Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sweet Potato Biscuits with Country Ham

Thanksgiving 2012 was a different affair than in years past. Instead of eating Thanksgiving lunch AND Thanksgiving dinner - both with turkey and all the fixings, we debuted Thanksgiving brunch with Jason’s family. I wasn’t exactly sure what dishesThanksgiving brunch would yield but it ended up working out wonderfully. I was a bit afraid that folks would try to make turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, etc. into a brunch meal but thankfully, we ended up with some brunch favorites like Eggs Benedict, pancakes, and fruit with yogurt and granola, along with autumnal Pumpkin Muffins, Pumpkin Coffee Cake, and Sweet Potato Biscuits.

Sweet Potato Biscuits with Country Ham

Makes 16 biscuits

Preheat oven 425ยบ

Prick all over with a fork and then place on a microwave safe plate:
~2 pounds sweet potatoes
Microwave potatoes for a total of 15 minutes, flipping every 5 minutes. Remove from the microwave and cut each potato in half. Let cool for about 15 minutes before scooping out the flesh.

Measure out 2 cups of cooked sweet potatoes and place in a large bowl. Reserve any leftovers for another use (like adding to traditional mashed potatoes).

Mix into the potatoes:
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to allow the potatoes to continue to cool.

In a food processor, combine:
3 1/4 cups cake flour
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening

Pulse together until the ingredients form a coarse meal.

Remove the sweet potatoes from the refrigerator and add the meal to the bowl. Use a spatula to fold the potatoes into the flour to form a moist dough. Invert the bowl onto a clean, lightly floured counter. Use hands to create one cohesive ball of dough. Knead dough until smooth, about 10 turns.

Lightly flour the top of the dough. Place a piece of waxed paper over the top of the dough and use a rolling pin to roll out dough so that it is about 1” thick. Use a biscuit cutter or the top of a round water glass (2 1/4” in diameter) to cut out biscuits. Repeat until all the dough is used, making 16 biscuits.

Place biscuits on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

In a small bowl, melt:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Brush butter over tops of precooked biscuits.

Bake for 18-22 minutes so that the tops of the biscuits are golden brown.

Cool 15 minutes.

While the biscuits are cooling, prepare 1/2-3/4 pound country ham.

Cut ham into biscuit-sized pieces.

Place in a skillet over medium heat, 60 seconds on each side.

Remove excess fat.

Cut biscuits in half and place 1-2 pieces of country ham on each biscuit.

Eat up!

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