Southerners may hold the title on the best biscuits and gravy. Cracker Barrel roadside restaurants were famous for buttermilk biscuits ‘n gravy with sausage – before they added multigrain pancakes to their menu.
The New York Times has a recipe for biscuits and sausage gravy that’s worth a try.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 scant tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
- 1 cup whole milk
Preheat oven to 425. Sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Cut butter into pats and add to flour, then pulse 5 or 6 times in a food processor until mixture resembles rough crumbs. (Or cut butter into flour with fork or pastry cutter(. Add milk and stir with fork until it forms a rough ball.
Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, and pat down into a rough rectangle, about an inch thick. Fold it over and gently pat it down again. Repeat. Cover the dough loosely with a kitchen towel and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
Gently pat out the dough some more, so that the rectangle is roughly 1 inches by 6 inches. Cut dough into biscuits using a floured glass or biscuit cutter. Do not twist cutter when cutting; this crimps the edges of the biscuit and impedes its rise.
Place biscuits on a cookie sheet and bake until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.
- 1 pound bulk pork breakfast sausage
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- salt, ground sage, ground fennel and ground red pepper to taste
Heat and cook sausage until loose and no longer pink, breaking it up with a wooden spoon – about 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings – add sage and fennel.
Sprinkle the flour and pepper over the sausage, stirring constantly, until flour is absorbed by the fat – 5 minutes. Slowly stir in the milk and cook at a bare simmer until the gravy gets thick and the roux covers the back of a spoon. If it’s to thick, add more milk and stir. Check seasonings, and serve over split hot biscuits.
This rich chocolate and almond cake reminds me of a volcano cake – soft and gooey in the center. I usually skip the icing and sprinkle a little confectioner’s sugar on top. It never lasts very long when I make it.
Queen of Sheba Cake
from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking
- 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, plus 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
- 2 tablespoons rum
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar + 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/3 cup blanched almond (pulverized in blender or food processor with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar)
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 cup cake flour
Melt the chocolate in microwave; add rum to warm chocolate. Cream butter with ½ cup sugar; beat in egg yolks. Blend melted chocolate and rum into yolk mixture, then add crushed almonds and almond extract.
In another bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Beat in the cream of tartar and salt and continue beating until soft peaks are formed. Gradually beat in 2 tablespoons sugar and continue beating until you see stiff, shiny peaks. Gently mix a quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, using a rubber spatula. Scoop the rest of the whites over the chocolate and, alternating with sprinkles of flour, rapidly and gently fold in the rest of egg whites.
Turn batter into buttered and floured 8 inch round cake pan, tilting it in all directions up to the rim all around. Set in preheated 350 degree oven. Bake 25 minutes. Cake is done when puffed to the top and a toothpick inserted 2 to 3 inches from edge comes out clean. The center should move slightly when the pan is gently shaken. Do not overcook. Remove pan to a rack and let cool 15 minutes. Wait another half hour before trying to remove from the pan, or serve it in the pan (easier).
Add a little ice cream on the side of the dish, if you like, but it’s really great all by itself. You can eat it with a spoon.