The Last Supper: Chili on Sour Cream and Cheese Biscuits

Chili on Sour Cream and Cheese Biscuits

Two days into 2011, because we had about two ounces of energy left after the wedding and our South American sojourn and the holidays (I made this, twice — the first time for our office pot luck where it complimented our CFO’s goose-meat tourtiere so well it was like we did it on purpose, and then again on Christmas Day, my first contribution to a Laird Family Dinner) we decided it was time to start house-hunting.

I prepared myself for the worst. We had heard stories. Stories from friends and friends of friends who had purchased homes in downtown Toronto, but not until they had traipsed through 20 houses, 60 houses, 80 houses! And the bidding wars. Oh, the bidding wars. Imagine my delight when we found a house that we loved on our first trip out. So we made an offer, and three excruciating days later we found out that we… didn’t get the house.

I’ll spare you the gory details of what came after we got the call that we had been outbid. Just two days later another unit on the same block of townhouses was listed for sale. We made an offer right away and six hours later, while we were enjoying Jeff’s birthday dinner at Jacobs and Co., we got the call that our offer had been accepted. We bought a house!

The next morning, over my complimentary coffee cake, I got to work on our to-do list. At the top of my list was consider the last supper. I wanted to make a big deal out of a meal to be enjoyed in the condo one last time. The kitchen had been such an important part of my life, it’s where food and I really got to know each other. I’d always known there was something between us, but it wasn’t until I set foot in this kitchen that I realized it was true love. In that kitchen I baked bread, stirred risottos, discovered the joy of the farmer’s market. This blog was born in my very orange kitchen.

I tucked this recipe away long ago, when we were in the thick of wedding planning. I stumbled upon it again just days before our move, when I found myself with a rare, free afternoon and enough time and energy to devote to one last date with my kitchen. I knew it was the perfect last supper — warm and hearty, the kind of meal that leaves you lingering in the kitchen while it simmers on the stove.

I was right, it was perfect. The first night, and three more times before I said good-bye to my very orange kitchen, forever.

Chili on Sour Cream and Cheese Biscuits
Serves 6
Adapted from smitten kitchen

On her post Deb noted that she had lots of left overs. Here I’ve halved the recipe for the chili (the biscuit recipe remains the same), and we got six servings out of it. We had our sandwiches with a simple salad to round out the meal.

Ingredients:

1 large white onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic
1 carrot, diced
1 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck (or ground beef)
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Dried red pepper flakes, to taste (I used about a tablespoon)
1 14 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons beef broth
1 1/5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 14 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 green pepper, diced
Sour cream, to garnish

Method:

1. In a large pot, head oil over moderately low heat and cook onions until soft and just beginning to colour, 5-10 minutes. Add garlic and carrots and cook for one minute.

2. Turn your heat up to medium and add the beef. Stir and break up the meat until no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano and pepper flakes, stir well and cook for another minute.

3. Add tomato sauce, broth and apple cider vinegar. Still well and cover. Simmer for 35 minutes.

4. Add beans, green pepper and salt (to taste). Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until peppers are tender.

5. Ladle chili onto split biscuits and top with sour cream if desired (I highly recommend you desire this).

Sour Cream and Cheese Biscuits
Adapted from smitten kitchen

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
1/4 pound grated sharp Cheddar cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 jalapeno pepper
1 cup sour cream

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

2. Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl.

3. Using your fingers (or you could use a pastry blender) incorporate butter into the flower mixture until you have a crumbly dough.

4. Stir in cheese, jalapenos and sour cream until the dough is wet and sticky.

5. Form dough into 1/2-inch thick round (be sure to flour your counter). Use a biscuit cutter or a wide mouth glass (my choice) to cut 5-6 biscuits.

6. Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 15 minutes, until golden.

Cheddar & Chive Drop Biscuits

Cheddar & Chive Drop Biscuits

I don’t remember eating biscuits growing up. In fact, I don’t remember eating them, ever, until I went to B restaurant and had the World’s Greatest Brunch: the Super B. Let me break it down for you: homemade butter milk biscuits topped with homemade duck sausages, poached eggs and chipotle hollandaise sauce, nestled in between home fries and salad.  They called it super for a reason.

B is no longer with us (just like my other favorite Bea) and I try not to think too much about how super the Super B really was. In fact, I hadn’t thought about it in ages. Until I spied this recipe on everybody likes sandwiches, adapted from bread & honey. I first say it ages ago and thought “I should try that sometime”, but it was a whole new ball game when it was suggested they would be delicious topped with a poached egg. Why yes, I thought. It would be delicious topped with a poached egg. It would be like a Super B!

Two days later, I was whipping up a batch in my own kitchen.  The pot of chives on my windowsill was going a little nuts — like almost a foot long nuts, so I took this opportunity to tame them a little.  I was amazed at how quickly the biscuits came together, a few minutes of mixing and just 12 minutes in the oven.

I was right, poached eggs over these little beauties was about as close to a Super B as I’m going to get these days.  We didn’t have any duck sausages lying around, but Sunday brunch was still so good we repeated the meal for dinner on Monday.

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Cheddar & Chive Drop Biscuits
Adapted from everybody likes sandwiches
Makes about 9 medium-sized biscuits

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup red onions, finely diced
1/4 cup fresh chives, snipped into 1 cm pieces
10 turns or 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 450F.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, onions, chives, pepper and cheese. Stir in milk and oil, mix until just combined.

3. Use a tablespoon to drop dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure that your biscuits are all about the same size to prevent burning.

4. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.