Even though I know better, I look forward to watching the Oscars every year. The movies I like rarely win and often aren’t even nominated—but there is still something fun about watching the show. This year’s show seemed particularly strange, but I kind of liked that about it. And I certainly liked that Milk received a couple of major awards accompanied by a couple of politically charged speeches.
We had some friends over to watch the show and I cooked the chicken Milanese and escarole salad that Deb posted  about a few weeks ago. While the recipes I post on Lottie + Doof are usually things I find in magazines and cookbooks or make up on my own, I still get many recipes from my favorite food blogs. Especially Deb’s. This recipe is fantastic and I basically agree with everything she says, so read her post and admire her beautiful photos. The salad is particularly outstanding and pickled onions are quickly becoming one of my favorite foods. I made an addition to the menu in the form of cream cheese and chive biscuits. They are relatively easy to make and I think add an extra little something to this meal (more carbs?). They were really delicious.
Even if you don’t make the meal exactly, there are some techniques and tools to learn from these recipes. The first in panko bread crumbs. If you’re planning on breading anything and want it extra crispy and delicious, these are great to have on hand. The second is escarole, it is an underused green. It is slightly bitter, very hardy and easily stands up to whatever you dress it with. It is like the romaine of the endive family. It is also delicious cooked. Another great idea is the use of the ground hazelnuts and cheese, which is tossed with the escarole. It adds cheesiness and crunch. I can imagine trying this with other combinations of cheese and nuts. Finally, I love that the salad is simply tossed with a some olive oil and the onion pickling liquid, so simple! I plan on keeping pickled onions always on hand so this will quickly become a favorite dressing.
Cream Cheese and Chive Biscuits (Martha Stewart)
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
- 4 ounces cream cheese, cold, cut into small pieces
- 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, and chives. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter and cream cheese until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few larger clumps remaining.
Pour in the buttermilk; using a fork, mix in buttermilk until incorporated and the dough just comes together. The dough will be slightly sticky; do not overmix.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. With floured fingers, gently knead about four times, until all the crumbs are incorporated and the dough is smooth. With a lightly floured rolling pin, gently roll the dough to a 8-b-11-inch rectangle, about 1 inch thick. Using a bench scraper or long offset spatula to lift the ends of the dough, fold the rectangle into thirds (like a business letter). Give the dough a quarter turn. Roll out the dough again (to the same dimensions), and repeat the folding process. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Return the dough to the work surface. Roll out as before, and repeat the folding process. Give the dough another quarter turn; roll out dough one more time, again into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Using a sharp knife, divide the rectangle into 12 equal squares or rectangles. Place on prepared sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart. Refrigerate for 1 hour. (at this point you could also freeze the biscuits…to cook, simply put the frozen biscuits on a parchment lined sheet and proceed with baking)
Preheat the oven to 425° F. Bake, rotating the sheet halfway through, until the biscuits are golden and flecked with brown spots, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer the bicuits to a wire rack to cool.