Almost everyone has heard of Chef Emeril Lagasse. He is one of New Orleans’ hometown “boys”, and is famous for his restaurants, TV shows, cookbooks, etc. Me personally, I LOVE Emeril. I think he is hilarious, and he has a ton of personality. He is also widely known for his BAM! Besides all that, he is a fabulous chef too. I love his recipes. When I made my gumbo, Time for Gumbo we took it with us when we had dinner with friends. I did not make any bread or biscuits that day, because my friend Priscilla had already taken care of the bread. However, we had a lot of leftovers that needed to be eaten, and I just had to make some biscuits to go with it. Because gumbo is the most famous food of New Orleans, I thought it would only be fitting to make some bread or biscuits that were also from New Orleans. I chose to make Emeril’s famous herbed biscuits, from his restaurant Delmonico’s. According to Chef Emeril, “the secret to great biscuits is not handling the dough more than necessary. Over handling develops the gluten in the flour, which makes biscuits (or any baked good goods) tough”. I have always followed this advice, and very rarely do I ever have tough biscuits. My mother was from the South after all, and I know my biscuits.
Chef Emeril’s Herbed Biscuits
2 cups flour
1 TBSP baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cold vegetable shortening
2 TBSP cold butter, cubed
3/4 cup + 2 TBSP buttermilk (I always use the powdered buttermilk mixed with milk)
1 TBSP chopped, fresh assorted herbs or dried herbs
Preheat the oven to 425* F
Sift the flour and mix in all the dry ingredients. If you are using dried herbs, you can mix those in as well. Usually I use fresh herbs, but today all I had was the dried, so that is what I used. They work fine too, just the flavor is not as pronounced as it would be by using fresh herbs. Add the butter and the shortening and mix together until the dough is soft and crumbly. You can use either a pastry cutter or your hands. I find working with my hands is the best way. Add the buttermilk and fresh herbs, if using, and mix together with the dough, just until blended together.
On a lightly floured surface either pat or roll the dough to about 3/4″ thick. Emeril says to pat the dough; I prefer to roll it. Either way, just don’t over do it.
Once the dough is to the desired thickness, use 3″ fluted biscuit cutters to shape your biscuits. Do not twist the cutters into the dough. Just firmly press it into the dough.
Place the biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until they are lightly golden.
Butter them up while they are nice and hot and BAM! You have biscuits.