RECIPES: Snappy meals for a busy new year

“Hot Little Suppers” by Carrie Morey (Harper Horizon, $34.99)
Courtesy of Angie Mosier

Combined ShapeCaption
“Hot Little Suppers” by Carrie Morey (Harper Horizon, $34.99) Courtesy of Angie Mosier

Cookbook by homemade biscuit company’s founder shares dishes for busy schedules

For many, January brings a welcome relief from crazy schedules. November and December holidays behind us, we can settle in for a quiet month or two with few pressures.

That is unless you’re Carrie Morey, founder of the handmade biscuit company, Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits, and author of a recently published second cookbook, “Hot Little Suppers” (Harper Horizon, $34.99).

Morey founded her biscuit company more than 15 years ago, and while she is thankful the business is at a place where she’s not personally doing the baking, packing and shipping, that doesn’t mean she isn’t working on the business every day.

“January has traditionally been a slow time for us. Everybody’s on a diet. Nobody wants to eat biscuits.”

The business may not be selling quite as many biscuits in January as in December, but this January finds Morey on tour for her new book, shooting season two of her PBS series, “How She Rolls,” preparing marketing plans for the year, meeting with new vendors and working on the plans to move to a larger production facility. That’s on top of traveling every weekend for her daughters’ volleyball games. February will bring more of the same. “It’s busy, busy, and honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

“Hot Little Suppers” is the story of how, in the midst of her busy schedule, she still manages to gather her family around the dinner table. The more than 120 recipes include ideas for quick weeknight suppers and slightly more involved preparations suitable for weekend cooking, all divided by season. Each section includes recipes for drinks and desserts and what she calls “Hot Little Extras” like side dishes and sauces.

How does she decide what’s for dinner? “I am the driver of the supper conversation with my three children as very vocal passengers. My husband is amenable to anything as long as it’s hardy. Sundays, we talk about what we want to eat in the coming week and what’s on our schedules. I plan for the week’s meals to vary between fish, vegetarian and meat-based and to include a range of cuisines. When I cook, I plan ahead for the next two or three meals. If I’m chopping onions and celery and carrots for tonight, I’ll go ahead and chop what I need for the next few days. I may make a pot of slow-cooked grits and know it will work with whatever protein we’re going to have. I’m always thinking ahead about food and eating. I don’t finish one meal before I’m thinking about the next one.”

Morey says she plans meals that will broaden her family’s culinary horizons, introducing new flavors in things like dips that are big family favorites and experimenting with ingredients. “How many jalapenos can we add so the dish is spicy but not over the top?”

Many recipes in the new book come with family stories, like the snowy day she decided to make Italian Wedding Soup and her daughters decided to stage a wedding to go with it. “They wrote out wedding invitations and went around the neighborhood passing them out. They arranged the furniture to make rows of chairs with an aisle in the middle. During the ceremony, Cate got hitched to a boy in the neighborhood and then we all ate soup. One of my favorite wintertime memories!”

RECIPES

We chose recipes from Carrie Morey’s “Hot Little Suppers” (Harper Horizon, $34.99) for light and flavorful meals no matter what January has in store for your household.

Combined ShapeCaption
You can add some warmth to winter days with Italian Wedding Soup, adapted from a recipe in “Hot Little Suppers” by Carrie Morey (Harper Horizon, $34.99). (Courtesy of Angie Mosier)

Credit: Angie Mosier

You can add some warmth to winter days with Italian Wedding Soup, adapted from a recipe in “Hot Little Suppers” by Carrie Morey (Harper Horizon, $34.99). (Courtesy of Angie Mosier)

Credit: Angie Mosier

Combined ShapeCaption
You can add some warmth to winter days with Italian Wedding Soup, adapted from a recipe in “Hot Little Suppers” by Carrie Morey (Harper Horizon, $34.99). (Courtesy of Angie Mosier)

Credit: Angie Mosier

Credit: Angie Mosier

Italian Wedding Soup

To make this soup in advance, make the meatballs and refrigerate and prepare the soup up until the stage where the meatballs and orzo should be added. Then 30 minutes before you want to serve, heat the soup, add the meatballs and orzo, and continue with the recipe.

Per cup: 105 calories (percent of calories from fat, 35), 9 grams protein, 8 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 4 grams total fat (2 grams saturated), 35 milligrams cholesterol, 165 milligrams sodium.
Combined ShapeCaption
Your family won't guess how quickly you were able to make Coconut Salmon. It's adapted from a recipe in “Hot Little Suppers” by Carrie Morey. (Courtesy of Angie Mosier)

Credit: Angie Mosier

Your family won't guess how quickly you were able to make Coconut Salmon. It's adapted from a recipe in “Hot Little Suppers” by Carrie Morey. (Courtesy of Angie Mosier)

Credit: Angie Mosier

Combined ShapeCaption
Your family won't guess how quickly you were able to make Coconut Salmon. It's adapted from a recipe in “Hot Little Suppers” by Carrie Morey. (Courtesy of Angie Mosier)

Credit: Angie Mosier

Credit: Angie Mosier

Coconut Salmon

Salmon is one of the Morey family’s go-to ingredients for a seafood dinner. Start the rice, make the sauce, broil the salmon, and dinner is on the table in about 20 minutes.

— Adapted from a recipe in “Hot Little Suppers” by Carrie Morey (Harper Horizon, $34.99).

