Flaky, tender and buttery, biscuits with a bit of country ham make a filling breakfast and a tasty appetizer. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Southern delicacy known as country ham, please let me educate you. Country ham is dry cured for several days, before being smoked and then aged for up to a year. While country ham is easy to come by and relatively inexpensive in most Southern supermarkets, several artisanal producers have taken the stuff I grew up on to the next level.
While my favorite way to eat country ham is with a little red-eye gray, this recipe doesn’t disappoint. The sweetness of the sweet potato biscuit and honey mustard paired with the salty country ham is a pleasure that’s worth the effort. For those of you that have read enough to know this is something you must make, please jump ahead to the recipe. For those souls aspiring to biscuit greatness, please read on. For my visual learners, click here. Everyone happy?
Cooking for one is a funny thing. I love the idea of making a delicious dinner just for me. It seems wonderfully indulgent. Yet every time the opportunity arises, I lose motivation. Thoughts of ingredients that need to be prepped, dirty pans, and the final clean-up leave me feeling exhausted. As if on cue, I’m mysteriously pulled to the pantry where cereal is lurking and before I realize it, I’m seated on the couch eating breakfast.
You may have plans for a candlelit dinner in a swanky restaurant this Valentine’s Day. As I write this, you’re dreaming of how you’ll woo your sweetheart through bubbling champagne in tall flutes, juicy bites of filet mignon, and the inevitable dessert that oozes dark chocolate as you and your special someone gaze into each other’s eyes. It sounds wonderful, but I’d like to propose an alternative. I’d like to suggest that you braise something.
Now don’t scoff in disgust at my seeming lack of romance. Braising, while not nearly as sexy-sounding as lobster poached in vanilla butter or dark chocolate molten cakes, is a culinary technique that practically guarantees a night of love.
I ♥ pastry dough. Yes, it’s a little intimidating at first, but once you master the basics it will become one of the most versatile things in your culinary repertoire. Butter, flour, salt, and ice-cold water are all you need to make an irresistible flaky crust for sweet and savory dishes.
Inspiration for this tart came from my one of my favorite summer desserts: berry tart with mascarpone filling. I wanted to make a cold weather version that could (a) satisfy a mean craving for mascarpone (a sweet Italian cheese that is similar to cream cheese) and (b) satisfy an even greater craving for pastry dough. Have I mentioned that I adore the stuff?