Ben Johnson's Buttermilk Biscuits
2 cups flour
2 heaping tsps. baking powder
Good pinch of baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
About 1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsps. shortening (or bacon fat)
Mix dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Quickly stir in buttermilk until dough holds together, but is not too sticky. Turn out dough on lightly floured board. Pat down dough. Knead lightly, handle very gently. Roll dough 3/4-inch thick. Cut biscuits into rounds, using biscuit cutter (or glass dipped in flour). Melt shortening on baking sheet. Turn biscuits on both sides in melted shortening. Bake in preheated 450 degrees oven 12-15 minutes. Serve at once split and topped with pan gravy and steak. Makes about 12 biscuits.
Thoughts: Ben says, "I make mine a little different from anyone else. I put my grease in the pan, rather than in the biscuit. That way you don't get too much grease inside your biscuits."
Ben Johnson's Rainbow Trout a la Johnson
4 rainbow trout (1 lb. each), heads and tails on or off, as preferred, cleaned and washed
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 stick of butter
Juice of 1 lemon
Wash and dry fish. Season it well inside and out. Melt butter in heavy skillet. Pan-fry (or broil), browning fish 10 minutes on one side, turn, fry 5 minutes longer (or until golden). Squeeze fresh lemon juice over fish to serve. Serves 4.
Thoughts: Trout can be oven-broiled. It's very tasty when broiled and served with a fresh herb sauce.
4 trout fillets (about 1 pound each)
8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (reserve 2 tablespoons), 6 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice, 3 tablespoons fresh basil, 3 tablespoons fresh chives, 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt. In a food processor or blender combine and puree the fresh spices, lemon juice, and only 6 tablespoons of olive oil. Set the puree aside.
Preheat your broiler. Cut the trout fillets into serving-sized pieces. Coat the trout fillets with the reserved 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Broil the trout fillets for 5 minutes per side. Remove when the fillets flake easily with a fork. Transfer the fillets to a serving plate and spoon the pureed herb sauce on top of the fillets. Serves 4.