Coconut Salmon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 orange, red or yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce, divided
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
  • Juice and zest of 2 limes, divided
  • 1 pound salmon fillets, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint, for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil, for garnish
  • 2 green onions, sliced, for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons cashews, for garnish
  • White rice, for serving
  • Make coconut broth: In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add bell pepper, garlic and ginger and cook 6 to 8 minutes or until peppers begin to soften. Stir in coconut milk, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, juice of 1 lime and all the lime zest. Turn heat down so mixture simmers and let it cook while preparing salmon.
  • Heat broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, combine remaining tablespoon fish sauce, remaining tablespoon soy sauce and juice of remaining lime. Add fillets to bowl and toss to coat fillets with fish sauce mixture. Arrange salmon skin-side down on prepared baking sheet and broil about 4 minutes per side or until desired doneness.
  • When ready to serve, arrange salmon over rice and pour coconut broth over salmon and rice. Garnish with mint, cilantro, basil, green onions and cashews. Serves 4.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving: 459 calories (percent of calories from fat, 64), 28 grams protein, 14 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 34 grams total fat (22 grams saturated), 84 milligrams cholesterol, 1,220 milligrams sodium.
Combined ShapeCaption
Leftover biscuits from breakfast can help make dessert in Cranberry and Apple Crisp with Biscuit Crumble. It's adapted from a recipe in “Hot Little Suppers” by Carrie Morey. (Courtesy of Angie Mosier)

Credit: Angie Mosier

Leftover biscuits from breakfast can help make dessert in Cranberry and Apple Crisp with Biscuit Crumble. It's adapted from a recipe in “Hot Little Suppers” by Carrie Morey. (Courtesy of Angie Mosier)

Credit: Angie Mosier

Combined ShapeCaption
Leftover biscuits from breakfast can help make dessert in Cranberry and Apple Crisp with Biscuit Crumble. It's adapted from a recipe in “Hot Little Suppers” by Carrie Morey. (Courtesy of Angie Mosier)

Credit: Angie Mosier

Credit: Angie Mosier

Cranberry and Apple Crisp with Biscuit Crumble

No doubt there are always a few leftover biscuits around the Morey household. This recipe cleverly uses them to make the topping for a fruit crisp. If the pie crust has been mixed up and stashed in the refrigerator, this dessert goes together in minutes.

— Adapted from a recipe in “Hot Little Suppers” by Carrie Morey (Harper Horizon, $34.99).

Cranberry and Apple Crisp with Biscuit Crumble
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour or 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for working with dough
  • 1/3 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 17 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 5 to 7 tablespoons ice water
  • 3 leftover Buttermilk Biscuits, crumbled (see recipe)
  • 1/4 cup crushed pecans
  • 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
  • 2 pounds apples, cored and peeled
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Vanilla ice cream, to serve
  • Make pie crust: In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Cut 12 tablespoons butter into small cubes and add to the flour mixture. Work butter into flour by “snapping” the mixture between your thumb and middle and pointer fingers until the mixture resembles cottage cheese. Mix the cold water into dough by tablespoons, working dough with your fingers until it holds together in a rough ball. Flour a sheet of waxed or parchment paper and dump dough onto paper. Sprinkle top of dough with more flour and top with a second piece of waxed or parchment paper. Put this “sandwich” onto a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight. When ready to roll out, remove dough from refrigerator and let it sit out for 30 minutes, still sandwiched in paper.
  • Make biscuit crumble topping: In a medium bowl, combine crumbled biscuits, crushed pecans, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 3 tablespoons butter. Work mixture with fingers until it comes together in pea-size crumbs. Set aside.
  • Make filling: In a large bowl, combine apples, cranberries, orange juice, remaining tablespoon brown sugar, granulated sugar, remaining teaspoon cinnamon and vanilla. Let mixture sit 30 minutes.
  • When ready to bake: Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet. Set aside to cool.
  • Roll out pie crust to a 13-inch round and arrange in skillet. Pour filling into crust and sprinkle with biscuit crumble topping. Fold edges of pie crust up and over the filling and the crumble. Melt remaining tablespoon butter and brush on exposed pie crust. Bake crumble 50 to 60 minutes or until apples and cranberries are tender and crumble and crust are browned. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Serves 8.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving: 539 calories (percent of calories from fat, 51), 6 grams protein, 62 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 31 grams total fat (18 grams saturated), 74 milligrams cholesterol, 239 milligrams sodium.

Buttermilk Biscuits

2 1/2 cups self-rising flour, plus extra for working with dough, divided

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1/4 cup cream cheese, cut into cubes, room temperature

3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk

— Adapted from a recipe in “Hot Little Suppers” by Carrie Morey (Harper Horizon, $34.99).

Buttermilk Biscuits
  • 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour, plus extra for working with dough, divided
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, cut into cubes, room temperature
  • 3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk
  • Heat oven to 450 degrees. Arrange rack in middle of oven. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cut 4 tablespoons of butter into cubes.
  • In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour and cubed butter. Work butter into the flour by “snapping” the mixture between your thumb and middle and pointer fingers until the mixture resembles cottage cheese. There will be some loose flour. Add the cream cheese and work dough with your fingers in the same way as butter, leaving a few larger pieces.
  • Make a well in center of flour mixture and add buttermilk a little bit at a time, using your hands to mix everything together until mixture is tacky and sticky. Loosen dough from sides of bowl and sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup flour on top of dough and around the sides of the bowl.
  • Generously flour work surface. Move dough from bowl to work surface. Flour top of dough and rolling pin and roll dough into an oval shape 2 inches thick. Cut into biscuits with a 2-inch biscuit cutter. Roll scraps and cut more biscuits.
  • Place biscuits on prepared baking sheet with sides touching. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter and brush over biscuits.
  • Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until tops are golden brown, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking time. Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving. Makes 10 biscuits.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per biscuit: 203 calories (percent of calories from fat, 44), 4 grams protein, 24 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 10 grams total fat (6 grams saturated), 26 milligrams cholesterol, 411 milligrams sodium.