you thought you could evade me forever...
...but I have prevailed! Every so often there is a commonly-used U.S. ingredient that I have to struggle to find here in the UK. I now have to buy my tinned pumpkin for pumpkin pie online. Same goes if I want to bake a really good pecan pie and need corn syrup. However, what once was another culinary co-hort in the conspiracy to frustrate this ex-pat has been FOUND.
I give you...buttermilk:
Although I've been reassured by many that buttermilk is not unheard of here in cool Britannia I'll be damned if I've ever stumbled across it in any of my local markets and that includes my beloved Waitrose. So when I was in Infinity Foods one day (local vegetarian co-op shop) I was so excited to find not only buttermilk but organic buttermilk! Google has revealed that this particular buttermilk hails from a dairy farm up in Yorkshire. Not really local but I'll take what I can get.
Of course, being a pseudo-Southern girl at heart the first thing I did was gather up some ribs for bbq'n and make Buttermilk Biscuits:
As you can see what we Yanks know as biscuits aint no cookie. Instead they're light, fluffy and very buttery. These here biscuits are topped with Southern Sausage Gravy which is incredibly delicious and not at all good for you. Rock on. You can make them for breakfast but there sure aint no harm in having them for dinner, as we did last night. Yes I'm fully aware that I'm developing somewhat of a twang as I blog these.
Buttermilk Biscuits (adapted from Everyday Food)
2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup buttermilk, plus more if needed
1. Preheat oven to 200C. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Using a fork, pastry blender, or your fingers, incorporate butter into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse meal.
2. Mix in buttermilk until a sticky dough forms; you may need to add up to 1 tablespoon more buttermilk.
3. Drop 8 mounds (each a scant 1/3 cup) onto a nonstick baking sheet; lightly pat tops to flatten slightly.
4. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm.
And now for the Sausage Gravy: (adapted from It's All American Food by David Rosengarten)
450g crumbled breakfast sausage (I use any from Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Range and just remove it from the casings)
1/4 white flour
3c cool milk
-Saute the sausage in preheated pan til nice and brown. Remove from pan with juices and reserve.
-Melt butter in a pot and slowly whisk in the flour. Keep whisking til roux is a nice brownish colour.
-Whisk in the milk, slowly, getting rid of any lumps.
-Continue whisking over medium heat til gravy starts to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or til it's thickened. Make sure you keep whisking so it doesn't get stuck to the pan!
-Add in crumbled sausage and serve over warmed, halved biscuits.