Biscuits in a Biscuit Shop - Biscuits: Sweet and Savory Southern Recipes for the All-American Kitchen (2015)

Biscuits: Sweet and Savory Southern Recipes for the All-American Kitchen (2015)

Biscuits in a Biscuit Shop


The popularity of biscuits has created entrepreneurial opportunities. Biscuits shops are springing up all over, particularly in the Northeast. It seems folks are finally catching on to what Southerners have known all along: biscuits are practical, biscuits are good eating, and biscuits are light and flaky yet sturdy. Biscuits are perfect! The menus in biscuit shops vary from traditional biscuit offerings to modern-day creations using trendy ingredients.

Old Fashioned Chicken Salad on Yogurt Biscuit Bread

Ham Biscuits with Honey Mustard Butter

Turkey on Sour Cream and Chive Biscuits

Ham, Egg, and Cheddar Cheese Biscuit Cupcakes

Roast Beef Sandwich with Mustard Sauce on Yogurt Biscuit Bread

Grilled Peach Salad with Rosemary Focaccia Biscuit Bread

Bacon Cathead Biscuit with Fried Egg and American Cheese

Loaded Baked Potato Biscuit


The Andy Griffith Show tin is one of my favorites in my tin collection.

Lunch in the Drugstore

In addition to dispensing medication prescriptions, mega retail chain pharmacies today are mini-markets where you can buy everything from school supplies to dishwashing detergent. There was a time in small-town America when pharmacists not only dispensed the medication, but they also owned the drugstore. And typical of so many small business owners, they knew their customers. A visit to the drugstore was a social event. The pharmacist would ask about your family, and you would want to know about his. The best feature of the drugstore was the soda fountain where you could get ice cream cones, milkshakes, pie, sandwiches, and fountain cokes. To a Southerner, the term coke was generic for soft drinks. If you ordered a coke, more than likely, you’d be asked, “What kind?” And that didn’t mean diet or regular. It meant Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, 7-up, orange, grape, Pepsi, or Cherry Coca-Cola.

My favorite lunch counter meal was a chicken salad sandwich and Coca-Cola. The sandwich was filled with chicken salad made the old-fashioned way: cooked chicken, mayonnaise, celery, boiled eggs, and pickle relish served wrapped in wax paper. You may have been served a pickle spear or some chips alongside, but usually it was just the sandwich. While I enjoy fancy chicken salad made with nuts and fruits, I still prefer the old-fashioned kind. This is the way my mother and grandmother made chicken salad. The only way I deviate from their method is by roasting the chicken instead of boiling it, which results in more flavorful chicken. Chicken salad is a part of Southern culture. I’m fairly certain it’s against the law to host a bridal shower or ladies luncheon and not serve it.

Drugstore lunch counters are slowly disappearing. Independently owned drugstores are finding it hard to compete with retail pharmacy chains. Along with the loss of drugstore lunch counters is the loss of a way of life that was slower, simpler, and kinder. I long for the day that I can locate a town like Mayberry in The Andy Griffith Show. We’ve seen every episode of the show’s eight seasons and we continue to watch them. I guess you might say we’re groupies. We’re drawn to that era and that way of life. Somewhere out there is a town similar to Mayberry. If it’s meant to be, we’ll find it. And, when we do, I’m ordering a chicken salad sandwich and a coke in the drugstore.


Old-Fashioned Chicken Salad on Yogurt Biscuit Bread

Yield: four sandwiches

I put chicken salad in two categories: fancy and old-fashioned. Fancy may have fresh herbs, grapes, apples, pecans, or almonds. While I enjoy most any combination for chicken salad, my favorite is old-fashioned made the simple way my mother and grandmother made it.

4 cups cooked chicken, cut in ½-inch cubes

½-¾ cup good quality mayonnaise

2 boiled eggs, peeled and diced

2 tablespoons finely minced celery

¼ cup sweet pickle relish

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

1 batch Yogurt Biscuit Bread, cut in 4-inch squares (see recipe page 62)

Lettuce greens

Mix all ingredients. Taste for seasoning and adjust. Chill.

To assemble:

Split Yogurt Biscuits Bread Squares (see recipe page 62). Fill with chicken salad. Place greens on top of salad.


Ham Biscuits

with Honey Mustard Butter

Yield: Approximately 12 (2½-inch) biscuits or approximately 20 (1¾-inch) biscuits

Southern hams are cured by sugar or salt. Most commercially cured hams use a sugar cure method and are sometimes called city hams in contrast with country hams, which are salt-cured. Of course, sugar-cured hams are sweeter, but the flavor is milder. You can stack as much sugar-cured ham in a biscuit as you’d like. Care must be taken with country ham and only small portions should be used. These biscuits are filled with sugar-cured ham topped with honey mustard butter. For breakfast biscuits, cut biscuits with a 2½-inch biscuit cutter. For appetizers, use a 1¾-inch biscuit cutter. Ham biscuits are a popular appetizer and will be one of the first to go. They may be served warm or room temperature. Folks like them either way.

