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Sausage gravy and biscuits

11 Oct

It may not be pretty, but a plate of biscuits swimming in sausage gravy is mighty fine.

As cozy as woolen socks on a winter morning or as life-bringing after an over-served summer night, it is pure southern comfort.

Go south and start with good biscuits, like Great Grandmother Ruth’s, taking care to use heavy cream and “not that slop from the supermarket:”

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Or head north with Grandma Nora’s:

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Just don’t let a feud errupt!

Our lazy gravy version is simple, as this dish should be. But we are icked out by the call for Bisquick mix. Surely a small amount of effort is justifiable.

1/2 lb Jimmy Dean sausage

2 tbsp flour

2 cups of milk

Crumble sausage and brown in a large skillet. Add flour and cook. Pour in milk and stir until the gravy thickens.

This New York Times version calls for twice as much sausage, so if you are partial to milky gravy, try the portions above. Some people add dashes of Worcestershire or a splash of morning coffee to give the gravy a less pallid colour.

Either way, keep things simple and you’ll agree: sausage gravy and biscuits are mighty fine.

 

1 pound bulk pork breakfast sausage (quality counts and skip the mild).

¼ cup all-purpose flour, or instant flour like Wondra

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

2½ cups whole milk

Salt to taste

ground sage to taste (optional)

ground fennel to taste (optional)

ground red pepper to taste

Set a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat and cook the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until it is loose and no longer pink, approximately 10 minutes. Taste sausage and adjust seasonings — you may wish to add sage and fennel aggressively.

Sprinkle the flour and pepper over the sausage and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour has been absorbed by the fat and has gathered its flavors close, approximately 2 to 5 minutes.

Slowly stir in the milk and cook at a bare simmer until the gravy gets thick and the roux covers the back of a spoon. If it is too thick for your liking add more milk and stir. Check seasonings and serve over split or roughly crumbled biscuits.

 

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Hot Dish

21 Oct

enchilada casserole

Tried and true, secret family shame. An heirloom recipe. Practically health food when served with Special Cool Salad, a.k.a. Dorothy Lynch Meatless Taco Salad of diced tomatoes, kidney beans, grated cheddar, scallions, black olives marinated for 8-24 hours with French dressing before tossing with half a bag of Fritos corn chips and iceberg lettuce. Ulp.

ENCHILADA CASSEROLE

Brown a package of lean hamburger (up to 2 lbs), add 1 chopped white onion & 1 chopped green pepper.

Season with chilli, cumin, oregano leaves, salt & Montreal Steak Spice/pepper.  (A squirt of beef bouvril and a bit of water to the pan once everything is well on its way and the onions are translucent doesn’t hurt) Uncle Bob used to add a can of green chiles.

Add 1 can of chopped tomatoes (398 ml size) or salsa, or a can of enchilada sauce or Rotel, 2 cans of full fat/full salt/gross cream of chicken soup & 1 can of romano beans.  Let it bubble away for 5-10 minutes.

Cover the bottom of a casserole dish with half a bag of Frito corn chips (or enough to cover).

Pour hamburger mixture on top of chips.

Top with remaining corn chips, and shredded tex-mex cheese. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, but watch to make sure top doesn’t get too brown.)

Let cool for a bit so it firms up, then serve.

enchilada

DOROTHY LYNCH Meatless Taco Salad
1 cup DOROTHY LYNCH HOME STYLE DRESSING (catalina)
3-4 scallions or green onions, chopped
1 300-can kidney beans, drained
(Retain 1/4 cup juice)
Black olives, sliced
1 head lettuce, torn into small pieces
2-4 tomatoes, chopped
Shredded cheddar cheese
One-half package large corn chips (chips may be broken and tossed into salad or used as garnish)

Combine dressing, scallions, beans and olives. Refrigerate 8-24 hours to marinate. Before tossing with lettuce, pour off liquid and set aside. Toss lettuce, tomatoes, cheddar cheese and corn chips with kidney beans, onion and olive mixture. Pour dressing marinade over salad just before serving.

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