Thursday, August 29, 2013

Nearly Instant Pancakes

Last weekend, I bought a bag of self-rising flour to make these biscuits. Yesterday, my daughter was a sad, moody mess..and nothing could cheer her up except for a plate of pancakes. The morning was simply too busy to make it happen, so I promised pancakes for lunch. 

Silly me. 

Lunch on that particular day came after hours at the gym, spent playing and swimming. Everyone in the house was famished, and fuses were short. I had to get lunch on the table quick, but those silly pancakes...argh! To borrow some old phrases, I cast mine eyes around my kitchen, looking for ideas...and they fell upon the open bag of self-rising flour, still on the counter. It was worth a shot! 

I dumped and stirred and heated up the griddle...and made the fluffiest, silkiest pancakes EVER. Seriously. Here's a pretty close approximation of what went down. 

LoLo's Nearly Instant Pancakes
(Makes 5 large pancakes)

Preheat your griddle to medium low. 

In a medium sized bowl, add 2 cups of self-rising flour, one egg, and about 2 1/2 cups milk. (I used rice milk.) Stir with a wire whisk, and assess. If it doesn't look like pancake batter, add either more flour or more liquid. A few lumps are ok. 

Proceed as normal - grease your griddle, and cook the pancakes. 

Yum! I may never buy a pancake mix again. SR flour, upon consideration, is just about nearly the same thing. 

Cream Biscuits

Are you ready for the easiest biscuits in the world? So simple, you don't even need a recipe, but I'll give you one anyhow. (The beauty of not needing a recipe is that you can eyeball things if you need to make just a few biscuits, or need to use up an odd amount of flour left in the canister. Cool.)

Cream Biscuits
(Adapted from the millions of cream biscuit recipes out there, all of them Southern)

Makes 12-16 biscuits

Preheat your oven to 375.
Lightly grease a sheet pan.

In a medium sized bowl, add 2 cups of self-rising flour and 1 1/2 cups (12 oz.) heavy (whipping) cream. Stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. If it is a bit crumbly, add another splash of cream. Sticky? Add a tablespoon of flour.

At this point, you have two options: drop biscuits and cut biscuits.

If you want drop biscuits, drop spoonfuls of your biscuit dough onto your prepared cookie sheet, 1/2" apart.

If you want cut biscuits, lightly flour your work surface and gently fold/knead your dough two or three times until it makes a sort of smooth ball. Roll it out to about 1/2" thick, and cut with a 3" cookie cutter. Please your biscuit rounds onto your prepared cookie sheet, again 1/2" apart.

Bake 15-17 minutes, or until the bottoms just start to get golden (or a little longer, if you like darker biscuits). Remove to a cooling rack, or straight into your serving basket.

(These biscuits are pretty darn close to what you get with your fried chicken with the eleven secret herbs and spices. Just FYI.)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Melt in Your Mouth Ribs, From the Grill

These ribs were pre-seasoned from the meat counter, but any rack of ribs rubbed with your favorite dry rub would be fantastic. I followed directions from Mark Bittman, but am now unable to find the exact recipe. He used a pan of woodchips in the bottom of his grill, to get a smoky flavor - I skipped that step. 

The trick to amazing melt-in-your-mouth-ribs from the grill is to light one side of your BBQ, heat up the grill for about 15 minutes, throw your ribs on the un-lit side, and then turn the heat down as far as it will go. This method takes hours (at least 2.5-3), but the results are ridiculous. So tender, the marrow can be chewed out. So well done, the bones practically fall out of the meat. 

I will definitely be trying this with my homemade "char siu" (Chinese BBQ) rib sauce. I'll let you know how it goes!