½ cup chicken broth and scrape up browned bits in saucepan. Add half-and-half, sage and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer until gravy is thickened and turkey is hot, about 2 minutes.

If gravy is too thick, add 1 to 3 tablespoons more chicken broth. Season with salt to taste.

To serve, split 1 or 2 biscuits on each of 2 plates. Spoon on creamed turkey.

Serve hot to 2.

CHEDDAR BISCUITS:

1 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut in small pieces

½ cup half-and-half or milk

½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Combine flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a medium bowl. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Add half-and-half or milk and cheese, and stir mixture to form a wet dough.

Form dough lightly by hand into 6 biscuits, each about 1 inch high and 1½ to 2 inches in diameter. Don’t add more flour, even though dough may be sticky. Arrange on greased or nonstick baking sheet.

Bake in preheated 425-degree oven for 12 to 14 minutes, or until biscuits are light and browned.

Makes 6 biscuits.

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