Sunday, March 1, 2015

Biscuits & Gravy

Biscuits & Gravy

Here's the deal - biscuits and gravy = awesome!

A family favorite - biscuits & gravy.

It is a popular (often associated with the South) breakfast that is super easy to make, but I think it would also make a wonderful brunch or a quick breakfast for dinner recipe (with a side of vegetables, of course ;)). It's a rare treat around here, but highly anticipated.

You can use the pop biscuits from the can...but really, just make them from scratch...so worth it! I have spent years trying to make the perfect biscuits that have light layers and finally my search has ended. There are two recipes that I have found worthy of ending the search - Alton Brown's Biscuits and Smitten Kitchen's Biscuits. They are slightly different and for the sake of not using shortening, I chose the latter today, but I have tried both and they are both wonderful.


Light, Fluffy, Golden, and Tall - biscuit perfection!

BISCUITS
(slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

2 1/4 c. flour

1 1/2 tsp. sugar (if you want a sweeter biscuit sometime, just increase this)
1 Tb. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
9 Tb. chilled unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
3/4 c. buttermilk or soured milk

Heat oven to 400 °F. Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in large, wide bowl. Using pastry blender, cut butter into dry ingredients until the mixture resembles a coarse meal, Add milk and stir until large clumps form. Reach hands into bowl and knead mixture briefly until it just holds together (add a little more milk if needed).

Transfer dough to floured counter and pat out until 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick. Using a round cutter (2 inches for regular sized biscuits), press straight down and transfer rounds to baking stone* (or metal pan if you prefer).

Bake until biscuits are golden brown on top - 12 to 15 minutes. Serve hot!

This will make about 12-14 2-inch biscuits

*I bake on stones. I am a firm believer in their awesomeness and find that my baked goods are simply better when I use them.

**You can add in cheese or herbs with the dry ingredients, if you want to make these fancy.

Cast Iron Skillet = one of my favorite kitchen items.

Here's the deal on the gravy - you can use however much sausage you like. I love the flavor that it gives, but I like to stretch my meat and don't like a really meaty gravy. This is how I do it and it is perfect for us - great gravy to meat ratio. I do think the two things that make this simple gravy awesome is the iron skillet and the amount of pepper. Oh and you can halve this recipe for 2-4 people. My people eat a lot and this was scraped clean by our family of 6. :)


SAUSAGE GRAVY

1/2 lb. bulk sausage
1/2 c. flour
4 c. milk
salt
fresh ground pepper

In a large cast iron skillet (If you don't own one, go buy one because you will use it for everything...but in the mean time, you can use a regular skillet.), brown your sausage, breaking it up into small pieces. Once browned, stir in flour and continue cooking for a minute or two. Slowly stir in the milk. Add salt & pepper to taste (I did about 1/2 tsp of each, but taste as you go to adjust for your palate and for the seasoning of your sausage). Continue to stir and loosen any bits from the bottom of the skillet until the gravy is just starting to bubble and gravy is thick. Serves over hot biscuits.