Sunday, July 3, 2011

Biscuits and Gravy is better at home

Like nearly everybody who studies or works at Bastyr, I recently wound up giving up gluten — or at least trying to — to see if it would affect my health in a positive way.

There are numerous studies that associate wheat and related products with myriad health problems, and although I completely believe in all of those studies and am not even that huge of a fan of wheat products, it's dang hard to quit gluten and I failed miserably.

I feel like a horrible person for giving up so quickly, especially considering how many of my gluten-free friends have no choice. Eating gluten-free at home was a breeze. Sure, I love pasta and pizza, but I also love polenta and quinoa. However, going out to eat was nearly impossible, even in my neighborhood that boasts numerous gluten-free restaurants.

The laughable part of going gluten-free is that I gorged myself on wheat products both before and after quitting, simply because I knew I was going to have to quit. In the middle of my first week, all I wanted were biscuits and gravy. I tried to think of a way to make them that was gluten-free, but it sounded a little too tough for a novice gluten-free baker/cook. So as soon as I quit that diet, I was determined to make biscuits and gravy from scratch.

My Southern Buttermilk Biscuits were a little on the thin side, so I will have to work on flattening those a little less next time. And the gravy was a bit on the meaty side, so I think I will double the milk next time, and also add some fresh sage as Dan suggested.

Sausage Gravy
1 package Jimmy Dean's Sage Sausage
About 1/4 c. flour
2 c. milk
Bacon grease as needed
Salt and pepper, to taste

Break up the sausage in a skillet and stir until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a separate saucepan or in the microwave. When sausage is cooked, removed with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels. Sprinkle some of the flour in the pan to create a roux with the grease. I didn't have much grease in the pan, so I added about 1-2 T. of bacon grease.

Keep stirring roux with a whisk until the mixture is thick, but still somewhat liquid. Slowly add the milk in a steady stream and continue whisking to eliminate any chunks. Bring the gravy to a low boil and let simmer for a couple of minutes, until thickened. Add sausage, then salt and pepper to taste, and serve over warm biscuits sliced in half.

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