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Monday, January 14, 2013

It's a scone . . . It's a biscuit . . . no, it's HAM & BLUE CHEESE!

Oh wow.  Y'know how sometimes you discover something you should have known all along, and it turns out to be something wonderful?

The other day the boss went to the deli/bakery around the corner to pick up a sandwich for lunch (my tighter budget required a trip to Schlub-way for the $5 daily special).  Back at the office, we ate our lunch together and perused the crossword puzzles, as usual.  After the sandwiches were gone the boss produced one of those plastic bakery boxes with something inside.  It was irregularly shaped and rubbly on top and had red chunks in it with little dark flecks.  It looked like a scone with dried cherries or cranberries baked in.  I assumed he had brought it for dessert, maybe.

He picked it up and broke it in half, presenting one half to me.  "Is it a scone?", I asked.  "Are those dried cherries or cranberries?"  He just held the half out to me, an inviting look on his face.  I took it and he replied "It's ham and blue cheese". 

One bite was all it took.  The little dark bits were neither poppy seeds nor flecks of herb - they were specks of blue cheese.  The red bits were chunks of ham.  Oh.  Wow.  Ummmm . . . . .

It took me mere seconds to realize I could make these.  Their taste and texture are similar enough to those wonderful cheddar cheese biscuits that are available at a certain seafood restaurant chain and whose recipe appears in countless "copycat" versions in Church Lady Cookbooks and cooking websites everywhere.

Without further ado, get yourself a box of Bis-Qwik or Jif-fee baking mix and commence to something yummy.


Ham & Blue Cheese Scones . . . Or Biscuits . . . Or Whatever

2 1/2 cups baking mix
4 tablespoons cold butter, divided, cut in pieces
3/4 cup cold milk
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (or seasoned salt, Lawry's, Old Bay etc.)
about 1/2 cup ham cut in 1/2 inch dice
about 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees f.  Cut 2 tablespoons butter into baking mix with a pastry cutter or two knives, as for pie crust.  There should be large and small bits of butter coated with the floury mix. Add remaining ingredients and stir gently just until combined.  Don't over mix.

Using a 1/4 cup measure or similarly sized ice cream scoop, drop scoops of the mixture onto an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 15 - 17 minutes until tops are golden brown.

Meanwhile, combine remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter with 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and a pinch of salt (or 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt, omitting the pinch of salt).  Remove biscuits from the oven and brush with the melted butter mixture.  Allow to cool as long as you can stand it, then commence to gobbling these down.

Quotable quotes; in the category  He Says Biscuits But He Means Cookies . . . Or Crackers . . .

"I love cheese and biscuits, the stronger the better."  Eric Bristow, English darts player