Home > Recipes > Make Me: Creamy Shrimp-Stuffed Biscuits

Make Me: Creamy Shrimp-Stuffed Biscuits

Hmm.Well, the idea was to have a recipe created and posted every Sunday, but the Superbowl put a major crimp in my posting schedule this week: Blogging while drunk = fun! But maybe for another time.

But speaking of N’awlins… this meal started out West Coast but quickly acquired a Southern drawl thanks to all the Sports Center coverage echoing around the house all week. I knew I wanted to skew towards seafood after My First Earthquake made my mouth water with some spicy cioppino tunes; add a little countrified rock here and there from TAB the band (plus a little inspiration from the Food Network), and you’ve got my Creamy Shrimp-Stuffed Biscuits.

WARNING: I am not one of those cooks who follows recipes to a T, or who cooks anything the same way twice. I wing it, and more often than not, find myself coming up against obstacles due largely to the fact that I live in Newark, NJ: there is no grocery store within walking distance, so almost all grocery shopping happens in the city – if I can’t carry it, I’m left to forage for it in the wilds of the North Ward’s bodegas, mom-n-pop restaurants and even fast food joints (did you know Dunkin’ Donuts will sell you bacon – just bacon – in the off chance you’re in desperate need of Pasta Carbonara? They will).

With that in mind, let’s get crakin’ on the biscuits!

STUFF YOU NEED: .66 cups all-purpose flour // .5 cups pancake mix // .4 cups butter // .5 cups milk // salt to taste // PREP TIME: 10min // COOK TIME: 20-25min // MAKES: 2 hearty biscuits

NOTES: This biscuit recipe is all kinds of funky. My first thought was to use pre-made Pillsbury Biscuits for the pot pie “bowls,” but the bodega was out on Saturday, so back to the drawing board. I found a basic biscuit recipe online, but when the bodega came up empty on the self-rising flour, too, I figured I could substitute .5 cups of all-purpose flour with pancake mix, in the hopes that it would even things out. I have no idea why I thought this would work, but hey, a failed recipe is just as entertaining as a successful one, right?! Also, the amounts are wonky because i cut the recipe in half (cooking for two is it’s own unique challenge!), so forgive me.

HOW YOU DO: Well I’ll be, it actually worked! First, preheat your oven to 425degree F. Now roll up your sleeves and remove rings, watches, bracelets, what-have-you. We’re baking here, not boiling pasta! Biscuits are one of those “flaky” baked goods – which means you don’t want to mush and mix it all together too much. So I poured the flour and pancake mix on a plate, made a well in the center, sprinkled small cubes of COLD butter in the dry ingredients, and then slowly added the milk to the well, stirring with my fingers until the dough formed into a loose ball. Make sure to keep your hands floured so they don’t get lost – seriously, you’ll get filthy, just accept it and pretend you’re in kindergarten!

Then I divided the dough into 2 halves and formed them into biscuity-shapes, leaving the dough about an inch thick (you want them to be rather tall, since you’ll be removing the insides and using them to hold your shrimp!).  Coat those pasty mounds of goodness in butter, sprinkle sea salt liberally, and put those suckers in the oven and bake for 20-25min, until they are good and toasty on top. If you’re like me and don’t own a collection of baking sheets, you can make the perfect sized ‘pan’ out of double-layered aluminum foil.

TRICKS: Keep the biscuits close together when baking – and make your foil pan exactly the right size for your biscuits – and they’ll rise instead of spreading out! // Also, big globs of COLD butter in the dough will make your biscuits fluffy and toasty and all kinds of biscuity-awesome.

STUFF YOU NEED: 1 clove garlic // .5 green bell pepper // a dash or two of dehydrated onion // one large sausage link, preferably fresh // 6 shrimp per person (12 in this case) // half a thing of mushrooms (I’m gonna guess a cup? cup and a half?) // some milk // a bit of flour // Louisiana-style hot sauce // some butter // some vegetable oil // salt and pepper to taste // PREP TIME: 10min // COOK TIME: 20min // MAKES: 2 mounds of awesomness

NOTES: I wanted to make a creamy, spicy sauce for the shrimp, and Louisiana was seriously on my mind. So a roux, some hot sauce, some green peppers, garlic and onions… or rather (oh gosh this is embarrassing) onion flakes. See, we used the last of the onion when we made that salad the other day… oh hell, I forgot. Shit happens.

HOW YOU DO: In a large skillet – nonstick if you can swing it – I put some oil, some butter and the sausage, all diced into small pieces, on a high heat. I wanted the sausage to get all crispy, and stay that way, once it was doused in creamy, spicy goodness. While that cooked, I chopped up the garlic and the bell pepper (the mushrooms were already sliced because I’m a lazy bitch and bought them that way).

Once the sausage was brown and the house smelled like a jazz song on the hottest day of Spring (there was swooning from the couch), I dropped the heat to medium and threw in the onion flakes (cringe) and garlic, followed shortly by the mushrooms. If you watch mushrooms as they cook, you can actually watch the butter and oil creep up the chalky flesh – that sounds vaguely serial-creepy, but I find it mesmerizing. Once the mushrooms were shiny and brown, I threw in the bell pepper, and then poured a few splashes of milk into the pan. I followed that with a tablespoon or so of flour to make a quick-roux, which helped keep things oh-so-creamy in the long run. Once that cooked a bit (flour stops tasting like flour when it gets a bit warm and nutty), I added more milk (half cup?), a hell of a lot of hot sauce, salt and pepper, and stirred. Then – Plop! – the shrimp went on top, salt and pepper again, and then I counted to 300. Then I flipped those pretty pink jewels, counted  to 200, and turned the heat off. Cover.

TRICKS: The fresh sausage on order at the Gristedes I frequent in Manhattan this past week was a spicy Italian chicken sausage, so I went with that. You can really do anything within reason, but I always tend to lean towards caliente on the scale, so take that for what it’s worth // One of the few benefits of using onion flakes is that they have a tendency to melt away and disappear into whatever you’re cooking, so if you’re not a fan of onions in all their glory, this might be a good alternative.

Once the biscuits have cooled, cut a square opening in the top, and then sort of dig in there and pull the doughy stuff out. You can save the insides for your guests if you want, or you can do like me and shove a tiny sliver of butter into the middle of that steamy goodness and mow like a cow chewing cud. Yes, I am serious. Anyway: biscuit on plate, shrimp in the biscuit, top of biscuit oh-so-artfully placed to the side. God, I’m good.

As for the other stuff, there’s some peas and corn, which I spiced up with a bit of corn salsa left over from an earlier meal. And the grits are, uh, actually creamy mounds of cheesy couscous cooked with warm milk as opposed to water or stock, then stirred liberally with shredded cheddar and copious amounts of butter. You sort of want these overcooked, so if you need to microwave the couscous/milk mixture a bit, I am totally OK with that.

So there you go! First recipe, done. What do you think? Anyone ballsy enough to try it? Also, this is as good a time as any to ask for recipe requests, band suggestions or culinary questions you may have, so comment away! I’m off to stare this in the face:

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