Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's Always Beddar with Cheddar - Corn Beef Pinwheels

The weather has turned in San Diego, from sunny 75 degrees to cloudy windy chill for some strange reason. When this happens, I usually crave foods from my childhood. I grew up on a goat dairy in the “wilds” of Oregon in east Multnomah County. For those not familiar with Multnomah County in Oregon, it is situated at the mouth of the Columbia River Gorge, bordering Washington. It’s one of the most beautiful places in the world but man! I have mentioned it before in a previous post, the winters can be BRUTAL. Corbett is located at the eastern edge of the county, which is technically still in the gorge, on top of the basalt cliffs. Frequent ice storms accompanied by winds that shriek like banshees are the norm. Yeap, just another winter day. This can make traveling to the grocery store a little bit of a challenge for those without ice skates.
Luckily, my mom had a GREAT recipe for those iced in days, and simply raided the pantry for a couple cans of Corned Beef hash, that she always had on hand for just such an emergency and utilizing her delicious buttermilk biscuit dough. This is the same Buttermilk biscuit dough that I used for Biscuits and Gravy a while back.

The Pièce de résistance, however, was the cheese sauce that she always made to top the pinwheels. Thus without even knowing it, I was exposed to Classic French cuisine. She always started with a béchamel and added her dry mustard powder and cheese, making a Mornay. She never called it that, but since I grew up with it, I assumed it was how all cheese sauce was made.
This led to a horrific dining experience when I ordered cheese sauce. I was fully expecting a cheesy Béchamel, but receiving an oily glop of separated processed cheese YUCK!!

Suffice it to say, Béchamel is one of my favorite sauces as far as versatility. You can add just about anything to it… Make Lasagna sauce by adding double the amount of tomato sauce to it. (1 cup béchamel - 2 cups tomato sauce) Simply pour it on top of Pastitsio or Moussaka as is, or add prepared Mustard or chopped Mushrooms and Tarragon to make homemade green bean casserole sans Campbell's. Then there is the hybrid of Béchamel & Velouté that I like to call belouté or véchamel which is EXCELLENT with savory crepe dishes. (Velouté is a Béchamel made with “white” stock instead of milk… the name comes from the root velour or “velvet”, which is how it feels on the tongue)

OK, I need to reel it in, cause I am about to tangent. Mornay is, classically, made of a béchamel in combination with Parmegiano-Reggiano and Gruyere, but Emmenthal can be used as well as Cheddar. For this recipe, if you are feeling a little more Reuben-esque, then by all means, change out the Cheddar for Emmenthal. I am just in a white cheddar mood tonight. (Ya know? I still have not figured out why so much cheddar, on the west coast, is dyed orange with annatto seed) As a side note, Cheddar Mornay is phenomenal over lightly steamed Cauliflower.
Oh, and if you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can always make a batch of Jiffy or Bisquick biscuits; I promise not to look ;)

Corned Beef Pinwheels in Cheddar Mornay


For Pinwheels
3 1/2 – 3 3/4 Cups AP Flour – Plus about 1/4 cup for rolling
1 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Baking Powder (Rumford’s – it’s Double Acting AND Aluminum Free)
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, melted
1 1/2 cup Buttermilk
2 Cans of Corned Beef Hash
1/2 tsp Black Pepper

Mornay (Chedder Cheese Béchamel)
3 TB Butter (1 1/2 oz)
~1/4 cup AP-Flour (1 1/2 oz) It's better if you weigh it
1/2 tsp Dry Powdered Mustard
1/4 tsp White pepper
pinch of nutmeg
2 cup Whole Milk (Hot)
1 cup (4 oz) Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese (Grated)
2 TB Grated Parmegiano-Reggiano
2 dashes Worcestershire
At least 1/4 tsp Salt but more "to taste" if necessary

Preheat oven to 450
In a large bowl, whisk 3 1/2 cups Flour, Baking Soda, Salt, and Baking Powder.

In a small bowl, mix the melted Butter and the Buttermilk.

Pour Butter/Buttermilk into the flour mixture and stir until sticky dough is formed.

If dough is TOO sticky, add another 1/4 cup of the flour and knead in quickly.
Divide the dough in two pieces.

Turn out 1 piece onto a board floured with about 2 TB of the remaining flour.
Roll out biscuit dough into a 12x8 rectangle.

Spread 1 can of hash evenly over the dough, leaving about 1/2 inch on the far short edge to seal when done.

Sprinkle with pepper and roll up the dough as you would for a cinnamon roll.

Pinch the end to seal, then slice into 8 spirals.

Place in a 9 inch cake pan and set aside.

Repeat with remaining dough ball.
Bake both pans for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the Mornay
Begin heating milk in a small saucepan about 5 minutes before starting the roux.

In a medium saucepan melt the butter over low heat, let it bubble a little bit to remove some of the water.

Add flour and cook, whisking, over low heat until the roux becomes smooth and bubbly. (It will start off lumpy looking, just keep whisking)

Remove pan from heat and whisk in Mustard, Pepper and Nutmeg.

Begin adding the scalded milk while whisking constantly.
Return the pan to the heat and bring just to a boil while stirring constantly, sauce will be thick.
Add grated cheeses a little at a time, whisking until melted before adding the more.

When all the cheese has been incorporated, hit it with a dash of Worcestershire.

Remove from heat and pour over your pinwheels.

Mangia!!!
~~

6 comments:

Danielle said...

omg...those look incredible! I'm gonna have to try making me some of them babies!!

Anonymous said...

I just love reading your blog! If I made your recipes, I'd gain 50 pounds, but what a treat for the eyes and the imagination! Thank you so much for all the time you spend photographing and writing. It is much appreciated!

Bob said...

Oh wow, those look awesome! I love corned beef hash. And biscuits. And bechamel! Heh.

Michele said...

Now that's something I've never seen before. Very pretty! Looks good!

Spryte said...

OMG!! Those look amazing!!!

girlichef said...

This looks absolutely fantastic! I seriously need to make it...and yeah, I can just imagine your shock at getting cheese "sauce" like that. Mornay is so dreamy... Thanks so much for entering the giveaway for Maman's Homesick Pie...you are one of the winners! http://www.girlichef.com/2011/10/mamans-homesick-pie-by-donia-bijan.html Please email your full name and shipping info to girlichef at yahoo dot com!! =)