What do you do with leftovers?
I hate waste, and I adore shy, unassuming, aromatic bacon grease. What have you done with leftover bacon grease? Or leftover noodles? Or stale GF bread? Leftover egg whites when all you needed was the yolks – or yolks when you needed the whites? Toss out some ideas in the comments. Let’s connect.
Here’s my journey from bacon to biscuits. With all the gory details.
There I was, sitting at my kitchen counter, staring blankly at my little bowl of room temperature bacon grease, with its little bitty bits of bacon on top. What should I make with you, sweet boy? I have made White Sandwich Bread with bacon grease in place of butter. Marvelous. I could make bacon chocolate chip cookies. But I was a little tired of all the cookie recipes. *yawn*
I had just bought some good sharp cheddar. I had a brand spankin’ new virginal order of Better Batter AP GF flour, and I wasn’t afraid to use it. I had me some ice cold unsalted butter in the ice box, and some fresh baking powder.
Yes ….. please.
Have you ever cooked bacon and then drained the rendered fat into a little dish-ey-poo? Before the first time I did it, I hadn’t ever done it before, either. So don’t feel bad. Feel good.
In fact, whatever your culinary choices — long ago and yet to be — I’m sure you had your reasons. I respect those reasons, because I respect your autonomy. Your right to make your own mistakes, your own choices. You.
I’m not exactly sure when it became okay to start a food blog, and tell people what to do all bossypants and stuff. But it gets me all fired up, if you want to know the truth. It really makes me angry, to think of someone preying upon someone else’s vulnerabilities. And for my own part, I really, really don’t enjoy telling other people what to do. I have 3 kids I can boss around, and even that loses its shine significantly quicker than I would have thought (who knew?).
So if you don’t like bacon grease, then you shouldn’t use it (and you won’t mind if I just skim a little off the top). Just replace tablespoon for tablespoon with whatever fat you like (all butter works just fine). If you prefer another type of cheese, then that’s your cheese. Use it. And let’s make biscuits and love … not war.
|Bacon Cheddar Biscuits|
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (I use Better Batter)
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if using Better Batter)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (or whatever hard cheese you prefer)
- 2 tablespoons bacon grease, chilled and roughly chopped
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced and chilled
- 1 extra-large egg, kept cold
- 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk plus 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, shaken)
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
- In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and whisk to combine. Set it aside.
- In a small bowl, place the grated cheese, remove a tablespoon or so of the dry ingredients, and toss it in with the cheese. This will keep the cheese from clumping together in the dough. Set this small bowl aside.
- To the large bowl of dry ingredients, add the bacon grease and diced butter. Using a hand held pastry blender, cut the fats into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles small peas. Add the grated cheese and reserved flour, and mix to combine.
- Add the egg and buttermilk, and first whisk with a fork to break up and distribute the egg and buttermilk, then mix with a spoon until the mixture begins to come together. Turn out the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap, close the wrap, squeeze the dough a bit to press it together, and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 15 to 20 minutes (or up to overnight). If I’m in a real hurry, I will even put it in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and use a rolling pin to flatten it into a proper disk that is approximately 1 inch thick. The dough should be mostly smooth and mostly round. A round shape will make easier work of cutting rounds of dough with a biscuit cutter.
- Peel back the plastic wrap. If the dough seems too sticky, dust it with flour or stick it back in the refrig to chill a bit more. When ready, peel the plastic back, and cut out rounds of dough with a floured 2 1/2 inch round biscuit cutter. Gather up the scraps, chill and re-roll until you can re-roll no more. Bake off the last little bits as is. In bits.
- Transfer the rounds (and assorted scraps) to the baking sheet, spaced about 1 inch apart or less (they won’t spread when baking). If you have the time, and the inclination, stick the baking sheet in the freezer to chill for a few minutes. Cold dough = flaky biscuits.
- Place the sheets in the preheated oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until they are puffy and have begun to brown, rotating the sheets halfway through baking.
I love you.
It is in this spirit of love that I tell you that bean flour blends are different. They behave differently than other all-purpose gluten-free flour blends. If you are using one of these blends, you will need to play with the amount of flour a bit to coax it into dough that matches these descriptions. Please keep that in mind as you bake.
I love you.
So what do you do with your leftover ingredients?
P.S. If you haven’t already, please pick up a copy of My Cookbook! I can’t keep the blog going without your support!