½ cup unsalted butter, softened

1 tablespoon honey Dijon mustard

Buttermilk biscuits (see recipe page 29)

½-¾ pound sugar-cured ham

Mix butter, mustard, and honey until smooth.

Cut ham to the appropriate size to fit the biscuits. Split the biscuits and divide ham evenly among the number of biscuits you want to make. Spread butter on the underside of the biscuit top.


Turkey on Sour Cream and Chive Biscuits

Yield: approximately 12 (2-½ inch) biscuits

Leftover cold turkey comes alive when put into a sandwich with flavorful sour cream and chive biscuits. This would be a welcomed change of pace after Thanksgiving, when you feel like you can’t bear to eat one more turkey sandwich. A good deli turkey can be used, also.

½ cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Dijon type mustard

½ teaspoon seasoned salt

¼ cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley

Sour Cream and Chive Drop Biscuits, split (see recipe on page 57)

Sliced turkey

Mixed greens

Mix together first 4 ingredients and set aside. Assemble sandwiches by spreading a thin layer of mayonnaise on the inside of both biscuit pieces. Fill with turkey and top with mixed greens.

Ham, Egg, and Cheddar Cheese Biscuit Cupcakes

Yield: 6

Preheat oven to 350°

This recipe calls for sugar-cured ham, not its salty cousin, county ham. Brown the ham to bring out maximum flavor before adding eggs. The addition of buttermilk to the eggs adds flavor to them and keeps them moist. I whipped up this on a whim on a Monday morning. Sometimes, my whims work out, sometimes they don’t. This one is a winner and would make a fine breakfast any day of the week. For busy weekday mornings, they can be baked ahead of time, stored in the refrigerator, and reheated. I recommend wrapping them securely in aluminum foil and reheating on 350° for 10 minutes or until heated through. For especially busy mornings, they are an excellent grab-n-go breakfast.

Biscuit cups:

1 cup self-rising flour

¼ cup butter, cubed and chilled

½ cup buttermilk


½ cup sugar-cured ham, ¼-inch dice

6 eggs

1 tablespoon buttermilk

¼ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground pepper

1½ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided

For biscuit cups:

Add flour to bowl. Cut or rub in butter until flour resembles coarse meal. Pour in buttermilk and stir until dough is wet.

Turn out onto a floured surface. Sprinkle flour on dough. Knead gently and add flour, as needed, until dough is no longer sticky.

Roll out into a rectangle ½ inch thick. Cut with a 2½-inch biscuit cutter dipped in flour.

Place biscuits in a standard-sized cupcake pan that brushed with cooking oil. Press dough up sides of each cup until the cup is entirely covered with biscuit dough. Prick bottom of each biscuit a few times with a fork. Set aside.

For filling:

Brown ham in a skillet coated with cooking oil.

Whisk together eggs, buttermilk, salt, and pepper until the eggs are light.

Add egg mixture to ham. Cook eggs until soft scrambled.

Remove from heat. Stir in 1 cup cheese.

Divide egg mixture among the biscuit cups.

Top with remaining cheddar cheese.

Bake in a 350° oven for 25 minutes or until cheese melts and eggs are firmly set.



Roast Beef Sandwich

with Mustard Sauce on Yogurt Biscuit Bread

Yield: 4 sandwiches

Thinly sliced roast beef, arugula, mustard sauce, and yogurt biscuit bread make an outstanding sandwich.

2 tablespoons good quality mayonnaise

1 teaspoon sour cream

1 tablespoon mustard, choose your favorite

1 teaspoon honey

1 batch Yogurt Biscuit Bread (see recipe page 62)

12 ounces thinly sliced deli roast beef

Baby arugula

½ sweet onion, sliced

Mustard sauce:

Mix first four ingredients. Set aside.

To assemble:

Slice biscuit bread in half. Spread mustard sauce on inside of top and bottom. Divide roast beef among the sandwiches. Top with arugula and sliced onions. Replace bread top on sandwich.


Grilled Peach Salad

with Rosemary Focaccia Biscuit Bread

Yield: 4 servings

Peaches and rosemary make a surprisingly beautiful couple. They were made for each other. If the combination is an acquired taste, then I’ve bought it lock, stock, and barrel. Rosemary focaccia bread and grilled peach salad is a lunch I could eat every day. Peaches have two classifications: clingstone and freestone. Freestone peaches are easier to cut in half because the flesh easily separates from the stone.

