Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dinner Tonight: Biscuits and Gravy

It is by some small miracle that I have been doing this blog for over two months and this is the first time I've blogged about my own biscuits and gravy. This is hubby's all-time favorite meal. If it were up to him we would eat it at least once a week. As it is I gave him a homemade coupon book for Christmas and included 12 coupons for this meal, so that he can have me make it even when I refuse. Normally I agree to make it about once a month, but I haven't had to the past couple of months because my mom and grandma made it a couple of times over the holidays and we were able to get our fix that way.
My family has been making biscuits and gravy for forever, at least as far as I know. My grandma's has always been the best, but my mom and I make a pretty decent version ourselves. This meal has been served at every special family breakfast I can remember my entire life. We still give my cousin a hard time for the one time she took too much gravy and that was probably about 20 years ago!
It must have been fate that when I met my hubby, I found out it was his favorite meal. I consider myself a good cook and can make pretty much anything, but this recipe is in my genes! Hubby likes a lot of different kinds of biscuits and gravy, and will eat them whenever we go out to eat for breakfast, but he claims he likes mine best. Of course he might know that if he told me it wasn't I'd be less inclined to make it for him, so take that with a grain of salt.
I like to serve with just microwaved bacon and orange juice, but my grandma thinks there should be eggs and my mom always makes sausage patties and usually some fried ham too.

Biscuits & Gravy

Vegetable oil
Jimmy Dean Original Sausage
Salt & pepper

For biscuits: Prepare Bisquick according to package directions for biscuits (2 1/4 cups mix, 2/3 cup milk, stir to combine, turn onto floured cutting board and knead 10 times, roll out with rolling pin and cut out with biscuit cutter). I like to use a 2-inch cutter - I have actual biscuit cutters but cookie cutters or even the bottom of a juice glass can be used. Liberally grease glass baking dish with oil, put biscuits in dish and turn to coat both sides with oil. Bake according to package directions (8-10 minutes @ 450 degrees).

For gravy: Brown sausage in 10-inch skillet with high sides. I use half a pound for just the two of us, for four people you'd want to use a full pound. As it browns, note how much grease is in the pan. You will want about 2 Tbsp (again for 2 people, 1 being a really big eater). If it looks like there won't be enough, add a small piece of bacon to the skillet. Once the sausage is browned, add flour to skillet and cook for a few minutes. The secret to flavorful gravy (learned only with the last few years after studying my grandmother's to find out why her's is so much better) is to cook the flour until it is very brown, almost burned. There is a fine line between browned and burned though, so be careful. Once it's ready, slowly whisk in milk. It usually takes around 2 cups for the consistency I like, but that's just an estimate. Let the gravy come to a boil to make sure it has reached its full thickness, then add more milk as necessary. If it's too thin, just wait for a bit and it will thicken up.

Crumble biscuits in a bowl and top with gravy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Estimated cost of meal

Bisquick: $.60
Milk: $.75
Oil: $.10
Flour: $.10
Sausage: $1
Bacon: $2

Total: $4.55

Former life total: Breakfast @ Gomer's: $22

Leaner life savings: $17.45 or 79%!!!

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