An ideal Kentucky appetizer for Derby Day, or any spring party, this tasty combination will disappear quickly from your dinner table or buffet. Sweet potato and buttermilk biscuits are filled with country ham, fontina cheese, and spicy sweet raspberry and jalapeño sauce.
The biscuits are best on the day they are baked but you can make the dough ahead of time, cut and freeze, then thaw right before baking.
Pickled Grape Tomatoes
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 ½ cups distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
½ teaspoon coriander seeds
6-7 whole allspice berries
2 large bay leaves
3 cloves of garlic sliced thin
One week prior to serving: Wash, dry, and remove any stems from the tomatoes. Using a toothpick, poke a small hole through each tomato, end to end. In a one quart saucepan over medium heat, combine the vinegar, sugar, and salt with 3/4 cup of water. Bring to a simmer, stirring until all sugar and salt is dissolved. Fill a clean glass container with the tomatoes. Add the peppercorns, coriander, allspice, bay leaves, and garlic to the container. Pour the hot brine over to cover completely, discard any leftover brine. Let cool completely, then refrigerate for 1 week prior to serving. Can be stored refrigerated for up to 1 month.
Mini Sweet Potato Biscuits
12-ounces sweet potato
¾ cup buttermilk, chilled
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cold, and cut into small cubes
The day prior, preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Pierce the sweet potatoes with a fork and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake until tender, or a fork passes easily through the potatoes, about 45 minutes. Let the potatoes cool slightly, then peel and puree in a food processor. Refrigerate overnight. The next day, measure out one cup for the biscuits.
Preheat oven to 450˚ F. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 cup of the chilled sweet potato and the buttermilk. Place back in the refrigerator to keep cold. In a large wide bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter into the flour until the butter is the size of peas. Add the sweet potato/buttermilk mixture and mix until just combined and a soft dough forms; try to avoid over mixing. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Flour your hands and pat the dough carefully into a round shape then flatten the dough to 1-inch thickness. Cut as many biscuits as possible with a floured 1½” metal biscuit cutter. Place the biscuits on a parchment lined sheet tray. Pat the remaining dough together and cut out the remaining biscuits. Bake 13-14 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes 30 mini biscuits.
Fresh Jalapeño and Raspberry Sauce
1 whole jalapeño pepper
1 cup seedless raspberry jam
¼ cup white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoons molasses
⅛ teaspoon salt
Cut 6 slits down the length of the jalapeño almost to the bottom; cutting through just the skin and membrane but not completely cutting open the pepper. Be careful when preparing the pepper, the idea is to just cook out the flavor so you don’t want to cut it completely open. In a small saucepan, add the jam, sugar, vinegar, molasses, salt and jalapeño. Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat; remove and discard the jalapeño. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer; set aside.
15 slices of country ham, sliced paper-thin, at room temperature
30 Sweet potato biscuits
15 slices Italian Fontina cheese, sliced very thin
30 novelty sandwich picks
Preheat the oven broiler. Cut the biscuits in half and spread on the halves ¼ teaspoon per side with fresh jalapeno & raspberry sauce. Top with ½ piece of country ham, folded or torn to fit, and ½ piece of cheese. Place under the broiler to just melt the cheese. Remove from the oven and top with the other biscuit half and a sandwich pick fitted with a pickled cherry tomato. Makes 30 mini biscuit sandwiches.