Saturday, September 29, 2007

You Are Where You Eat

There are two different types of restaurants in New York, there is the one kind where you don't care where it is or what it looks like because the food is unbelievably good and the other is where you go to see and be seen. The Waverly Inn is of the latter type. I usually don't care about all that stuff but this winter I made an exception and it was worth it.

There is no listed phone number for The Waverly Inn (they dropped the Ye when Graydon Carter bought it) but lucky for me, I have friends in the know, so it was no problem finding the number and securing a reservation. Of course, once there we were seated in Siberia but who cares when you can still name drop that you've been there which is what my friend Matt has enjoyed doing on many occasions. Gotta love it. On the night we were there, we saw Calvin Klein, which was even funnier since we had seen him at a restaurant in Prague over Thanksgiving. Anne Hathaway also stopped in with her cute boyfriend. Even Spencer Morgan from The New York Observer was there that night scoping out the place for a story he was writing for his column.

The food sadly to say was just okay. They were out of a lot of dishes but luckily the amazing melt in your mouth biscuits made up for it! We raved about them for days so I was excited to see the recipe for them published in the May 2007 issue of GQ. Notice how it was a men's magazine that printed it, women don't eat carbs you know, but if you are going to break your diet, these are definitely worth it! Bon app├ętit!

Waverly Inn Biscuits

4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tablespoon salt
¼ tablespoon baking soda
3 tablespoons baking powder
½ teaspoon sugar
½ pound very cold unsalted butter
1 pint very cold buttermilk
2 eggs (for egg wash)

Directions
The easiest way to make these biscuits is with a KitchenAid-style mixer, for which these instructions are intended. If you don’t have one, you can use a large mixing bowl and a manual pastry cutter to incorporate the butter into the flour.

1. Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowl.

2. Dice butter into small cubes.

3. Toss some flour onto butter cubes (so they won’t stick together) and then add them to the bowl of dry ingredients. Using the paddle attachment on the mixer, blend the butter and flour mixture at medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until the bits of butter are the size of peas.

4. With the paddle still churning, add buttermilk. It will take about 20 seconds to incorporate. The mixture will be fairly wet and will resemble chocolate chip cookie dough.

5. Turn out dough onto a well-floured cutting board or counter top. Sprinkle more flour on top of dough. Using your fingers, gently fold dough over itself a few times and flatten it a bit. It should be lumpy and a bit loose, not cohesive and smooth like bread dough. Sprinkle the cutting surface with more flour if you think dough might stick.

6. Using a heavy rolling pin dusted with flour, gently roll out dough into a broad oval, about ½ to ¾ of an inch thick. Don’t overwork dough.

7. Using a cookie cutter or other straightedge, cut dough into biscuits. Don’t worry, they don’t need to be perfectly shaped. Gently place each biscuit on a baking tray. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake.

8. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove biscuits from the fridge. Beat eggs and brush the top of each biscuit for about 7 minutes, until nicely browned and fragrant.

9. Serve immediately with butter, jam, or honey. Try to save room for the rest of your meal. Makes eighteen.

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