Southern Snacks Cookbook

The Southern Sympathy Cookbook

I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Curry Biscuits with Ginger Pork Tenderloin and Mango Chutney

Ham biscuits are a staple of any brunch buffet for me, particularly at Easter. Whether it’s a whole ham on a pretty platter with a basket of biscuits on the side or a tray of pre-assembled bites, I can’t do without them. And one of my favorite classic southern party dishes is pork tenderloin with lovely rolls and a nice spread, from mustard to flavored butters (it even made it onto the cover of my last book, Southern Snacks). But sometimes I like to mix things up a bit. These biscuits are absolutely packed with flavor, and the bright sunny color makes them a real standout on a party spread at any time. The pork is marinated with a nice hit of ginger that complements the curry profile, and a dollop of mango chutney adds a bright fruitiness. These are delicious for more than brunch – try them for a Kentucky Derby party or as a pre-dinner appetizer. The bright color and punchy flavors always draws oohs and ahhs.

Make sure the green onions are very finely diced – I cut them into small rings, then run knife through them as if I am chopping herbs. I like the simplicity of this mixer method, but you can certainly do it all by hand with a basic biscuit method. Mix the flour and spices and cut in the shortening, then blend in the buttermilk. I prefer these in a square shape, because frankly its easier. The biscuit dough can be frozen on a baking sheet until firm, then stored in a ziptop bag in the freezer. Bake from frozen, adding a little cooking time if needed. You can make the pork tenderloin a day ahead and store it wrapped in the refrigerator then slice and assemble. There are lots of delicious mango chutneys available at the grocery, choose one that is not too chunky as it makes the biscuits a bit hard to eat. I serve these at room temperature to make it easy.

Curry Biscuits with Ginger Pork Tenderloin and Mango Chutney

For the Biscuits:

4 cups soft white wheat flour (Like White Lily)

2 Tablespoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 ½ teaspoons mild curry powder

½ teaspoon turmeric

4 green onions, finely minced

½ cup shortening, cold and cut into cubes

1 ½ cups cold buttermilk

For the Pork Tenderloin:

1 pork tenderloin

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2-inch piece of ginger

½ cup olive oil

Salt and pepper

To Serve:

Mango chutney

For the Biscuits:

Preheat the oven to 425°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the flour, baking powder, curry powder, salt and turmeric in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Turn the mixer on low for a few seconds to blend everything, then add the finely minced green onion and turn the mixer on again just to combine. Add the cubes of shortening and run on medium low until the shortening is mixed in but with a few small BB sized pieces visible. Turn off the mixer and add about ¾ of the buttermilk then start the mixer on beat on medium low until the dough starts to come together. Add more buttermilk if needed. Knead the dough a few times in the bowl just to incorporate any flour left on the bowl.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and gently bring it all together, kneading just a few times. Handle with care and don’t overwork the dough, or the biscuits will get tough. Pat the dough into a rectangle about 6 by 10 inches, using the back of a large knife or bench scraper to square off the ends.  Flour the knife or scraper and cut the dough into 1 ½-inch squares.  Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet, lightly brush the tops with a little buttermilk and sprinkle with sea salt.

Bake the biscuits for 12 minutes, until lightly browned and cooked through. Serve warm, or wrap tightly and store in an airtight container, gently reheat before serving.

You can shape the biscuits and place them on the baking sheet and freeze them until they are hard. Transfer to a ziptop freezer bag and freeze for up to a month. Bake from frozen, brushing over the buttermilk and sprinkling the salt. Add a few minutes to the baking time.

For the Pork Tenderloin:

Slice the ginger (no deed to peel) and crush it slightly with the side of the knife. Place the ginger, garlic and olive oil into large resealable plastic bag. Add pork to marinade. Close bag and turn pork to coat. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight, turning pork occasionally. 

When ready to cook the pork, preheat the oven to 425°. Heat the olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet. Scrape of any garlic and ginger pieces from the pork and season generously with salt and pepper. Brown the outside of the tenderloins on all sides.  Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook the tender to an internal temperature of 150 degrees, about 15 minutes.  Let the pork rest at least 5 minutes before thinly slicing. The pork can be cooked up to a day ahead, wrapped tightly and refrigerated.

Cut the biscuits in half, place a thin slice of pork on one side and dollop on a little mango chutney. Place the other half of the biscuit on top and serve.

Makes 18

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