Grilled peaches:

Peel 2 peaches and slice in half. Place them cut-side down on a hot grill. Cook until grill marks show, about 1 to 2 minutes per side.

Remove from grill and slice.

To assemble salad:

8 cups arugula greens

Olive oil

Kosher salt

Grilled peaches

Blue cheese sprinkles

Lightly dress arugula leaves with olive oil and salt. Toss. Divide among 4 plates.

Place ½ grilled peach, sliced, in the center of dressed greens. Add a few blue cheese sprinkles to salad. Drizzle honey over peaches.

Serve with Rosemary Focaccia Biscuit Bread (see recipe page 65).


My collection of vintage spools and bobbins used in textile mills.

A Cotton Mill Worker’s Lunch

After my grandparents almost starved to death trying to make a living farming, they decided Granddaddy should try to “get on” at the newly built cotton mill. After he was hired, they moved from the tenant’s house provided by the landowner for whom they sharecropped and moved to the cotton mill village where they provided housing for the workers. Houses in the mill village were small and would be considered substandard today. They were sturdily built and provided running water and shelter from the elements. Eventually, they got electricity. At first, the only heat was a small coal stove, which was upgraded to a kerosene furnace. It was the place my grandparents lived for the twenty-five-plus years Granddaddy worked at the mill.

The mill whistle signaled six alarms each day. Blasted is a more appropriate word. The village and the entire town heard the whistles. The first whistle would blow at ten minutes before the shift. The next whistle blew at shift time: 6:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., and 10:00 p.m. There was no excuse for anyone sleeping through the whistle unless they were stone cold deaf or dead.

Granddaddy worked the 6:00 a.m. shift, which meant the day started early at their house. Granny would start rattling pots and pans as Granddaddy put on his overalls. Biscuits were made every morning so Granddaddy could eat his traditional breakfast of cane syrup-sopped biscuits. For lunch, Granny cooked two eggs hard and made two biscuit sandwiches, which she wrapped in waxed paper and placed in a brown paper sack. On top of the biscuit sandwiches, she would slide in a MoonPie or occasionally a Little Debbie cake. This seemingly light lunch fueled my Granddaddy as he worked a job that required hard labor. The job was hard, but it paid him a regular wage that wasn’t affected by weather, pests, floods, or droughts. He was mighty proud to have it.


Bacon Cathead Biscuit

with Fried Egg and American Cheese

Yield: 4 biscuits

For breakfast or lunch, this biscuit sandwich is comforting and spirit lifting. The flavors are familiar and simple. This isn’t the kind of sandwich you bite into and have to take several more bites before you can decide if you like it. Chances are, you like it at first sight. The first bite will seal the deal.

4 Bacon Cathead Biscuits (see recipe page 61)

2 tablespoons bacon drippings

4 eggs

4 slices American cheese

Place bacon drippings in a large skillet and heat to medium. Add eggs and fry until yolks are to your desired degree of doneness.

Split biscuits in half. Place an egg and slice of cheese on 1 half of the biscuit and top with the other half.

Loaded Baked Potato Biscuit

Yield: 4

Preheat oven to 450°

Our society is crazy for the flavor of loaded baked potato. In addition to an actual baked potato loaded with butter, sour cream, chives, bacon, and cheddar cheese, we carry the theme over to potato skins, potato chips, casseroles, and soups. So, why not a biscuit? I couldn’t think of a reason to not do it, either. I used a Yukon gold potato because I wanted a smooth texture with less starch. Instead of mashing the potato, I cut it into small diced pieces that can be seen in the biscuit.

2 cups self-rising winter wheat flour

½ cup butter, unsalted, cubed and chilled

3 tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped

8 ounces sour cream

1 medium potato, baked, cooled and peeled (approximately 4-6 ounces)

1-2 tablespoons buttermilk, if needed

4-6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated

4 slices bacon, cooked until crispy. Reserve bacon drippings

Place flour in a large bowl. Rub or cut in butter until the flour resembles coarse meal. Stir in chives and sour cream.

Cut the peeled, cooled potato into small diced pieces. Stir into dough. Add buttermilk, if needed, until the dough is wet.

Turn out onto a floured surface and shape into a 1-inch thick rectangle. If dough is too sticky to handle, sprinkle with flour.

Cut biscuits with a 2½-inch cutter dipped in flour. Place 1 inch apart on a baking sheet sprayed with a nonstick spray or covered with a baking mat.

Brush tops with bacon drippings.

Bake in a preheated 450° oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

Let cool 5 minutes. Split in half and place on a baking sheet. Divide the cheese among the 8 biscuits halves. Place a piece of bacon on top of the cheese that’s on the bottom half of each biscuit. Broil until cheese melts. Cover the bottom half of the biscuit with the top half.

Serve immediately.