Shrimp Bienville & Biscuits/Bag of biscuits

 Shrimp Bienville & Biscuits/Bag of biscuits

Let's talk about biscuits. 

A staple loved throughout the South. The range of biscuits is countless. There are soft buttery biscuits, denser flavorful ones, cathead, light and fluffy ones, and of course the always famous Popeyes biscuit. I love them all! Just please don’t give me a mass produced dry tasteless biscuit. It hurts my soul. Look, I love biscuits so much I am not ashamed to say that after a long night I have been known to find a lost soldier in my cleavage and decided F’it! - no biscuit should be wasted. I have tried to get on the canned biscuit train but I just can’t do it. I will have multiple biscuit recipes on this blog and the one thing you will notice is they are all simple and quick to make. Try making them from scratch and you will be surprised how easy it is. Just remember once you go homemade you can't go back. Those canned biscuits will look like a can of disappointment and regret from that point on (kinda like my first marriage). 

One of my favorite biscuit memories was at my first restaurant job in Louisiana. We had this small rolling rack oven that we heated the biscuits up on for brunch. Now the chef was an old school chef - lots of yelling and name calling if you messed up. If you made a mistake it was not forgotten for the entire service and you became his sole focus of angry outbursts. I was put in charge of prepping the biscuits for our first seating. I loaded up the rolling rack and switched it on. I headed to the front and of course started gabbing away about shenanigans from the night before. While I'm in the front, the kitchen staff were doing their morning routine of sitting outside smoking and talking about the day's plans. I finished my way too long visit and headed back to the kitchen. As I pushed the swinging door I glimpsed the horror - I forgot to put the basket down to catch the biscuits and there they were all piled up on the kitchen floor. A literal mountain of my failure on the floor. I ran over and go into panic mode. How do I hide all these biscuits? If I put them in the trash chef will see. I considered pulling an "I love Lucy" and just cramming it them in my shirt. But before a plan was made I heard the back door opening so I shoved the biscuits under the table and threw a plastic bin on top. As service started, I tried to grab one biscuit at a time and slowly etch away at my shame pile. It worked for a short time until I could feel the chef noticing me being in the kitchen too long and showing signs of annoyance. He treated servers like a splinter in his ass. Something to be removed as quick as possible. New plan! As service ended I volunteered to take the last table and drag out their service as long as possible. I remembered my friend had left her backpack in my car. I ran out to my car, grabbed the bag and waited for my moment. As soon as the kitchen crew went outside to take their break between service I shoved the biscuits in the bag zip it up and place it behind the bar until I was ready to go. I had done it! Other than a couple kitchen guys getting reamed for not making enough biscuits (sorry guys, it was you or me) all was well. At least until my friend came in my room and dumped a giant pile of crumbled up biscuits on my bed, followed by a stream of profanities I can't repeat here.  I found biscuit crumbs for months. In short, I got what was coming to me in the end.

Last time I talked about Natchez the city - now to talk about the food. One thing I noticed was how much the restaurants in Natchez use ingredients and recipes from New Orleans and Cajun Country and combine them with their personal touch to make something uniquely their own. I decided to take a page from their book and take something uniquely New Orleans and combine it with what Natchez is known for. Biscuits.

This recipe is a combo of Natchez, New Orleans, and Cajun cuisine. Natchez is the biscuit Capital so I knew biscuits must be involved. I combined the classic New Orleans dish " Oysters Bienville," with some Cajun spice and of course those biscuits. I replaced the oysters with some gulf shrimp, something we all use on a regular basis. I also added some smoked gouda cheese to add additional flavor and thicken the sauce up a bit. If you don't want biscuits this shrimp goes very well on pasta.

I practiced my biscuits till I had one that could stand up to the creamy sauce without sacrificing flavor and texture. 

The biscuit recipe is very simple and quick to make. I usually prep my biscuits and then pop them in the oven as the sauce is about to be finished. 

Sift your flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a medium bowl. Cut your COLD butter into pats and cut it into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or a fork. You can also do this with a food processor in 5 or 6 pulses. Cut the butter in until the mixture resembles rough crumbs. Be careful not to overdo it.

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Add milk and stir with a fork until it forms a rough ball. It will be sticky. That's okay its supposed to be. 

Take your dough and put it on a well-floured surface. Pat it down into a rough rectangle about an inch thick. If it's sticking too much put a little flour on your hands. Fold it over and gently pat it down again. Repeat. Cover the dough loosely with a kitchen towel and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.

Gently pat out the dough some more, so that the rectangle is roughly 10 inches by 6 inches. Cut dough into biscuits using a floured glass or biscuit cutter. Do not twist cutter when cutting; this crimps the edges of the biscuit and impedes its rise.

Place biscuits on a cookie sheet and bake until golden brown, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.


Shrimp Bienville

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Add pimentos, garlic, mushrooms, shrimp, wine, seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are tender and shrimp are pink and firm - 2 to 3 minutes.

Sprinkle with flour. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add broth, and stir to combine.

Add milk. Cook until creamy and slightly thickened. 

Remove from heat and slowly add egg yolk, stirring constantly. Be sure to remove the pan from the heat and slowly drizzle the egg in. Take your time with this or you would up with scrambled eggs.

Add Gouda cheese and stir until it melts.

Spoon over hot biscuits and garnish with green onions and lemons if desired.

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Recipe:

INGREDIENTS

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

2 tablespoons baking powder

1 scant tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, preferably European style

 1 cup whole milk

Preheat oven to 425 

Sift your flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a medium bowl. Cut your COLD butter into pats and cut it into the flour mixture with a pastry butter or a fork. (you can do this with a food processor in 5 or 6 pulses). Cut the butter in until the mixture resembles rough crumbs. Be careful not to overdo it.

Add milk and stir with a fork until it forms a rough ball. It will be sticky, that's okay its supposed to be. 

Take your dough and put it on a well-floured surface. Pat it down into a rough rectangle about an inch thick. If it's sticking too much put a little flour on your hands. Fold it over and gently pat it down again. Repeat. Cover the dough loosely with a kitchen towel and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.

Gently pat out the dough some more, so that the rectangle is roughly 10 inches by 6 inches. Cut dough into biscuits using a floured glass or biscuit cutter. Do not twist cutter when cutting; this crimps the edges of the biscuit and impedes its rise.

Place biscuits on a cookie sheet and bake until golden brown, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.


Shrimp Bienville recipe:

 

3 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup minced white onion

1/4 cup chopped pimentos

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ cup finely chopped white mushrooms

1 lb roughly chopped fresh shrimp

2 tablespoons white wine

1/4 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (recipe on blog)

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons chicken broth

3 tablespoons 2% reduced-fat milk

1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten

4 oz gouda cheese 

Garnish: sliced green onion, lemon wedges

1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook until tender, about 2 minutes. 

2.  Add pimentos, garlic, mushrooms, shrimp, wine, seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are tender and shrimp are pink and firm - 2 to 3 minutes. 

3.  Sprinkle with flour; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. 

4.  Add broth, and stir to combine. 

5.  Add milk; cook until creamy and slightly thickened. 

6.  Remove from heat, and slowly add egg yolk, stirring constantly.

8.  Add Gouda cheese and stir until it melts.

9.  Spoon over hot biscuits and garnish with green onions and lemons if desired.

 

**** This sauce goes good on fried catfish,pasta etc. It is very versatile.

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