Sunday, December 9, 2012

50 States of MoFo: Virginia: "Country Ham" Tofu & Beaten Biscuits

Country Ham and Beaten Biscuits are found throughout the southeastern United States, but both have a very long history (and quite possibly their origins, in their current form) in Virginia.

For the "country ham" tofu and its accompanying red-eye gravy, we used the fantastic recipes in Ann Jackson's Cookin' Southern: Vegetarian Style.  Ann Jackson has a stunning ability to reproduce authentic flavors in vegan form.  No, it's not exactly like country ham, but it will more than fill that greasy, salty hole in your heart.

Beaten biscuits are a pain in the butt to make, following the traditional recipe.  The dough has to be beaten or worked for a very long time.  Earlier in this project, while making Vermont common crackers, I realized that my pasta roller would likely make an excellent "biscuit brake."   Before I could try that idea, the internet told me that a few minutes in the food processor will do the trick.  My lazy self headed quickly in that direction --- with success!   I followed this recipe, just using nondairy milk and vegan shortening.   (Despite the recipe instructions, don't use vegan butter - the flavor will be wrong.   Non-vegan beaten biscuits are usually made with lard, and shortening will yield a closer result.)

Serve on the porch, with a big pitcher of iced tea, for authenticity.  


Mattheworbit said...


And how good is "Cookin Southern" - I have to admit I've never cooked anything from it, but her writing style is hysterically funny, and the recipes all look so good!!

JohnP said...

Matt, everything we've made from it has been excellent. The fried chicken tofu is a special favorite.