So a few years back I started obsessing about biscuits. I mean it’s hard to think of anything more uniquely American than homemade buttermilk biscuits. I started making different versions almost every weekend trying to find one that would end up in my sweet spot. I wanted one that not only would be good enough to stand on its own just with butter and honey but also one that had the texture to stand up to being used as a vehicle for sandwiches. My thinking was if a biscuit was great by itself, how much better could it be if stuffed with other goodness, so down that path I decided to go.
First thing was that the biscuit had to be big enough to hold the type of fillings I had in mind so I started punching out 4″ rounds. They were still a bit smaller than your basic slice of bread or burger bun but I wanted to be able to see all the righteous fillings I had in mind hanging out of the biscuit on all sides. The first thing I tried was filling them with one of my half pound JFAT bacon-cheese burgers.
I have to admit I was skeptical but after one bite of the slight sweetness and richness of the biscuit wrapped around all that savory, meaty goodness; I was convinced I had chosen the correct “road less traveled”.
I thought the biscuit might crumble to bits used as a bun but my earlier chemical/culinary efforts proved to be just what I needed as the whole thing hung together beautifully. (A blown up version of this eventually became the ‘Hangover Burger’ on our JFAT Brunch menu)
Encouraged by this approach I proceeded to try filling them with as many ingredients as possible… smoky ham, wild mushrooms in sherry cream sauce, chipotle-spiked pimento cheese, pepper crusted pastrami, sirloin chili, smoked turkey and poached Maine lobster were just a few. For a while I even toyed with the idea of opening a small biscuit based restaurant… was going to call it ‘Urban Biscuits’.
I even did small tastings for people where I discovered, much to my surprise, that women actually were more into them than the guys!
Maybe I’ll still make a run at my biscuit shop someday.
Anyway, when I first introduced my fried chicken with thyme gravy at Sorrento Grille in Laguna Beach some 20 years ago I was again somewhat skeptical as to how it might be received but it quickly became a cult classic even among my dear tree-hugging Lagunatic friends.
Of all the biscuit combos I had tried I kept coming back to fried chicken and gravy… the flavor combos were just perfect.
But I wanted to create a signature version that was completely over the top. If thyme gravy was good… sausage gravy would be better. Cheddar?… why not. Everyone knows bacon makes everything better… done. Lastly, it is brunch right? Has to have a sunny-side egg… and that’s how ‘The Bubba’ was born.