I woke up recently with a major craving for biscuits. Over the last year or so, I've been exploring cooking kosher-ish. My kitchen is far from being kosher by many standards, and I still partake of the occasional cheese burger or pizza smothered with chicken and mozzerella, but I generally try not to mix meat and dairy, and we don't eat shellfish or pork at all.
Because of this, my biscuit intake was seriously low. When I was younger, hot, buttery biscuits were a natural companion to dishes like roast chicken and pot roast. And while I've had success with substituting the milk content in the biscuits with chicken broth, biscuits really need butter. Or gravy. Or both.
So I decided on biscuits for breakfast. But what to serve them with?
What I wanted was something a bit like the creamy sausage gravy that you can get for breakfast in a diner. The kind that I stopped ordering because it's usually made with pork sausage…The solution was to make a vegetarian version. It is thick, rich and creamy, and the veggies can be changed up depending on what you have on hand.
Biscuits with Creamy Vegetable Gravy
Baking Powder Biscuits
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 cup wheat flour
1Tbsp baking powder
1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk
1. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the vegetable oil and milk into the well. Stir just enough to combine. The dough should be soft, but hold together well, not sticky or crumbly. Be careful not to over-knead or you will have a hockey puck instead of a light, fluffy, tender biscuit.
2. On a lightly floured surface, press the dough out to about 1/2 – 3/4-inches thick. Cut dough into the desired shape. Usually, I just do circles, but maybe there are children in your life who would prefer being canine to being human. In that case, now would be the perfect time to break out that cookie cutter that looks vaguely like a femur. As you cut out each batch of biscuits, press the scraps back together. You don't really have to knead the scraps, just press them together.
3. Place biscuits about 1-inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in a 450F oven for 10-12 minutes or till golden brown. Serve hot with butter or gravy, or butter and jam. Or eat them cold for breakfast, broken up into bite-sized pieces and drowning in milk. So many delicious options, you can't go wrong.
Creamy Vegetable Gravy
1 Tbsp. butter
1 stalk of celery, minced
1/2 medium onion, minced
2-3 small or medium carrots, minced
2 Tbsp. white flour
2 cups milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Mince celery, onion and carrot. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add minced vegetables and cook until just tender. Add flour to vegetable mixture. Stir well.
2. Add milk to saucepan 1/2 cup at a time. Stir well between each addition. The only lumps you want are the lumps of vegetables, not nasty, gummy, bits of flour.
3. Bring to a boil for just a moment, then reduce heat to low and let simmer until gravy is nice and thick. Stir frequently. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Note: You can change up the veggies depending on what you have on hand or what sounds good to you. When I made this, I happened to have a package of yellow, orange and deep red carrots, they were gorgeous and delicious! Next time, in addition to the other veggies, I think I'll add about 1/2 cup each of frozen peas and corn. I've also been dreaming of eating this gravy as stopping for a fried egg on a bed of spinach…Mmmm…yummy.