Friday, September 14, 2012

Honey Glazed Ham on Sweet Potato Biscuits with Blackberry-Balsamic Drizzle

Sometimes when I visit my in-laws in the South, they serve delicate little ham biscuits (usually on special occasions, as hors d'oeuvres). These are really nothing like those, except that there's a biscuit and there's ham. But the biscuit is totally different (bigger and sweet potato) and the ham is honey glazed, not extra salty, country heart attack ham (which everybody loves, but hopefully no one has an actual heart attack at your party). These are more hearty (although one is definitely too small for lunch - you'd probably need 3 or 4). They may not be big, but there's a lot of flavor packed into these petite sammies. The biscuit is slightly sweet. The ham is salty. The arugula is a little bitter and crunchy. The drizzle is tangy and sweet. Sound delightful? It is.

Side thought: Why do people call sandwiches sammies? Last time I checked, there's no m in there anywhere. Come to think of it, I've also called my daughter punkin. But I use it on those days that she's acting like a cross between a pumpkin and a punk.

Yield: 14 biscuits

Sweet Potato Biscuits:
1 pound sweet potatoes (2 to 3 potatoes)
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks cold butter, small diced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooled

Blackberry Balsamic Drizzle:
1 (12 to 13 oz.) jar blackberry preserves
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves, stems and all
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup yellow mustard, such as French's
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 serrano chile, split in half

14 slices honey baked ham (or your favorite ham), torn into pieces to fit the biscuits
arugula, for serving

1.      For the biscuits: Preheat oven to 425˚ F. Poke the sweet potatoes with the tines of a fork and bake until tender, about 1 hour. Let the potatoes cool, and then peel them, discarding the skins.
2.      In a food processor, puree the potatoes with the buttermilk and nutmeg until smooth.
3.      Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. With your fingertips or a dough cutter, cut in the cold butter until pea-size chunks are formed. Fold in the sweet potato puree until just combined, being careful not to overwork.
4.      Dust a work surface with some flour and turn the biscuit dough onto the counter. Form the dough into a 3/4-inch-thick disc. Using a 2 1/4-inch round biscuit cutter, cut out 14 biscuits, starting on the outside of the disk and working your way in. You may need to reshape the last bits of dough back into a disk to get all 14 rounds.
5.      Grease a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with the vegetable oil and place the biscuits in the skillet, working from the center out. The biscuits should be a tight fit and nestled against each other. Brush the biscuit tops with the melted butter and bake until golden, 15 to 18 minutes.
6.      For the blackberry balsamic drizzle: Combine the preserves, basil, vinegar, mustard, peppercorns and chile in a medium saucepot on the stove. Set over medium heat. Simmer the sauce until thickened, 7 to 10 minutes. Strain the reduction through a fine sieve. Thin with water if needed.
7.      For the sandwich build: Split the hot biscuits, place some of the torn ham on the bottom half, drizzle the Blackberry Balsamic Drizzle over the ham and then pile some arugula on top for a peppery bite.

from Jeff Mauro
sweet potatoes
baked sweet potatoes
peeled sweet potatoes, buttermilk & nutmeg
sweet potato puree
flour, brown sugar, baking soda & salt
adding butter
butter mixed; adding sweet potato puree
sweet potato biscuit dough
cutting into rounds
in the pan
brushing with butter
brushed with butter
sweet potato biscuits
blackberry-balsamic drizzle ingredients
mixing & cooking
blackberry-balsamic drizzle
drizzling the drizzle on top of
ham (well, spooning/drizzling)
topped with arugula and biscuit top


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Anonymous said...

Getting ready to make this for Sunday's picnic, how far in advance can/should I make the drizzle?

Susan said...

You should be able to make the drizzle the day before. But I wouldn't be surprised if it gets a little too thick in the refrigerator (if so, just rewarm and thin with a little water if needed). Have fun on your picnic!

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