5.11.2008

April 26 - Biscuits and Gravy

You and me both, vibes.

Something's been making me sad.

Ever since I decided I wanted to cook things, I've been fairly successful in most of my endeavors. Generally with a little internet research and Alton Brown know-how, I can get most dishes approximated. All except for. . . biscuits and gravy.

Why would I ever want to make them? Well, that Moos of mine loves them. And ever since he told me that it's been fail after fail. To the point that he told me to just give up. Well, I was having none of that. I figured since my past attempts had all involved pre-packaged ingredients to one degree or another, I should give it one last shot making everything from scratch. Time to consult the master.

Quickly! Lest the shortening melt!

Alton Brown's Southern Biscuits

2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons shortening
1 cup buttermilk, chilled

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs. (The faster the better, you don't want the fats to melt.) Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together. The dough will be very sticky.
Turn dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 5 or 6 times. Press into a 1-inch thick round. Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch cutter, being sure to push straight down through the dough. Place biscuits on baking sheet so that they just touch. Reform scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting. (Biscuits from the second pass will not be quite as light as those from the first, but hey, that's life.)

Bake until biscuits are tall and light gold on top, 15 to 20 minutes.

So. . . sticky. . .

The batter was incredibly thick - to the point that it made me nervous, but I went with it.

Backwards Pacman!

I also don't have a biscuit cutter. Who does? But you know what I do have. . . an onigiri mold.

Not just for riceballs anymore.

And it worked great! Not only was it the right size, but all of my biscuits came out this cute triangular shape. Alright!

Ready for the oven.

Despite my fears about the batter consistency, the biscuits turned out pretty great. Light and fluffy inside, crunchy on the outside, and pretty tasty with some butter and honey. But that wasn't what was going on here. I had some sizzlin' to do.

Toasty goodness!

I had gotten some country style sausage at my local foodmart. It looked just like ground pork to me, but apparently there are some differences in what goes in there. Something involving Southern magic, I think. It turned out to be the perfect gravy fodder.

Ahh. . . the sizzle of pork!

Alton Brown's Sawmill Gravy

1 pound bulk breakfast sausage
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk

Salt and pepper to taste. Cook sausage in a cast iron skillet. When done, remove sausage from pan and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat. Whisk flour into the fat and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and whisk in milk a little at a time. Return to medium-high heat and stir occasionally while the gravy comes to a simmer and thickens. (Be sure to scrape up any brown bits that might be stuck to the bottom of the pan, that's where the flavor is.) Check seasoning, add crumbled sausage and serve.

Just like from the ol' sawmill.

In the past I'd used things like pre-seasoned breakfast sausage, packaged biscuits, or other unsuitable things. Making everything myself in the syle of AB turned out to be the perfect solution for perfect biscuits n gravy. Awesome.

I think Mr. Brown would be proud. I hope.

And now, for my new regular feature:


This is the segment where I will see how whatever foodstuff I've prepared (or purchased) compliments my new signature drink - Babycham!

So the biscuits and gravy? Well, it doesn't do much to enhance the perry pear flavor of the Babycham, but the saltiness and porkiness of the gravy certainly does its part to kill the slightly sulfuric aftertaste. I'll put it in the "works okay" column.

Babycham: now for breakfast!

4 comments:

Cathy said...

Sorry but you can't win me over to the biscuits and gravy camp with these pictures:the dish still looks slightly frightening,creepy and ominous!Certain foods are so visually delectable or sinfully appealing that you fall in lust with them at first sight without ever needing to taste them(actually,tasting them might sometimes be a turn off ,like a high school crush!);biscuits and gravy do not do this to me!Maybe actually tasting them might change my mind,but for now it will have to be a firm :NON!!

OHNOOHYES said...

I agree with Cathy. At least have a picture of Moos eating his biscuits and gravy. I need more pictures of people eating your food. Also, in about two days I will hopefully be eating some of your delicious food. YAY!!!

yen said...

cathy - the biscuits and gravy certainly are not for everyone. but creepy? really? I didn't think my photography skills were that bad!

ohnoonyes - I'll turn you into a believer. just you wait.

Renaedujour said...

Yep, those look just like the biscuits and gravy my mom makes, and I think they look delicous. I don't think it has anything to do with your photo skills- you have to taste them to appreciate their looks. They're a food with character.