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Sunday Breakfast with Alton & Bobby – Southern Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

I’ve had a craving for biscuits and gravy lately and yesterday stopped over at Adam’s Farms and got some of their homemade bulk breakfast sausage so I could make some this morning for our Sunday breakfast. Sunday breakfast is usually the only day during the week where Sean, Michelle and I get to eat breakfast together, so we try to make it something different and special each week. I was looking for something quick and easy to use for the sausage gravy and for the biscuits, but I wanted homemade biscuits, not the stuff you get out of the refrigerated can. I turned to Food Network and found a good biscuit recipe from Alton Brown for southern biscuits to go alongside of the sausage gravy recipe I got from Bobby Flay. Both are really easy to make so you can get a different taste for breakfast in no time at all.

Alton Brown’s Southern Biscuits

2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons shortening
1 cup buttermilk, chilled

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using your fingertips, rub the butter and shortening into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks like crumbs.Try to do this quickly so that the fat does not completely melt. Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together. The dough will be very sticky.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface, dust the top of the dough with flour and gently fold the dough over on itself 5 or 6 times. Press into a 1-inch thick round. Cut out the biscuits with a 2-inch cutter, being sure to push straight down through the dough. Place the biscuits on baking sheet so that they just touch. Reform the scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting. 

Bake until the biscuits are tall and light gold on top, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Bobby Flay’s Sausage Gravy and Biscuits

1 1/2 pounds bulk breakfast sausage or mixture of hot and mild bulk sausage
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 gallon milk
Salt
Pepper
Biscuits, store-bought or homemade (see Alton Brown’s Southern Biscuit recipe above)

In a large pot, add the sausage and cook until it is browned and cooked through. Drain the grease and add the flour to the sausage. Cook the sausage in the flour over medium-high heat until the sausage is well-coated with the flour. Add the milk and stir until the gravy has the  desired thickness and add salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with the biscuits.


I did change up the sausage gravy recipe a little and did not use the 1/2 gallon of milk. I only use about 3/4 of a cup along with a 1/4 cup of heavy cream because we like a gravy that is much thicker for the sausage, and it turned out perfect. The real star here though is the biscuits. These are really easy to make, smell great and taste awesome. You could use these for all kinds of breakfast sandwiches that you like if you didn’t want the sausage gravy, like bacon, eggs, ham or anything else. They are also a great dinner biscuit and I plan to use the rest to go along with dinner tonight. You could even just have one warm with some butter to go with your tea or coffee in the morning and you would be all set.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on April 13, 2014 in Biscuits, Breads, Breakfast, Cooking, Gravy, Pork

 

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Holiday Weekends are Meant for Homemade Breakfasts

We don’t get to spend enough time together as it is, so trying to take advantage of the holiday weekend and spend time with each other is a premium for us. This particularly involves any meals that we may have. As it is with most families, it’s pretty rare when all 3 of us can sit down together and actually have breakfast at the same time. So when it does happen, I try to make it something special. This was the case yesterday when I decided we were going to have a completely homemade breakfast. It’s much simpler than it sounds and you can easily do any of these things in moments. I kept it even simpler by just sticking with scrambled eggs, homemade sausage, and home fries. We added in a couple of store-bought items as well, including Taylor ham and English muffins.

Easy Scrambled Eggs

8 large eggs
1/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon butter

Whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, salt, and pepper. Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, swirling to coat the pan. Add the eggs and cook while gently pushing, lifting, and folding them from one side of the pan to the other until they are nicely clumped, shiny, and wet, about 2 minutes. Remove the cooked eggs from the pan quickly.

I know it seems kind of ridiculous to actually have a recipe for scrambled eggs since it’s a fairly basic recipe, but I think it’s actually pretty easy to mess these up. Michelle actually makes much better scrambled eggs that I do; her eggs seem to come out fluffier and taste better and I think it’s because she follows this method exactly. Having a hot pan to start with is a key and you also want to be sure that you fold your eggs and push them instead of stirring them. Stirring them keeps them from getting as fluffy as they could be. Naturally, there are many things that you could add in to scrambled eggs if you choose to, such as onions, herbs, various cheeses, hot sauce, ham, bacon – the list seems to go on and on. Make them how you feel most comfortable.

Next up is a very simple recipe for some homemade breakfast sausage. Now there are few ways you can do this, and if you want to make it a little differently you could certainly grind your own pork. It will take you more time to do it that way but if that’s what you’re looking for then you should go right ahead. I chose to just use already ground pork and keep things simple.

