Recently I had the pleasure of dining at Green Goddess, a tiny little restaurant here in New Orleans, staffed entirely by cooks who collaborate on the menu and run the restaurant as well. I had a wonderful breakfast there, simple in concept, but absolutely delicious. So delicious that I knew I needed to recreate it at home so I could be tempted by something else on the menu during return visits (I have a bad habit of loving something at a restaurant and ordering it every time I go).
The dish consisted of sweet potato biscuits with boudin patties, spicy pepper jelly, and cane syrup served alongside truffled grits. Since I could buy most of the ingredients, I really just needed to make the sweet potato biscuits and the grits from scratch. I used a sweet potato biscuit recipe I found in one of my new cookbooks, The Complete Southern Cookbook, and it was no more difficult than making regular biscuits - though it helps to plan ahead and bake your sweet potatoes early on.
Pork boudin (a mixture of seasoned pork and rice) is readily available in my area, but can be mail ordered from The Cajun Grocer. You form it into patties, dip it in a beaten egg, then pan fry it until it's crispy on the outside. Another option for this breakfast, however, is to use a regular pork sausage patty. It won't have the same texture, but it will still taste good. I used Tabasco brand spicy pepper jelly and Steen's cane syrup. Both are generally available at most grocery stores. If you can't find it at yours, you can mail order them from The Cajun Grocer as well.
This was such a good breakfast that I'd happily serve it to guests. In fact, I just may have found my new Mardi Gras breakfast. Though the restaurant served truffled grits, we were satisfied with Quaker Old-Fashioned grits (made with equal parts milk and water) served alongside. The perfect breakfast for a chilly morning.
Sweet Potato Biscuits
(adapted from The Complete Southern Cookbook)
Yield: Makes about 13 biscuits
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup cooked mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup buttermilk
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rub a thin layer of shortening or butter on the skin of 2 medium or 1 large sweet potatoes and place on a baking sheet. Bake until soft, approximately 1 hour. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, slit the skin and scoop the contents into a bowl. Mash well and let them cool completely.
2. Raise the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a cast-iron biscuit baker or baking sheet and set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or 2 forks until the mixture is crumbly.
4. In a separate bowl, stir together the mashed sweet potatoes and buttermilk. Add to the flour mixture, stirring just until moistened.
5. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead 4 times. Gently roll the dough out to approximately a 1/2-inch thickness and cut with a 2-inch round cutter. Gently gather together the dough scraps and pat the dough out again, again cutting with a 2-inch round cutter. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.
After the biscuits have cooled just slightly, split them and put a thin layer of pepper jelly on each side. Put a boudin patty on the bottom layer of the biscuit, drizzle some cane syrup on the boudin patty and top with the other biscuit half.