Thursday 26 June 2014

Scrambled Eggs With Green Onions On Bacon Cheddar Biscuits

We're trying to trim back the food budget.

It's not easy. Food prices are rising crazily.  

When planning frugal meals, eggs are often the protein I choose to put on our plates.  The local, free range eggs I cook with cost $4.50/dozen; good value for the money. 

I'm cooking for just the two of us and we usually eat two eggs each, so a dozen eggs yields us three main dishes.  In my world, a main dish protein for two that costs just $1.50 is considered mighty budget friendly.

Bacon ends are another frugal ingredient. The raggedy, un-pretty bits left over when a deli or meat market is done slicing a side of bacon for sale, they are usually a better quality bacon than the vacuum packed stuff you find at the grocery store. If I chop up bacon ends, cook them, and then stir them through soups, casseroles, or baking, it takes only a small amount of meat to lend a nice, smokey flavour to the entire dish.

This meal, most often served for supper at our house, is built around both eggs and bacon ends.  It'll fill you up and it'll make you smile; Comfort food at its best.

To make scrambled eggs with green onions on bacon cheddar biscuits, you'll need:

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into pieces
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1/2 pound good quality bacon ends, diced, cooked until crispy, and cooled
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 4 eggs (Can you believe I forgot to include them in the photo?  Oops!)
  • 1 Tablespoon cold water
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onion (scallion)

Sift together the flour, and baking powder.

Add the butter pieces.  Use your fingers to work the butter into the flour, rubbing the butter pieces between your index finger and thumb to break it down into pieces about the size and shape of cornflakes.

Add in the shredded cheddar and bacon, and toss to distribute them throughout the flour mixture.

Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture.

Pour the milk into the well.  Use a wooden spoon to stir the milk into the dry ingredients, then work the dough in the bowl, with your hands, just until it holds together.

Turn the dough out onto your board and knead it just to incorporate any dry bits.  Work it as little as you possibly can: You want to keep those butter pieces intact within the dough.

Once the dough holds together, roll it or press it out to 1 inch thick.  You can use a biscuit cutter to portion the dough, or do as I do and simply cut it into squares.

I chose to make six very large biscuits this time but I'll often make twelve or even sixteen biscuits from this recipe.

Place the biscuits on a parchment lined baking sheet, then brush the top of each biscuit with a little milk.

Bake the biscuits on the middle rack of your oven, at 400F, for about 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the middles set. 

The biscuits will rise, and if the butter remained intact within the dough, they'll have lots of flaky layers.

When the biscuits are within a couple of minutes of coming out of the oven, scramble your eggs.  

Have you noticed the amount of discussion on line lately about the best way to scramble eggs? Folks seem to have strong opinions on the subject! Here's how I make mine:

Crack the eggs into a bowl, add a little cold water (maybe 1 Tablespoon for every two eggs).  Whisk them until the whites and yolks are very well combined, the eggs have lightened a little in colour, and there are some foamy bubbles on the surface of the whisked eggs.

Heat a non-stick pan or a well seasoned cast iron pan over medium heat, then pour in the eggs.  

Sprinkle the green onions (scallions) over the eggs in the pan and stir the eggs gently until they begin to set.

We like our scrambled eggs quite soft.  They continue to cook after the pan has been removed from the heat (they did so even in the short time it took me to snap this photo) and I'd rather err on the side of under-cooking them than overcooking them.

Once the eggs are done, split the biscuits and spoon the scrambled eggs over them.  (I used a single biscuit for our supper, one half for each of us, and put the rest of the batch in the freezer.)  Serve this dish immediately, while it's still piping hot.