Monday, March 2, 2009

Cheddar-Zucchini Biscuits

When I saw the photo for these biscuits in a Cooking Pleasures magazine, I knew right away I wanted to make them. They looked that good and it turned out they actually are! The recipe recommended an aged or extra sharp cheddar, so I went all out.

This 8 oz hunk of cheese was $12!!

Cheddar-Zucchini Biscuits

3/4 c shredded zucchini (or 1 italian squash shredded)
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1 c shredded aged yellow cheddar cheese
1/4 c sliced green onions
1 tbsp + 2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 tsp baking powder
6 tbsp butter, chilled, cut-up
1 c milk

Heat oven to 450°F. Grease an 11x15 baking sheet with butter.

Combine zucchini and 1/4 tsp salt in small bowl; let stand 20 minutes.

Discard excess liquid. Place zucchini in strainer; press on zucchini to drain any additional liquid.

Combine zucchini, cheese, green onions and 1 tbsp flour in a medium bowl.

Whisk remaining 2 cups flour, baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt in medium bowl. With pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles small peas.

Stir in zucchini mixture. Stir in milk just until soft dough forms.

Drop dough by large spoonfuls onto baking sheet.

Bake 10-13 minutes or until light brown on top and bottom. Serve warm.

Easy? Yes!
Delicious? Absolutely!
Am I gonna do these again? Most definitely!
Were they cheap? NO WAY.

Seriously, difficulty in making these was not an issue. And they came out great. There was no point in time that Rodney and I looked at each other with that knowing look which says: "bummer, these are gonna go bad." If Rodney wasn't such a gentleman, we'd have come to blows over the last one.

I wonder if having a seriously old cheese is necessary. Maybe a baby cheddar would suffice especially for those like me with less discerning palates. Or maybe that's why an old cheddar was recommended! Next time I'll try a super sharp less-aged cheddar. I think they might be cheaper. And when I was shopping for cheese, I noticed white cheddars are going for less of a premium. What's the difference between white and yellow in a biscuit beside appearance?

  • italian squash: $0.42 @ 0.99/lb
  • aged cheddar: $11.49/8 oz
  • green onions: $0.25 @ 4/$1
  • flour: $2.50/5 lbs = $0.28 (Usually I consider this a staple and lump it in a "staple cost", but since I just bought some, what the hell)
  • milk: $1.69/half gallon
It cost me $14.13 to make 12 biscuits, which means each biscuit was $1.18! Would I buy one single biscuit priced at $1.18 from a store? No way. That's nuts -- it's a friggin' biscuit! Unless I was able to sample a bit of one first. Then yes. If it was as good as these were.

Will I make these again? Absolutely. I will try a different cheese and see if it really makes that much of a difference though. Really, I'd expect a biscuit to cost $0.118!  They're biscuits!

Click here for a printable
I finally made these again; click the link to check out Mexican Blend Cheese and Zucchini Biscuits. You won't have sticker-shock, I guarantee it.  


Laura said...

Hi! After spotting some cheddar chive biscuits at Whole Foods (believe it or not, priced $1.99 EACH!), I started searching for a recipe to make my own. I liked yours because it included zucchini, which I had bought for another recipe but not used, so I gave it a try. These were delicious! I used some cheap cheddar cheese instead of the expensive kind, but added 1/6 cup fresh grated pecorino romano, which I figured would give them enough aged flavor. I also added a few herbs I found in other recipes (thyme, parsley, and a touch of basil). They were delicious! Thanks so much for the inspiration, and I'll look forward to reading more of your recipes.

The Cook said...

Hi Laura, isn't it crazy the prices food can be? I'm glad to hear you gave this recipe a try and liked the results! I recently made these biscuits again and like you, opted for a less expensive cheese -- the Kirkland Mexican blend I had in the refrigerator. I'll update the post to include a link to the cheaper yet still delicious biscuits.

Also, I just wandered through your blog briefly and I'm astounded at your determination and atheleticism. I've been toying with the idea of running lately as maintaining a food blog doesn't exactly assist in the weight management department. So far I'm stuck in the toying rather than doing mode, but maybe your blog will inspire me to get my butt out there!

Analyze A said...

Mmmmmmmm these sound so good! You can tell the difference between mild and extra sharp cheeses in breads (same as "Aged"), but since both are delicious, I wonder if it is worth it. (I tried biscuits side by side with a strong fontina cheese vs. a mild one). I love Laura's Parmesan idea. The best supermarket cheddar per Cook's Illustrated (and my home taste tests), while very much a personal taste thing, is Cabot Extra Sharp, which is cheaper than you'd expect at either Trader Joe's (they repackage it but label it as Cabot) or Walmart Grocery for a 2 lb chunk, both MUCH cheaper than any other Grocery store prices. I really like the idea of using up extra Mexican cheese in biscuits and I'm going to remember that one! Great idea, thank you!

The Cook said...

These biscuits are incredible and most certainly, Laura's idea is fantastic! I hope you come back to comment on the results you achieved after making them.