Sunday, February 15, 2009
the spice of life
"Cardamom will solve all problems," I said to my co-worker on Thursday afternoon, not in jest. "Cardamom can do it!" is my new mantra. Not only is it a spice favored globally in dishes both sweet and savory, but it's also a medicinal supplement capable of combatting everything from gum disease to lung infection. Cardamom also, conveniently enough, tastes really good, with its success in a dish being akin to its ultimate subtly. It never overpowers and always enhances, the perfect bridesmaid if there ever was one. I now turn to cardamon as the finishing touch for any dish deemed lacking 'just that something'. As a result, the spice has made a cameo appearance in a wild variety of my most recent recipes, most notably some chocolate covered sugar cookies (coming soon) and these: rosemary cheddar biscuits.
The recipe was originally inspired by Kristin at Our Kitchen Sink, who wrote of some plain cream biscuits featured in Alice Water's The Art of Simple Food. The biscuits made by this recipe are perfect, period. I added the fresh rosemary on a whim because I had it, followed shortly by the cheddar and ever essential cardamom. The result was a product I demand that every single person reading this post (you know who you are--all four of you) make immediately. Please!
You Will Need:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbls cardamom
6 tbls cold butter, cut into pieces
2 tbls fresh rosemary, chopped roughly
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, finely grated
3/4 cups heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 400F. Stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cardamom in a large bowl: Sift gently. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender until the mixture forms doughy balls about the size of small peas. Add the rosemary and the cheddar cheese. Mix. Set aside 1 tbls of the heavy cream. Sti the remainder into the flour/cheese mixture, stirring with a fork until it all begins to hold together. Lightly knead the dough a few times, turning it over in the bowl, then roll it onto a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough until it is about 3/4 inch thick. Cut into circles/hearts/cowboy hats (whatever your heart desires) until all the dough has been used. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and lightly brush the tops with the leftover cream. Bake for 17 minutes until totally, absolutely, purely delicious. Enjoy immediately.
Warning: consumption of heart-shaped biscuits may result in overt displays of adorable affection: