Wednesday, February 3, 2010

biscuits and gravy

Biscuits and gravy are a staple breakfast in this household. I make them from scratch, which makes Derek think I'm amazing {don't tell him they're easy} and makes me feel pretty domestic. If we ever have a lazy Saturday morning or something, these are often on the menu. James will request them by name {While looking in the pantry like I often do when considering meals, he'll say, "hm... how about biscuits and grabey?"}... and when we have time, I'll honor his adorable little request. So try them out. They're fabulous. And watch your family devour!

RECIPE: Biscuits and Gravy

Tip: I seem to take forever to get the gravy to the right consistency {reduced down enough}, so I find that starting on the gravy first then doing the biscuits while the gravy reduces down is the best way to get the whole meal ready around the same time.

Recipe: Country-style Sausage Gravy

1 lb. sausage {I prefer Jimmy Dean Mild sausage in the lil' tube.}
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 c. flour
milk (lots- like 1/2 gallon)
salt/ground pepper- lots, to taste

First brown the sausage in a large skillet, over med-high heat. Then (I don't drain the grease; I use it to flavor the gravy and add to the roux.) add the butter and let it melt. Sprinkle the flour on top and mix it in a bit. Let the flour bubble for a minute to cook the floury/glue taste out. Increase heat to high. Add milk, a cup or two at a time, whisking it in as you go. Let the milk get hot/boil before you add more. This hopefully will speed up your thickening. Add as much milk as you think you want; I add about 1/2 gallon... we like gravy around here. Season as you go with salt and freshly ground pepper. You'll want a good deal of both and probably more than you'd think {taste it to see what you like}, especially the pepper. Once the gravy's reached the consistency you like (it should at least coat the back of a spoon), you're done!

Recipe: Biscuits

{Note: The biscuits recipe is not in any way mine. I got it from my Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book -- p. 129 of my pink, breast-cancer edition. I do the "Drop Biscuits Supreme" version. Here it is.}

3 c. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
3/4 c. butter (or 1/2 c. butter and 1/4 c. shortening)
1 1/4 c. milk

Preheat oven to 450F. In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cream of tartar. Using a pastry blender {pastry cutter?}, cut in butter until mixture resembles course crumbs {I do until they're about pea-sized}. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add milk all at once. Using a fork, stir until mixture is moistened. {Note: I do none of those last couple of things... just dump in the milk and mix it up with my wooden spoon or whatever. It works fine.}

Using a large spoon, drop dough into 12 mounds onto a greased baking sheet. {I often make about a dozen and a half or so, liking smaller biscuits. Derek likes 'em big, so he does the 12. Also, we cook them on our Pampered Chef stone... not greased. They turn out great!} Bake for 10-14 minutes or until golden. Remove biscuits from baking sheet and serve warm.