Tomatoes and cheese are a combo made in comfort heaven.
And when that cheese comes in the form of pimento cheese … I don't know, would that be highest heaven?
Elizabeth Karmel came up with the ingenious idea of making a a tomato cobbler and serving it with her "Praise the Lard" biscuits with pimento cheese stirred in.
She advised to crowd the biscuits into your pan leaving just a little room for rising. Make sure to bake the cobbler long enough so that the biscuits are cooked all the way through.
This is one dish you are going to want to make again and again.
Tomato Cobbler with Pimento-Cheese Biscuits
Makes 6-8 servings. Recipe is by Elizabeth Karmel.
5-6 cups cherry tomatoes, any variety
Extra-virgin olive oil, about 2 tablespoons
3 leeks, chopped
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
⅛ teaspoon ground white pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
For the biscuits:
2¼ cups self-rising flour, divided
½ (generous) cup favorite pimento cheese
¼ pound cold (1 stick) lard (or cold butter that you grate with a box grater in a pinch)
½-¾ cup buttermilk
½ stick salted butter, melted
1. Heat oven to 375 F. Place parchment paper on cookie sheet or half-sheet pan.
2. Pick the stems off of the cherry tomatoes and rinse them under running water. Do not cut the cherry tomatoes — keep them whole so they cook and collapse on themselves.
3. Warm olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When warm, add leeks and about ½ teaspoon of salt. Sauté until the leeks are very soft and tender, at least 10 minutes, add the balsamic vinegar and stir. Turn off the heat.
4. Meanwhile, mix cornstarch, remaining ½ teaspoon of salt and granulated garlic together. Add the cornstarch mixture to the leeks and mix well. Add cherry tomatoes to the hot leeks. Stir gently until the leek mixture is evenly mixed with the tomatoes. Let sit for an hour. Pour the cooled leek-tomato mixture into a square baker and set aside.
5. To prepare biscuits: place 2 cups of flour in large bowl. Add the pimento cheese. Cut in shortening, using a pastry blender or blending fork (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add ½ cup of buttermilk; stir with fork until soft dough forms and mixture begins to pull away from sides of bowl. If the dough is too wet, add the extra ¼ cup of flour, little by little. If it is too dry, add the extra ¼ cup of buttermilk, little by little.
6. On lightly floured surface, knead dough 1-2 times, or just until smooth. Do not over-work the dough. Roll out dough to about ⅓-inch thickness. Cut straight down with a floured biscuit cutter (2-3-inch round cutter) — do not twist the cutter. You will need 7-9 biscuits to cover the top of the baking pan, depending if you use an 8-by-8-inch or a 9-by-9-inch baking pan and how big your biscuit cutter is. Bake the extra biscuit dough to serve on the side.
7. Place the biscuits over the tomatoes. You may need to cut some of the biscuits in half to fit the pan. Brush the biscuits with a little melted butter. Place the baking pan on the sheet pan to catch drips, and then transfer to pre-heated oven.
8. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the tomatoes are very bubbly and the tops of the biscuits are nicely browned. When the cobbler comes out of the oven, brush tops again with the melted salted butter. Transfer from sheet pan to a cooling rack and let the cobbler rest for at least 15 minutes before eating.