What a treat to be back on this delicious blog again! It’s also a treat because I am – I mean, Maddie Day is – launching a new series, the Country Store Mysteries. Robbie Jordan, a chef and carpenter, renovates an old country store in scenic hilly southern Indiana. In the store she opens a breakfast and lunch restaurant called Pans ‘N Pancakes, and she keeps all the vintage cookware that came with the store. Flipped for Murder begins on grand reopening day, and she doesn’t plan to have murder on the menu. But small-town secrets and bitter rivalries put sand in the batter when the mayor’s disagreeable assistant is found dead with one of Robbie’s signature cheesy biscuits in her mouth later that evening.
Biscuits and gravy are a staple in southern Indiana – think Kentucky more than the northern Midwest. Robbie’s new romantic interest, the green-eyed Jim, however, is a vegetarian. She develops a miso-based gravy for him and others of like mind, although she sure doesn’t mind a sausage or a piece of bacon on her own plate.
(With thanks to the Tassajara Bread Book for inspiration)
1 c whole wheat flour, plus extra for kneading
1 c unbleached white flour (I use all whole wheat flour, actually)
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 c butter cut in half-inch cubes
1/2 c milk
1 c grated pepper jack or sharp cheddar cheese
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mix the dry ingredients.
Cut butter into the flour mix until mostly pea-sized pieces.
Make a well in the middle and add the eggs and milk, mixing with a fork in the well.
Add the cheese and stir all with a fork until liquid and cheese are just blended with the flour. Do not over mix.
Sprinkle some flour on a flat surface and on the dough. Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto the surface, rubbing flour around the inside of the bowl until clean.
Lightly knead the dough until it comes together.
Flour a rolling pin. Roll the dough to a half-inch thickness. Fold in thirds. Roll, fold, and repeat several times.
Cut with a 2-inch biscuit cutter or drinking glass and position on a baking sheet. You don’t need more than half an inch in between.
Bake for about ten minutes or until risen and golden brown on top. Then deep fry if you want to get really authentic (Robbie doesn’t).
Serve warm with miso or meat gravy, apple butter, or honey.
2 T miso
2 T water
2 T butter
1/4 c flour
3 c vegetable broth
1 T tamari or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 tsp nutritional yeast
1/4 t black pepper
1 T cornstarch
Combine the miso in the water and whisk until the miso is dissolved.
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat and whisk in the flour. Add the miso, nutritional yeast, tamari, and pepper. Add half a cup of broth and whisk in, then gradually add the rest.
Stir the cornstarch into half a cup of the gravy and then whisk in. Allow to cook until thickened, stirring frequently.
Serve over biscuits, or on mashed potatoes for your vegetarian Thanksgiving guests.
Edith will be holding a drawing for a copy of Flipped For Murder. If you'd like to be included, just leave a message here (with your email address!).
Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Indiebound
Early praise for Flipped for Murder:
What a terrific debut! This deliciously clever cozy–set in a deceptively charming little town–is fresh, intelligent and delightful. A winner! -Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony, Macavity and Mary Higgins Clark award winning author
You’ll flip for this mouth-watering new series. In FLIPPED FOR MURDER, Maddie Day serves up a tasty mystery with a side of scenic country charm. Chef Robbie Jordan is smart, quick-witted, and determined to make her Pans ’n Pancakes café a success. Stir in secrets from the past, a dollop of blackmail, a cast of credible suspects, and a cat named Birdy for a delicious read. The rolling hills of southern Indiana never looked so inviting—or so dangerous. – Leslie Budewitz, two-time Agatha Award winning author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries