Thursday, April 9, 2009

Biscuits (and Gravy)

Chris participated in a 75-mile bike race last weekend. He tells me that at the end of a long ride like that, he is ravenous and can't wait to chow down. I poured over recipes wondering what to make him upon his return, and decided upon homemade biscuits and gravy (with cottage cheese, strawberries and fresh pineapple on the side). I remember my cousin Allison telling me how easy these biscuits were to make, but I had never tried them until now. HOLY smokes, there are few things better than a hot, homemade, light crumbly biscuit. Recipe is from America's Test Kitchen. These come together in 5 minutes or less and are absolutely worth the time.

Cream Biscuits

2 C. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. heavy cream

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add 1 1/4 cups cream and stir with a wooden spoon until dough forms, about 30 seconds. Trasnfer the dough to the countertop, leaving all dry, floury bits behind in the bowl. In 1 T. increments, add up to 1/4 C. cream to the dry bits in the bowl, mixing until moistened. Add these moistened bits to the rest of the dough and knead by hand just until smooth, about 30 seconds. Pat into a flat, 3/4 inch tall circle, and using a round drinking glass, cut out 8-10 biscuits and place on baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Sausage Gravy

1 pound ground pork sausage
3 T. flour
3 C. milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Brown sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking it up with a spatula. Set sausage aside, leaving the drippings in the skillet (add a T. of butter if sausage didn't render enough fat). Reduce heat to medium, add flour to the drippings, and stir constantly until mixture just turns golden brown. Gradually whisk milk into skillet. When the mixture is smooth, thickened, and begins to bubble, return the sausage to skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes.

(Make sure you save the making and consuming of this meal for days when you burn 4000 calories on a 75-mile bike race. Fair warning.)
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