Homemade Breakfast Sausage

2 pounds ground pork
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 teaspoons of vegetable oil

Spread the pork out in a large bowl and sprinkle with the syrup, garlic, salt, pepper, sage, thyme, and cayenne. Using your hands, gently fold the flavorings into the pork, then portion and shape each into sixteen 2-ounce patties (about 1/4 cup each).

Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add half of the patties and cook until well browned on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the patties to a paper towel-lined plate. Wipe out the skillet, add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil, return the pan to medium heat until shimmering, and cook the remaining patties.

Of course if you’re going to grind your own pork and maybe you even have your own sausage casings you can make breakfast links instead of breakfast patties. It really depends on how ambitious you happen to feel, but this seems to be the simplest way to do it. You could also easily freeze some of the patties between wax paper and have them portioned out for use at another time. Then it is simply a matter of placing them in a hot skillet with a little bit of butter to get them started and then add a little bit of water and cover the pan so they steam first to help them cook, remove the cover, turn the heat up and cook the patties until they are browned. You could also make this with ground turkey instead of ground pork. I actually have a turkey sausage patty recipe that I will post at another time which is a great breakfast alternative.

I also made some home fries to help round out the meal. Home fries are really easy to make, and if you happen to have some leftover potatoes already done you can easily use them as well. You have a lot of options here when it comes to what you want to use. Even if you have a can of diced potatoes around you could use that as well. This recipe, from America’s Test Kitchen, actually recommends that you microwave your potatoes first to help get some of the starch out of them before you do any of the frying. This helps to build up the better crust on the potatoes.

Home Fries

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes (4 medium), scrubbed and cut into one half-inch cubes
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped fine
Salt and pepper

In a large microwave-safe bowl, toss the potatoes with the oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and microwave on high until the potatoes are tender but not falling apart, 5 to 10 minutes, shaking the bowl without removing the plastic to re-distribute the potatoes every 3 minutes. Carefully remove the plastic wrap, transfer the potatoes to a colander, and drain thoroughly.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes to the skillet and, using a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, distribute them evenly over the pan. Cook undisturbed until the potatoes are golden brown on one side, about 5 minutes. Carefully turn the potatoes to ensure even browning and add the onion to the skillet. Continue cooking, turning the potato and onion mixture every few minutes, until the potatoes are well browned and the onion is softened, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Again, there are other things you could add to the potatoes if you want to get a little bit of a different flavor. I actually added a little bit of orange bell pepper and some paprika to my recipe and I think they tasted great. I know they do sell frozen diced potatoes, but I think if you’re planning to use them you need to make sure that you thaw them and that they are dried very well to remove as much of the moisture as possible if you want them to cook well. Otherwise they will just steam in the liquid and not get crispy.

While I didn’t make any bacon with our breakfast, I have found that making the bacon in the oven has worked much better and gives the bacon a chance to cook and crisp up much more evenly than it does when you cook it in the pan. You can also cook a lot more of it all at once if you are making breakfast for a large crowd, which is an advantage.

Oven Bacon

1 pound bacon (16 slices), thin or thick-cut

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400°. Arrange the bacon on a rimmed baking sheet (the slices can overlap just slightly) and bacon until crisp and browned, about 10 to 15 minutes, rotating the baking sheet front to back halfway through. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and let the excess fat drain off before serving.

If you’re going to cook it this way, you could also consider using a wire rack set inside the rimmed baking sheet so it keeps the bacon from sitting in the fat and allows the air to circulate around it, making it a little more crisp. As I said, I did make Taylor ham with the breakfast because it is one of Michelle’s favorites. It seems to be mostly a Northeast thing, and even more particularly a New Jersey thing to have Taylor ham with breakfast. It is basically a pork roll that you slice and fry for a minute or 2 on each side just to get it crisp. I didn’t have time to make any homemade biscuits or anything like that, but they would be great to go with a traditional home breakfast. Of course I had coffee with mine, and you could certainly have homemade orange juice if you have a juicer or whichever store-bought juice you prefer.

The important thing with the breakfast like this is that it actually brings everyone to the table all at the same time. It doesn’t really matter what you make; you could just each have bowls of oatmeal or bagels and coffee if that’s all you really want as long as you’re enjoying some time together.

That’s all there is for today. Check back again later on in the week and I’ll have some new recipes to share, including a pound cake, oatmeal cookies, a black bean salad, and I do have a few other things planned in for dinner this week including baby back ribs, meatloaf and chicken so check back and see what comes along. Until then, enjoy the rest of your 3 day weekend, and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on May 27, 2013 in Breakfast, Cooking, Eggs, Holidays, Potatoes, Sausage

 

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