Friday, March 27, 2015

Savory Sweet Potato Biscones and Pimento Cheese

A recent delivery from our produce delivery service (it's not really a CSA, so I shouldn't call it that) left us with three mammoth sweet potatoes. Mr Minx isn't really a fan of the tuber, so I have to find creative ways to use them up. My sweet potato spaetzle were a hit, as was the super-moist sweet potato snack cake. He even enjoyed the sweet potato and black-eyed pea hummus I made a couple years back, and he's not a fan of the beans, either. This time, I decided to try sweet potato biscuits or scones, something that I could use as a sandwich bread.

I definitely didn't want the scones to be sweet, so didn't use any sugar. Instead, I leaned heavily toward the savory spectrum by adding chopped scallions and jalapeno pepper.

Ham biscuits are a classic, but I find that some biscuits are just too thick and dense to wrap around meat and cheese. Plus, they usually crumble into chunks after a few bites. I made mine thinner and somewhat lighter. They are somewhere between a biscuit and a scone, a biscone, and are easily fork split to accommodate a filling.

My filling of choice was pimento cheese and ham. Or more accurately, Canadian bacon. The rounds of bacon were the perfect size for the biscones, and matched nicely with the savory cheese topping.

Sweet Potato Biscones with Pimento Cheese

For the biscones:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons baking powder
5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup cold mashed sweet potato
1/2 cup milk
2 scallions, minced finely
1 jalapeno pepper, minced

For the pimento cheese:
4 ounces of extra sharp cheddar cheese
Scant 1/4 cup mayonnaise (I used Duke's)
1 tablespoon minced jalapeno pepper
2 tablespoons chopped roasted red pepper

Canadian bacon or ham, optional

Make the biscones: Preheat oven to 425°F.

Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Rub the butter in with your fingers until the flour looks like coarse meal. Combine the sweet potato and milk and stir into the flour mixture until mostly combined; then add the scallions and jalapeno and mix until completely combined and veg are fairly evenly distributed.

Flour your hands and pat dough out to about 1/2" thick on a flour-coated board. Use a floured glass or biscuit cutter to cut out rounds. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

Makes 12-16 biscones, depending on how big a cutter you use.

Make the pimento cheese: Grate the cheddar into a bowl. Stir in the mayo and peppers. Beat well with a fork until the cheese starts to break apart and integrate with the mayo. (You could also whiz it in a food processor, but I didn't think it was worth dragging it out and getting it dirty for such a small amount.) Refrigerate until ready to use.

Fork split the biscones, smear with pimento cheese and top with a slice or two of Canadian bacon. Sliced tomato is nice, too. Eat.

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