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Saturday, June 6, 2020

Good Eatin'; Crispy Fried Pork Loin and Cat-Head Biscuits



Country Fried Pork Loin on Homemade Biscuits

Today is an homage to Southern American goodness.  There's nothing quite like a fried piece of protein, hot off the paper towels and stuffed into a big ole biscuit.  I hadn't made homemade biscuits since winter, which seemed to leave only a week or two ago (if I were using temperatures  as a guide) We were in the mood for something like we would get from eating breakfast out.  
The first thing that came to mind was the biscuits.  For me, being a 'country girl' firmly establishes a principle of being able to 'make bread' from scratch.  I also had to 'master' macaroni and cheese, potato salad, greens, pinto beans and many other items, to be certifiable with seven sisters who also cook! The biscuits may be served stand alone, with butter, jellies and jam, smothered in gravy, plain or as the vessel by which one can consume a crunchy, boneless, piping hot portion of chicken, beef or pork.
  I've heard biscuits referred to as "cathead" all my life, those are the larger than normal sized, proportionate to the size of a cat's head, hand shaped biscuits.  Perfect shapes and cuts are not your judge when you make cathead biscuits, as time is usually of the essence and you need to get it done. I think I am the only of my sisters that uses cutters; bread, cookie or otherwise, though I learned to 'make bread' on free form catheads. The size of  my version uses a larger sized cutter, ( an empty 20 oz. can of pineapple, with both ends removed). With it's size, one can accommodate any filling or addition with ease, like a sandwich bread.    That way, the food can travel and be sturdy enough to handle the wares of the day, plus be filling, all at the same time. 

Recipe:
1 1/2 to 2 lbs. boneless pork loin, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces or about 12 total
Seasoned flour
Buttermilk Pancake mix
SPST (Salt and Pepper to Suit Taste)
Oil for Frying
Cat-Head Biscuits


Heat oil to 375*F.
Meanwhile, soak the slices in a salted water solution, until ready to cook.
This helps to extract some of the water from the pork and promote a golden crust that will stick to the protein. 
Drain and Rinse the pork well before cooking.  
Lay on paper towels to facilitate moisture extraction, flipping once.
Combine the flour and pancake mix using a 3 to 1 ratio, (1 part pancake mix to every 3 parts seasoned flour and shake well until evenly incorporated.
Dredge moist loin slices in flour mixture, shaking off the excess and fry them in small batches.
Fry until loin is floating and golden brown, about 4 minutes, give or take depending on maintaining oil temperature and space in the cooking vessel. Also the bubbles will have subsided considerably. If  you listen carefully, you can hear the frying sound decrease when all the steam has escaped under the pressure of frying.
Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.  
Cut biscuit in half horizontally and add fried loin. 
Best when served immediately, but keep well and will still be delicious at room temperature.
Serves 6 to 8, with a couple of extras for seconds or a guest or yourself, for later! 

Cat-Head Biscuits

4 cups AP flour, preferably bread flour, plus more if needed
1 tbsp. double acting baking POWDER
1 tsp. or less fine grain Himalayan Pink Salt or kosher
1 stick unsalted butter, frozen 
2/3 c. shortening or plant butter
1 1/2 c. buttermilk or plain 2 % milk 

Preheat oven to 450*F.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt until well blended.
Cut in shortening with a fork, until the flour takes on a crumbly texture.
Using a grater, grate in butter, gradually and toss with flour mixture after each round of grating to distribute the butter and keep it from clumping together.
Make a well in the center of flour and pour in buttermilk.  
Using a fork, stir from center, bringing in parts of the flour gradually. 
Stir until a loose and sticky dough is formed. 
Add flour as needed to your hands to make dough knead-able, and lightly knead for about 1 minute.
Tear off portions of dough and shape into discs, about a small palmful, use your judgement for size and intended purpose.
Place on un-greased baking sheet and brush with a small amount of buttermilk mixed with water.
Bake until golden, about 13 minutes, depending on size.
Glaze with additional butter if desired.
Makes about 10 Cathead biscuits.


Another recipe for Cathead Biscuits, Denese's Cornflake and Buttermilk Biscuits


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