So last night I decided to just open to a page in my Gourmet cookbook and cook whatever it was.  The recipe below is what it opened to and I was excited!  I had never made biscuits before and ones with cheddar and scallion sounded great.  I also love using ground turkey for all kinds of things so I was looking forward to trying out a new way of cooking it.

I checked out the recipe online today and saw a lot of mixed reviews, so I got a litte scared.  I’m glad I read them though because I got a couple of good ideas for substitutions.  First, the recipe:

yield: Makes 8 servings

active time: 40 min

total time: 1 3/4 hr (includes making biscuits)


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 lb ground turkey (not labeled “all breast meat”)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (28- to 32-oz) can whole tomatoes in juice
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons molasses (not blackstrap)
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons Tabasco, or to taste
  • Cheddar buttermilk biscuits


Heat oil in a wide 8-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic, stirring occasionally, until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Add turkey and sauté, stirring occasionally and breaking up large lumps with a wooden spoon, until meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Stir in salt and pepper.

Purée tomatoes with juice, ketchup, molasses, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco in a blender until smooth. Add to turkey and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, 25 to 30 minutes.

Serve turkey sloppy joes on split Cheddar buttermilk biscuits.

yield: Makes 8 biscuits

active time: 15 min

total time: 40 min

These drop biscuits are as tender as they are easy; since the dough isn’t rolled out, there’s no chance of overworking it.
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  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal (preferably stone-ground; not coarse)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 6 oz extra-sharp Cheddar, coarsely grated (2 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 1/3 cups well-shaken buttermilk


Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F. Butter 1 large baking sheet.

Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, then blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in cheeses and scallions with a wooden spoon, then add buttermilk and stir until just combined.

Drop dough in 8 equal mounds about 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool to warm, about 10 minutes, then cut in half horizontally.

Cooks’ notes: You can use 2 small baking sheets instead of 1 large. Bake biscuits in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking. Biscuits can be made 1 day ahead and cooled completely, then kept in an airtight container at room temperature. Reheat in a preheated 350°F oven 10 minutes.

So- what did I do?

I used a can of tomato paste, and I used pureed tomatoes instead of whole so I didn’t have to use the blender.  I just poured all the ingredients in to a medium bowl and stirred together.

I sprinkled in some cayenne pepper and some chili spice without cumin so the turkey had a kick to it which was nice.  I will say that the turkey isn’t packed with flavor- that probably has to do with me not using any dark meat and the overwhelming amount of tomatoes in this recipe.  However, it worked well because the Cheddar Biscuits were nice and flavorful.
The biscuits were so easy to make, I was surprised and I will definitely be making them again.

This recipe does take a little while to make, but I think it is a great easy weekly recipe and it would work well for kids and families in general.  We’ll be having it for dinner tomorrow night too and freezing the rest!