Saturdays in February mean that once we walk our beagle, Joe, we stay in and cook comfort food to keep us warm until the nighttime beckons. We are always on the hunt for a) delectable dishes that are easy to make (in case Friday was a doozy) and b) a meal that can feed a lot of people (in case we have some stragglers on the couch). For such a recipe we turned to one of our favorite restaurant duos, Chef Robert Newton and Kerry Diamond, co-owners of the modern southern restaurant Seersucker and the coffee/sandwich shop Smith Canteen, both located in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Beyond being two of the most stylish restaurateurs we know, the pair fill have a super sweet spot where music and food meet and good times are born. While Robert is keeping his gravy recipe under lock and key, we were lucky enough to pry his delicious biscuits and molasses butter recipes from his stash. Kerry (who also used to work for Legs McNeil) helped curate this month’s songs, showing off her deft selector skills which she practices every week by making the playlist for each of the restaurants. So grab a biscuit cutter, some lard, and a few early morning cocktails and begin to see why Saturday afternoon is the new Friday night.
7 cups of cake flour, plus some extra for rolling out the biscuits*
3 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cups lard**
3 cups cold buttermilk
4 tbsp melted butter for the foil and the top of the biscuits***
Fleur de sel for the top of the biscuits****1. Sift together all the dry ingredients. Cut in the lard. You can use
a fork, but a pastry cutter will make your life easier.
2. Add the buttermilk and mix well with a wooden spoon.
3. Turn out the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead it gently.
4. The dough is pretty wet, so keep some extra flour nearby. Add the flour as needed in very small amounts until the dough is no longer
sticky and you can begin using a rolling pin without it turning into a doughy mess.
5. Roll out the dough until it is an even half-inch thickness.
6. Using a biscuit cutter (you’ll get more biscuits out of this recipe if you use a square cutter), start cutting the biscuit dough. Line a sheet tray with aluminum foil (shiny side up, please) and brush with butter.
7. Arrange the biscuits on the foil so that they are just touching,
8. Brush the tops of the biscuits with butter and sprinkle with fleur de sel.
9. Bake at 425˚F for 10 to 12 minutes until the tops are golden brown.Serve for breakfast or dinner with butter and jam; use as the base for biscuits and gravy; or make biscuit sandwiches. We’ve even toasted them and made ice cream sandwiches with them.
*Cake flour is a must. Substitute with all-purpose flour at your own risk.
3 tablespoons molasses
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
Let the butter soften. Mix in the molasses and salt. Serve with the warm biscuits. Resist spreading it all over the body of one you love.