An unusual warm rain blanketed the south this week leaving behind a splintery chill casting a sullen, gray shadow over the bare trees. Days like these give me every reason to remain indoors, swaddled in heavily-worn comfort clothes and a warm vittle to tide me over. Though I often reach for something sweet I've opted for a savory bite this cold winter's eve.
Pecan biscuits laced with rosemary, topped with a confit of garlic, thyme, meyer lemon and olive oil and finished with a lightly crisped sage leaf. A warm welcome to anyone stepping in from the blustery bellows of the January winds.
Do not be intimidated by the word confit. It simply refers to a food cooked in fat, in this case, olive oil. I do not typically cook with olive oil, I am rather partial to ghee due to its high burning point, but this recipe is an exception. The garlic and herb infused oil is so delicious, I like to keep a jar on hand for salads.
The biscuits are made with part almond flour and pecan meal. Pecans are always plentiful this time of year in the south, and though growing up I never cared for this particular nut I have grown to revere them as a southern treasure. They are not as sweet as almonds but lend a beautiful texture and flavor.
So when the warm rains transpire leaving behind a bitter cold and gray leaden days, seek refuge in your home with the ones you love by your side and a warm morsel in your lap. May it remind you that winter's chill is a gift that often goes unrecognized. Like yearlings corralled into the fold so are we pushed and ushered by the baying winds into our homes. 'Tis the season for comfort. 'Tis the season for home.
Savory Pecan Biscuits (makes 6)
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 1/2 cup pecan meal (Whole Foods sells this in the bulk section or you can make you own by grinding up raw pecans, if you can not find pecans in your area you can substitute with additional almond flour)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup ghee, melted (or oil of your choice)
- 2 eggs
- 1 TBS chopped rosemary
- almond flour for dusting
Preheat oven to 350F. Place dry ingredients a bowl and mix well. Place wet ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Combine wet and dry ingredients until a dough is formed.
Place a sheet of parchment paper on the counter and sprinkle with almond flour (about 1/4 cup) place dough on top and knead until a biscuit dough consistency (not too sticky but not crumbly either). If you need to sprinkle with additional almond flour that is fine.
Form dough into a ball and place an additional sheet of parchment on top. Using a rolling pin roll dough until it is about two inches high.
Remove top piece of parchment and using a biscuit cutter cut out biscuits and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Repeat process with remaining dough. Place in oven for 20-25 minutes.
Garlic and Herb Confit
- 30 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 5 thin slices of meyer lemon (or regular lemon)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 TBS chopped thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup olive oil
Preheat oven to 300F. Place all ingredients in an oven proof dish with a lid (I used a ceramic crock pot). Gently toss everything to coat and place in the oven for 30 minutes.
After thirty minutes carefully stir everything in the pot and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and set aside to cool a bit.
Remove and discard bay leaves. At this point you can pour all ingredients into a well sealed jar and keep in fridge for up to two weeks, using the garlic and herb oil as needed. Or you may blend it all into a thick paste which is what I have chosen.
For the latter, simply remove and discard the lemon slices and set aside 1/4 cup of the infused oil (we will use this for frying the sage). Place everything else in a blender and blend until desired consistency.
- 1/4 cup of the reserved garlic oil
- a handful of fresh sage leaves
Heat oil over medium heat. Carefully place sage leaves in the oil and cook on each side, about 1 minute. Place fried sage on a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt.
Place a warm biscuit on a plate. Top with a generous dollop of the garlic confit and garnish with a crispy sage leaf.