If you were gearing up to have a Celiac’s test, what would you eat to make sure you were getting a fair amount of gluten leading up to the test? I would eat (and did!) biscuits and gravy. When I was a kid, my dad was the king of biscuit making. He’d just roll out a batch of biscuits like it was second nature, pop ‘em in the oven and in no time at all we would have warm, fresh biscuits with dinner. I’ve always loved biscuits and, really, who doesn’t?! On Saturday morning, I woke up with a hankering for biscuits and gravy and whipped some up. They were surprisingly easy and ready in a short time. Fluffy biscuits…savory mushroom gravy. Delish!
The Recipe: Biscuits
Makes 6-8 biscuits
2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbls sugar
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening/margarine
2/3 cup non-dairy milk (e.g., rice)
Preheat oven to 425 F. In a bowl, mix dry ingredients. Cut the shortening/margarine in small chunks and add to the dry mixture. You can use two butter knives to cut the shortening into the dry mixture, but I like to use clean fingers. With the knives or your fingers, blend the shortening into the dry mixture until all the shortening is in tiny bits and the dry mixture changes consistency slightly so that it looks like it might start to hold together in places. Create a little depression in the flour mixture and add the milk. With a fork, gently stir in the milk. When the milk is mostly combined, you can use your hands to fold the dough together just a few times. IMPORTANT: DO NOT OVER-HANDLE. The less you handle the dough, the more delicate and fluffy the biscuits will be. Turn dough out onto a floured surface or piece of wax or parchment paper. Pat the dough out flat (about 1/2-3/4 inch thick). With a round cookie cutter or upside down glass, stamp out the biscuits and place in a round greased cake pan so that the biscuits are touching (you can use any kind of pan). Bake for 15 minutes or until slightly golden brown.
The Recipe: Mushroom Gravy
Makes 3-4 helpings for biscuits and gravy
1 cup mushrooms of your choosing, chopped small
1.5 cups of vegetable stock/broth (if you’re watching your sodium, get the low-sodium kind)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5-2 Tbls olive oil
~3 Tbls flour
salt/pepper to taste
Mince garlic and heat olive oil in a small saucepan. Saute the garlic for a few minutes on a medium heat (careful not to burn the garlic). Add the chopped mushrooms and stir frequently. The mushrooms should get slightly soft and release some moisture. Add some freshly ground black pepper (wait on the salt to see if you need it at the end).
Add the flour and stir. This will make a pasty kind of consistency. Now, it’s time to add the vegetable stock/broth. You want to add this a little at a time, stirring to mix the flour/mushroom mixture fully with the stock.
The combination of the stirring and the heat will cause the flour to thicken the mixture. Keep adding the stock until it is all incorporated. Let it simmer, stirring frequently for 5-10 minutes after all is incorporated to thicken up. If you want it thicker, add a little more flour. If you want it thinner, add a little more stock.
Taste the gravy for flavor and adjust salt and pepper to taste. I find that the vegetable stock is plenty salty and so I usually do not add more salt, but feel free to do so if you prefer.
For Biscuits and Gravy
Place two warm biscuits on a plate. Pour a generous helping of gravy over the top. Enjoy immediately!