Bread Baking: Cheddar and Scallion Biscuits [Photograph: Donna Currie] It doesn't matter what you call them. Scallions, spring onions, green onions—the skinny guys with green shoots start looking really good when spring is springing. Fluffy spring lettuce and asparagus are also harbingers of the season, but those onions deserve just as much glory. When my dad would plant onions in his garden, he'd thin out the plants as the season progressed to make room for the growing bulbs. I love onions in just about every form, but with the skinny green onions, I'm just as anxious to make use of the green tops as I am the white part. About the author: Donna Currie has been cooking for fun and writing for pay since the days when typewritten articles traveled by snail mail.
Andrew Carmellini's World's Best Biscuits. End of Story. [Photograph: Quentin Bacon] I've never been able to make a successful batch of biscuits. My botched attempts have reached the double digits. I finally just assumed me and biscuits weren't meant to be. But I reconsidered this notion after coming across a recipe in Andrew Carmellini's American Flavor entitled The World's Best Biscuits—End of Story. After so many batches of leaden hockey puck biscuits, it was going to take a pretty incredible recipe to break my track record and to Carmellini's credit, his biscuits were just that good. There are two steps in this World's Best Biscuits recipe that sets these fluffy little gems aside from others—a honey butter glaze that has the power to make anything insanely delicious and a dough that rolled, folded, and beaten down a total of seven times for optimal flakiness and breathtaking height. So, are they the world's best? As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of American Flavor to give away this week.
Sunday Supper: Sloppy Joes Each Saturday evening we bring you a Sunday Supper recipe. Why on Saturday? So you have time to shop and prepare for tomorrow. I don't know what did it, but this past week I'd been craving a good sloppy Joe. Luckily, I had just the recipe for these tangy-sweet sandwiches. You see, a couple years ago, I had a similar craving, but I wanted to avoid whatever weirdness might be in those canned mixes. If you're a fan of the canned stuff, this recipe is a pretty close approximation, and you can feel all the better for it knowing exactly what goes into it.
Andrew Carmellini's Fried Chicken [Photograph: Quentin Bacon] We've been fans of Andrew Carmellini's Fried Chicken for quite a while, seeking it out at Locanda Verde back in '09, scouting it out at the opening of The Dutch earlier this year, and enjoying it waaaay after hours. So needless to say we were thrilled to see the recipe for Carmellini's fried chicken in his newly released American Flavor because it meant that that truly awesome chicken could be ours, all ours, any time we want it. Like all great fried chicken recipes, Carmellini's begins with a nice long soak in buttermilk, in this case buttermilk seasoned with a sweet spicy mix of cayenne, Old Bay, honey, and Tabasco. Step two is a nine-part spice mix that is incorporated into the dredging flour and sprinkled generously over the chicken once its been fried to a deep brown crisp. For Carmellini, perfecting fried chicken involves the perfect marriage of super juicy meat and super crispy skin. Adapted from American Flavor by Andrew Carmellini.
Meatloaf Recipe photo by Quentin Bacon yield Makes 6 servings with leftovers active time 30 min total time 1 1/2 hr This is the perfect antidote to the Sunday blues, not least because there will be enough left over to pack sandwiches for Monday's lunch. Preparation Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Soak bread crumbs in milk in a large bowl. Meanwhile, cook onion, garlic, celery, and carrot in butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Finely chop bacon and prunes in a food processor, then add to onion mixture along with beef, pork, eggs, and parsley and mix together with your hands. Pack mixture into a 9- by 5-inch oval loaf in a 13- by 9-inch shallow baking dish or pan. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of meatloaf registers 155°F, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Cooks' note: Cooked meatloaf keeps, chilled, 3 days.
Old-School Meat Loaf This recipe was one of the five meals my mom had in her heavy weeknight rotation to feed our family of six. I loved the way she made three holes in the loaf and filled each one with a reservoir of spicy ketchup, so each bite had a touch of it. Little details like a pool of ketchup create a memorable dinner experience for a little kid -- never to be forgotten. I grate the onions to avoid unpleasantly large chunks in the meat loaf; use a box grater and they'll melt into the meat mixture as it cooks. Ingredients 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs 1/3 cup whole milk 2 pounds ground beef chuck 1/4 cup grated onion 1 carrot, peeled and grated 1 large egg 2 teaspoons coarse salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/3 to 1/2 cup Chili Sauce (recipe follows) or regular bottled chili sauce Procedure 1. 2. 3. 4. 1/2 cup ketchup1 teaspoon chili paste, such as sambal oelek 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish 1.