In my dream world…or maybe I should say my dream kitchen, I would open my refrigerator and it would be spotless. It would neatly stocked with only the freshest produce, a perfect bowl of bright red berries, crisp lettuces, French cheeses, milk in a glass bottle and an unending supply of sparkling water. There would be no Tupperware containers of scary leftovers hiding in the very back, behind styrofoam containers of week, maybe even month-old Thai take-out. The 6-month-old cupcakes from our roommates 30th birthday party that are held on to for sentimental value wouldn’t be there. The garlic would never end up lonely little shriveled cloves hidden beside half-used slimy red onions. And there would always be as many shallots as I thought there were. Alas, cleaning out the fridge is one of my most dreaded tasks.
“Please, please please don’t tell me that you’re going to eat the leftovers if you really have no intention of it. I won’t hurt my feelings. I promise.” I say to my super-sweet and encouraging boyfriend as I gag while emptying out a container of who-knows-what-that-was because now it’s just green and furry in to the garbage.
Needless to say, keeping the fridge in top form is an ongoing task, at which, I might add, I’m getting much better. It is important to stay aware of what’s in there and use it while it’s fresh. It can also help to get you out of your cooking comfort zones and try new things. For example, I had a container of buttermilk sitting on the shelf and thought, I’m never going to use that for anything. But instead of letting it perish, I made cheddar buttermilk biscuits for the first time. And they were delicious.
Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) chilled unsalted butter plus 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick), melted
- 2 cups bread flour
- 1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 2 1/2 cups coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 3/4 cups (well-shaken) buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425°F. With a pastry brush, brush 12 large (1-cup) muffin cups with some of the melted butter; reserve remaining melted butter for brushing on baked biscuits. In a large food processor, mix together the bread flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut the chilled stick of butter in to 1/2-inch cubes and add the cubes to the flour mixture. Process the flour and butter mixture until a coarse meal forms. Transfer to large bowl. Add the cheese and toss to combine. Stir in the buttermilk until just combined. The batter will be very sticky and doughy. Divide the batter among prepared muffin cups, approximately1/2 cup for each.
Bake biscuits until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Brush tops with remaining melted butter. Cool for 5 minutes, then remove biscuits from pan and transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm.