These quick, flavorful biscuits are, in my opinion, healthier than usual because they contain one whole sweet potato. Even better, they give the biscuits a nice taste. This was adapted from the Pedernales Country Cookbook, a 1968 cookbook touting recipes from the Hill Country of Texas. The Hill Country, with towns like Fredericksburg, New Braunfels, Gruene and Kerrville, is a large rural area northwest of Austin and northeast of San Antonio. Filled with antique shops, quaint restaurants, and other surprises (like wineries), this is an area where Germans and Mexicans were early settlers along with southerners. Thus there is unique cuisine all around. Ironically, I found the Pedernales cookbook while shopping in another superb rural area, Door ounty, Wisconsin, almost as far north as you can go in the central U.S.!
(Photo: Artichoke field near Fredericksburg, TX)
The Hill Country of Texas sports terrific barbecue and chili, including Pedernales River Chili, which was a favorite food of Lyndon Baines Johnson, 36th U.S. President. First Lady, Ladybird Johnson, printed cards with the Pedernales River Chili for distribution. LBJ himself said, “Chili concocted outside of Texas is usually a weak, apologetic initiation of the real thing. One of the first things I do when I get home to Texas is to have a bowl of red.”
Whether you’re making chili or any other main course, these country biscuits would be a great accompaniment.
Sweet Potato Biscuits
1 medium sweet potato
2 cups flour with extra for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons shortening
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon melted butter
Wash sweet potato and microwave until soft, approximately 5 minutes. Let cool. Mix flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda thoroughly, or sift together. Chop or divide shortening into small pieces. Put shortening into flour mixture and work together. Scoop potato out of skin and mash. Add to flour mixture thoroughly (you might need to use your hands once the dough ball is formed). Gradually add buttermilk while mixing. Roll out approximately ¾ inch thick, dust with flour, and cut with biscuit cutter. Place on greased pan and bake at 450 degrees for approximately 15 minutes. Biscuits should be slightly brown on top. Brush tops with melted butter and serve. Makes approximately 12-14 biscuits.
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