Skillet Herb & Cheese Biscuit Bites – 2019 Red Carpet Menu for Oscar®
It’s the 2019 Red Carpet Menu for Oscar®! For Black Panther, it’s Black Pantherb!
For our second appetizer, we’ve got a cheesy delicious biscuit bite to celebrate Black Panther!!! And coming up with this dish was not easy. Two movies use the word “black” in the title, which was limiting unless I wanted to be redundant. And I did not.
But first, let’s talk about the movie. I love love loved it! Lush and massive… gorgeous to look at. From the start, you can tell it wasn’t your typical super hero movie. They “typical” good vs. evil storyline was in there and for a bit you thought that would be the story… by the end the bad guy would be defeated… but that wasn’t the case here. The simple bad guy wasn’t the ultimate issue. Ohhhhhh it was so deep. Love!
I wanted to make this dish really special to welcome the superheros to the Best Picture category and my illustrious menu! My first line of thinking is to find an obvious food reference in the film that I can work into the dish. This was a no-go… or was it. The only thing highlighted was the “heart-shaped herb” which is used to give Black Panther his powers. Bright purple. I knew there must be a purple herb I could use and I was right – opal basil. It has a more peppery taste than green basil which was a bonus.
An herb isn’t enough. Although Wakanda is not a real country, they situated it in East Africa so I looked into the cuisines of Ethiopia and Nigeria. I kept seeing something about berbere spices… yeah! I looked in a few stores for the spice blend but couldn’t find it so I made my own. It was easy! And the spice blend is powerful! Just a dab will do ya. Check it out in this hack for Berbere Seasoning.
But I didn’t know what to use these ingredients in and what I’d call it. Once again, it’s my friend Barbara DeBisschop to the rescue. We were discussing the whole menu and that one had me stuck. She suddenly said “well there’s Black Pan… a cast iron skillet” and I LOVED that! I still didn’t know what to cook but whatever it was, would be in my beloved skillet. Thinking about it as an appetizer (the other categories were filled) and the southern cuisine theme… biscuits! But they had to be rich and more of a cheese puff style to really be an impressive appetizer. With the berbere spices and basil, it was a lock and Black Pantherb was born!
With these dishes, I have a vision of what it should be and then I do research to write the recipes, then wing it! I have only had a couple of epic fails but this was not one of them. They are sooooooo good! All the flavors can be tasted but they dance together beautifully. They’re just the right tribute for this great movie.
Herb & Cheese Biscuit Bites
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tbsp flour for dusting
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp berbere spices
- 1/2 cup butter, cold & cubed
- 3 tbsp fresh opal basil, chopped
- 1-1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3 tbsp butter, melted
- In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, baking powder, salt, and berbere spice.
- Cut in butter until it looks like coarse crumbs then mix in basil and cheese.
- Incorporate buttermilk half at a time until a dough forms.
- Evenly spread the dough on a floured surface and cut into 1-1/2” biscuits.
- Coat skillet with butter and place biscuits in the skillet side-by-side. Brush butter over the tops. Bake at 450° for about 10 minutes, or until tops are lightly golden brown. Serve warm.