By Rhonda Woods
To convey to my students, who are finishing up the baking and pastry chapter, just how much baking we have done, we talk in terms of how much butter we have used. With a large class, butter is easy to use up…along with flour, sugar, eggs, milk, extracts, and spices! My hope is that they have enjoyed the experiences many may never have again.
Baking is an art and science as learning the purpose or function of each ingredient is very important. Take sugar, for instance: it can be used as both a dry and liquid ingredient because when it is heated, it melts to become a liquid. It also causes that “golden brown” color as it caramelizes. Butter and other fats are added in a variety of mixing methods to create different textures and give the product the distinct buttery flavor. It is also one of the three “Bs” of southern cooking…the other two are bacon and brown sugar. All in moderation- bless your heart, darlin’!
I’d like to share a couple of recipes for buttermilk or sour cream biscuits, sausage & grits casserole, and ginger sage & garlic sausage (shout-out to my friend, Chef Hay, for the recipe!). Only once a year, my students and I make our own bulk sausage from pork loins and the fat trimmed from the pork loins we used when we made our pulled pork. The recipe can easily be made at home by purchasing 20-25% fat ground pork and mixing in the herbs and spices. This week, we used some of our house-made sausage for the sausage & grits casserole served for a breakfast. It must have been as good as it smelled because there was none left. I hope you too will enjoy making these recipes for your family and friends.
Funny story- My sweet husband told me after we were married that I couldn’t cook grits or make biscuits! That was a comment I took personally. He liked to cook his grits for an hour at the hunting club, so I was determined to cook grits and make biscuits to please him…and I did! He was always happy to have “breakfast for dinner,” especially with homemade biscuits to enjoy with the fig preserves I made for him each summer. As for the grits, the first time I finished them off with some heavy cream, he was convinced I knew what I was doing! I would say, “That woman sure can cook! Somebody needs to marry her! Oh, that’s right…you did, didn’t you?”
This photo was taken at my son and daughter-in-law’s wedding. My husband was his best man, and I am still the best M.I.L. (Mother-In-Law)
May God bless you and your family as He continues to bless ours,
Sour Cream OR Buttermilk Biscuits
Yield @ 8-9 3” biscuits
- 2 c. self-rising flour
- 1 T. sugar
- ¼ c. solid shortening OR cold butter
- 1 c. (8 oz.) sour cream OR ¾ c. buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 425°
- In a medium mixing bowl, measure and combine flour and sugar.
- Cut shortening or cold butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles small peas with a pastry cutter.
- Stir in sour cream OR buttermilk to form soft dough. (Dough will appear to be too dry, but continue to mix until a dough is formed.)
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Roll the dough in the flour to lightly coat and eliminate stickiness.
- Gently knead dough 5-6 times with fingertips, and then shape into a smooth ball.
- Roll dough with a lightly floured rolling pin to ½ “thick.
- Cut dough with a floured 3” biscuit cutter, being careful not to twist the cutter.
- Shoulder cut biscuits in your ungreased pan.
- Bake 10-12 minutes.
- Remove biscuits from pan. Serve warm, or cool completely and store in an airtight container.
Breakfast Sausage with Ginger, Sage and Garlic
- 5 lbs. ground pork, 20-25% fat
- 3 T. kosher salt
- 2 ½ t. ground ginger
- 2 ½ t. rubbed Sage
- 1 ½ t. granulated garlic
- 2 t. black pepper
- 1 c. ice water
- Chill pork before mixing.
- Combine spices and ice water in a small bowl.
- Mix water/seasoning mixture with the ground pork until thoroughly combined.
- Sauté a small portion, taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
- Package sausage in quart freezer bags for freezer storage.
Grits and Sausage Casserole
9 X 13” pan @ 12 servings
Tools & Utensils
- Frying pan
- Measuring spoons
- Medium saucepan with lid
- Liquid measuring cup
- Measuring cup
- Large mixing bowl
- 9 X 13” pan
- 5 c. hot water
- 1 ¼ c. quick cooking grits
- 1 ½ t. salt
- 1 lb. bulk sausage
- 1 T. dried onion
- 2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Pan spray
- 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- In a frying pan, combine sausage and onion, stirring to brown and crumble.
- In a medium saucepan, heat water and salt to boiling.
- Gradually add grits, stirring constantly with a whisk to prevent lumps.
- Reduce heat to simmer and cook 5-7 minutes, stirring to prevent scorching.
- Combine grits, cooked sausage, eggs and cheese in a large mixing bowl.
- Pour mixture into a sprayed 9 x 13” pan.
- Bake 20-30 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.
- Serve immediately.
- Cool and refrigerate leftovers.