Rebecca of Myrtle Beach was turned down by her own niece when she asked for a recipe for the pimiento cheese biscuits she brought to a reunion. “I always thought that was hooey,” she said of not sharing recipes, so she and turned to Cook’s Corner for help.
Thomasine Morris of Miami had a pithy response: “If your niece would not share her recipe … she may be entering it in a baking contest, has been asked not to share the recipe by the original baker, or she thinks you a lousy cook. … For the next reunion order biscuits from Red Lobster.”
Good suggestion — or you can use my knock-off recipe for Red Lobster biscuits. Add chopped pimientos if you like. Or try the recipe here from Jake Villjoen of Sunny Isles Beach for a pimiento cheese-flavored muffin that turns out much like a biscuit in texture. These would also be great made in mini muffin pans to pass as party fare.
Villjoen says he likes to brush the tops of the muffins right after they come out of the oven with melted hot pepper jelly. “It gives them a good shine and a nice pop of spiciness.” If you don’t want the heat, try apple jelly or just a smear of butter.
Scott Conant, of Scarpetta at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach (and also in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Toronto) is coming out with The Scarpetta Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $35), with 125 of the restaurant’s signature recipes and lots of step-by-step photographs.
Conant’s spaghetti with tomato sauce recipe is indicative of what I like best about the cookbook — you don’t need expensive ingredients or complicated methods to produce delicious food. Conant says the recipe “exemplifies everything I believe in as a chef: treating ingredients with respect, paying attention to detail and elevating simplicity.”
Another big plus is that the book is full of wonderful tips. With this recipe, for example, he reminds us to save a bit of the pasta water in case the sauce needs thinning. In another recipe he suggests adding just a pasta water to the drained pasta because “the starch and salt in that water will help the sauce adhere.”
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