Friday, March 27, 2015

Fresh Herbs Series... Easy Chives Biscuits...

I love chives for their delicate shallot fragrance and flavour, and is a welcomed touch to soups, eggs, potatoes, salmon and muffins. Chives are extremely versatile and easy to grow. They are inexpensive, hardy, low maintenance, decorative and tasty. What more can we ask for a slender plant? Storage tip: To store fresh chives, wrap in a damp paper towel placed in a plastic bag and into the fridge. To freeze fresh chives, wash, trim and dry thoroughly then place into heavy-duty freezer bags removing the air, or with water in an ice cube tray, then transferred into freezer bags to freeze.

Chives biscuits were a delicious way to use up chives I've had seen late last week since they don't last long fresh. And with ingredients you probably already have on hand. You can switch out the half-and-half cream in the recipe with the equal amounts of whole milk and 1 Tbsp. of butter which you add along with the butter in the recipe. Serve them with a hearty stew or soup, or with a green salad for a light meal.

Easy Chive Biscuits
Makes 8 biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, diced
3/4 cup half-and-half cream or 3/4 cup whole milk and 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives 

Cook's NOTE: I place the butter in the freezer for seven minutes before using, as it makes the biscuits tender and fluffy!    

Preheat the oven to 400F. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Add the butter and using your finger, work and crumble the butter until the size of peas. (This is a very important step for light, fluffy biscuits.). Mix in the chives. 

Add the cream/milk and stir with a fork until just combined. Dump the dough out on a well-floured board/counter and knead lightly into a rectangle 3/4 inch thick. Cut into eight pieces and if you like them round, just use the space between your thumb and index finger to shape it with your other hand. 

Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Brush with some cream/milk or if you want a glossy top, make an egg wash using one egg and 1 Tbsp. water; mix and brush-on. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are firm. Serve warm.

Oooh, look at that flaky shell, yielding a fluffy tender centre!

Served biscuits with scrambled eggs topped with chives and leftover Green Lentils with Dill Roasted Red Pepper Salsa Verde.

This concludes my Fresh Herb Series using cilantro, mint, parsley, dill and chives across cultural cuisines and my plight of going meat-free with the family for one week. Some thoughts on going a week on vegetarian? It is manageable, but I had to make sure I planned dishes that had lots of flavour to feel satisfied and of course, protein-rich alternatives to sustain energy. With spring in the air, eating vegetarian coupled with fresh herbs has me feeling clean inside out. A few of the offerings were new to the kids, so I will admit I cheated by sneaking in some chicken in a few meals to keep the kids happy. But for the most part, I was pleased with their taking to my veggie-centred mains! New and delicious ways to incorporate vegetables, grains, pulses and herbs were inspired this week that has added to my go-to-again recipe repertoire. Going a week meat-free on a regular basis is probably not in the horizons, but adopting a meatless Monday every one or two weeks is! 

I hope you were inspired to enliven your dishes with your favourite herbs to bring a little welcomed fresh spring flavour into your kitchen!

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