For years, I have been trying out biscuit recipes and making changes to develop one that is just right . . . the result is here today.
Check it out . . .
Light, Airy Biscuits
I’m serving homemade biscuits with Blackberry Jam in honor of St Michael. Today is the Feast day of St. Michael the Archangel. St Michael is known for fighting Lucifer(Satan) and driving him out of heaven, he landed on a blackberry bush. The tradition is serving blackberry jams, tarts, pies or desserts on his feast day.
The theme of “Bobby’s Dinner Battle” is the Wild West. The judging criteria is based on the flavor of the dishes and how much the menu incorporates the theme. So we are making Old Fashioned cocktails, empanadas, grilled pork tenderloin with an andouille sauce, twice baked potatoes, homemade rolls, and chocolate sorbet for dessert. One of Bobby’s favorites and it should be a snap to make.
We have three hours from start to finish to cook and plate the dinner for Bobby and the other two teams.
Here we go . . . culinary victory or defeat?!
The clock is ticking . . .
Grace-anne is grilling. I’m kneading the dough for the rolls.
Much to our surprise, we have a box of cactus, a challenge ingredient, along with gloves for handling the thorny plants. Wow, we are to cook it and serve the cactus with our meal!
This is not something we were planning on cooking. With not much time to consider our options, Grace-anne gets a knife, shaves off the thorns and slices the cactus into strips. Meanwhile, I am setting up three bowls for battering and frying the cactus. The hot grease bubbles as the battered cactus hits. They cook to a golden brown. They cool off. We taste – as Bobby Flay says to do – they are delicious. What luck!
We cut fresh yellow roses and arrange them in sterling silver Mint Julep cups, grab bandanas, a cowboy hat, china, wine glasses, candles, and silver. Dashing to the dining room, we decorate and set the table.
The clock is ticking . . .
The last plate is complete. The timer buzzes. It is time to serve our meal!
Bobby and the opposing teams taste and critique. Of course, we are in the kitchen and unable to hear what’s going on behind the closed door. We wonder if Bobby likes our Wild West feast. Later, we find out that the chocolate sorbet was a disaster. I left out the sugar. Oh my, it’s not looking so good. Will it be a culinary victory or defeat?!!
The time as arrived . . . the cooking and judging is over now. Bobby has picked the winning team. The three teams stand around the dining room. Our hearts are pounding . . . ” And Dallas Best Home cooks are Grace-anne and Susan!” says Bobby Flay. We are thrilled!!
We wrap up and have a brief interview.
Now, the new challenge is keeping our culinary victory a secret. How will we ever be able to do it?!!
We devise a plan . . . we hide the trophy in the attic and tell our friends and family that Bobby’s team filmed three endings. When the show airs, we will find out the winner. It’s a plan . . . a Culinary Victory!
Every September 17th, my thoughts drift back to 2012 . . . the first day of filming for a new Food Network show. It happened to be in Texas . . . and happened to be in my house.
Just a few months before, we heard that Bobby Flay was scouting for the “Best Home” cooks. He was filming a new Food Network show in Dallas, LA, NYC, Philadelphia and Chicago. We figured the chances of getting on the show were somewhere in the same odds as winning the lottery.
At the last minute, we sent in a few photos and wrote an essay on how we loved cooking for our families. We mentioned entering the State Fair of Texas cooking contests. Much to our surprise, one of Bobby’s scouts called to set up an interview. Long story made short, we were invited to compete in “Bobby’s Dinner Battle.” Sounds great! Just one problem, public speaking is my worst nightmare. How could I possibly cook and talk while the cameras were rolling? Lucky for me, my teammate Grace-anne was witty and fearless!
So . . . we decided to forge ahead. After all, how could we resist such a fun opportunity?!
These giant trucks backed down our family’s driveway. It was exciting but scary. Was it too late to change our mind?!!
The doorbell rang, we greeted Bobby’s team. Within hours, the trucks were unloaded and our house had been transformed into a Food Network studio. It was magical. No doubt I still felt butterflies, but this new project was turning into a great adventure!
Making bread is so great fun! Focaccia is an Italian bread made with fresh rosemary and extra-virgin olive oil. It is delicious with chicken, fish, and pasta dishes.
1 1/4 cupwarm water (not over 110º)
2 1/4t.yeast (1 package)
3 1/2cupsall-purpose flour
3T.extra-virgin olive oil
2t.fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1-2T.extra-virgin olive oil to drizzle on top
In a 2-cup Pyrex® liquid measuring cup, add the water, yeast and sugar. Stir to combine; set aside for 10 minutes, until the mixture is foamy.
In the bowl of an electric mixture, add the flour, salt, olive oil, rosemary, and the yeast/water mixture.
With the dough hook, combine until the mixture is smooth, gently stirring the sides; knead for 3 to 4 minutes.
Lightly oil a large bowl, add the dough, turn to coat, and cover with a clean kitchen towel; set aside for one hour.
Turn the dough out on a Silpat®-lined jelly roll pan. Press your fingers into the dough to leave holes everywhere. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and chopped rosemary. Cover with a clean dish towel; set aside for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 440ºF.
Bake the Focaccio for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.