Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Biscuits & Sausage Gravy

I am in the process of making Presley a recipe book of "My Favorite Recipes" just as my mother made me in 2002. I love my little book of Mother's favorites all handwritten in no particular order. Love it. Treasure it! One recipe that I want to make sure Presley knows how to make is home-made gravy just like Momma's. As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, Bryan had home-made biscuits and gravy every-single-morning for breakfast growing up and randomly on weekends his whole life. It's not the best thing in the world for you but it is NO DOUBT what I call a comfort food.

Mother always made cream gravy because Bryan & Daddy didn't like sausage in theirs. When you know how to make cream gravy or even sausage gravy, you learn how to adjust it accordingly to go with....fried chicken & mashed potatoes; fried deer steak & mashed potatoes; fried pork chops & mashed get the picture already? Good because I'm getting HUUUUNGREEEE!!!

Dylan & Presley both love biscuits & gravy. Most every weekend, when Dylan is home, I make biscuits & gravy for them. Most every morning, I make it for Dylan before school. I make it homemade on the weekends but I cheat during the week!!

You see, Tennessee Pride has two products that I love and Pilsbury has the other. Tennessee Pride makes a frozen sausage gravy & sausage balls and Pilsbury has frozen biscuits. During the week, I pop a couple of frozen biscuits in my little oven and throw the frozen gravy in the microwave and in less than 15 minutes - VIOLA - biscuits & gravy!

Here's the recipe for Sausage Gravy followed by how to make cream gravy.

1 lb pork sausage

1/2 c oil

1/2 c flour

4 c milk

Salt & Pepper to taste

Scramble sausage in a heavy skillet. Drain fat into a measuring cup & add oil to make 1/2 cup. Return oil to the sausage in the skillet. Sprinkle on the flour or you can sift it into the pan slowly too. Stir & cook sausage, oil & flour over low heat, scraping browned particles loose from skillet (with wooden spoon or spatula) for 4 or 5 minutes or until flour is a very pale brown. Gradually add the milk, stirring rapidly to prevent lumping. Turn heat up to medium and bring to a boil. Cook until gravy gets bubbly and thickens. (If gravy gets too thick, just add more milk!) Season with salt & pepper.

-- If you prefer cream gravy (without sausage), just measure out 2 Tbsp of oil or drippings and 2 Tbsp of flour for each cup of milk you use in the recipe.

-- If you've just fried a chicken, pork chops or any other meat that makes crumples, you'll follow the recipe above, scraping the particles loose to incorporate into your gravy.

-- Mother always used part water and part milk. You can always use 2% or even evaporated milk too.

Biscuits....really, it's not hard to make home-made biscuits. Once you get the hang of it, you'll make biscuits for everything! I just don't want to make them at 4 in the morning so I buy the frozen ones. Mother used to make up over-sized batches & freeze them. I'm domestic but apparently not THAT domestic!!

2 c flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 stick cold salted butter, cut into 1/2 inch slices

3/4 c milk

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder & salt. Use a pastry blender or two butter knives to cut the butter into the mixture until it has a course, pea-size texture. Add milk & stir the mixture until it forms a shaggy dough.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Use your fingers to gently flatten it into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle or circle. Fold the dough over and flatten it once more. Repeat 3 or 4 times, working quickly so the butter remains solid.

Flatten the dough a final time & use a 3 inch biscuit cutter or a drinking glass as Mother did to cut out 10 dough rounds. Transfer them to a 12x17 baking sheet & bake them until golden brown in a 400 degree preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes. (Make your gravy while biscuits are baking!)

About the other product made by Tennessee Pride...Larry & my FIL love Sausage balls so I keep these little fellers on hand at all times. They go in the oven and VIOLA - no one knows that they are not homemade and the process is not near as messy!

What's your favorite breakfast and/or comfort food?

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