Friday, March 9, 2012

French Fridays with Dorie: French Country Benedict

John is the biscuit-maker in our house. He has perfected John Besh's Grandmother Walters's Biscuits, and has been known to bake up a batch of Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay Biscuits. Other than those, and a bite or two of his Biscuits and Gravy at a country cafe in our local mountains, my life has been pretty much void of biscuits.

This week's French Fridays with Dorie recipe, St-Germain-des-Prés Onion Biscuits, is Dorie's adaptation of the basic American biscuit. She adds chopped and quickly sauteed onions to the dough, cuts the dough into trendy cocktail-size rounds, and serves them with country ham and Champagne. Dorie's biscuits, named after her swanky Paris neighborhood, are now a staple at her cocktail parties.

St-Germain-des-Prés Onion Biscuits

I needed to make a meal out of these biscuits, so I decided to do a slight twist on Country Benedict, which replaces the English muffin, ham and hollandaise sauce in traditional Eggs Benedict with an American biscuit, sausage patties, and country gravy. The poached eggs are replaced with eggs fried to choice. I used St-Germain-des-Prés Onion Biscuits, sausage patties made with Jimmy Dean sage sausage, and country gravy; I did stay with poached eggs.

French Country Benedict

Breakfast for dinner is nice on occasion, and our French Country Benedict was simple and satisfying. 

Dorie's recipe for St-Germain-des-Prés Onion Biscuits can be found here. Other than the onions, the recipe is almost identical to the John Besh recipe we've used. Some biscuit recipes use buttermilk, instead of milk, and add a teaspoon of baking soda. Thomas Keller uses a combination of cake flour and all-purpose flour (he also uses buttermilk, baking powder and baking soda). 

Critical factors in biscuit-making are: Proper ratios of flour, leavener (baking powder and/or soda), salt, fat (usually butter), and liquid (milk, buttermilk, cream); quick cutting of the fat into the dry ingredients to keep the butter cold and firm (food processor with a steel blade works best); stirring in the liquid just until the ingredients are bound, so the gluten will not become activated (i.e, DON'T OVERWORK); gently patting the dough into a 3/4-inch thickness rather than rolling it with a rolling pin; resist twisting the cutter when cutting the biscuits; and high oven temperature (425 degrees F) with a short baking time (15-18 minutes). It probably goes without saying, but biscuits are best hot from the oven. We also like sprinkling the tops of the biscuits with a pinch of salt just before baking.

For perfect poached eggs, I used the method I learned from Michael Rulman, and for the country gravy, I used this recipe from Homesick Texan.


French Fridays with Dorie is an online cooking group, dedicated to Dorie Greenspan‘s newest book Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours. As members of the group, we have purchased the cookbook and cook along as much as we can. There is a new recipe each week, and we post about that recipe on Friday. We are asked to refrain from posting the actual recipes on our blog. The book is filled with stunning photography, and personal stories about each recipe, which makes it that much more intriguing. I highly recommend adding it to your cookbook collection if you haven't already!


Cher Rockwell said...

What a nice twist :-)

Christy said...

French Country Benedict - hello! I think this could get my sous chef to like biscuits and gravy as much as I do!

Pacheco Patty said...

Wow, I'm seeing these onion biscuits in a whole new light and I like it very much;-)

Guyla said...

Very clever idea!

Gracie said...

YUM...I want one of those!!!

Rose said...

That looks insanely delicious. I was thinking about doing eggs benedict with these, but then we woke up late and all I had time for was scrambled eggs. After seeing your delicious dish I am tempted to make the biscuits again, just so that I can have a re-do. Great job.

Kathy said...

What a great twist on Eggs Benedict! Looks delicious and your biscuits came out perfect! Your poached eggs came out perfect, too!

Betsy said...

I love breakfast for dinner, and this looks like a great menu. Nice biscuits.