Baking-powder biscuits and cheese are a natural combination, but I like the cheese to be completely absorbed into the dough rather than appearing as little lumps in the baked biscuits, as it often does in traditional cheese biscuits. Grating the cheese finely and then giving it a spin in the food processor with the butter does the trick. By the way, resist the temptation to try any kind of blue-veined cheese in this recipe, unless you really like gray biscuits. Also, the amount of salt in this recipe is purposely small to compensate for the saltiness of the cheese.
These are excellent with baked ham—split the biscuits and fill each one with a small piece of ham. They’re also very good with a hearty soup, such as minestrone.
Keep the biscuits loosely covered with plastic wrap on the day they are baked. Double wrap in plastic and freeze for longer storage. Defrost and reheat at 375°F (190°C) for about 5 minutes before serving.
Parmigiano-Reggiano Biscuits: Substitute Parmigiano-Reggiano for the Pecorino Romano. Decrease the pepper to
Gruyère Biscuits: These are a personal favorite. Substitute real Swiss Gruyère for the Pecorino Romano. Pepper or not, as you wish; they’re excellent either way. If you use these for ham sandwiches, add a thin smear of Dijon mustard.
Old-Fashioned, Baking-Powder Biscuits: Omit the cheese and pepper and increase the salt to
© 2008 Nick Malgieri. All rights reserved.