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Saturday, May 08, 2010

Weekly Recipes: May 8

Biscuits

I started with the basic recipe from Joy of Cooking and have modified it a little to suit our tastes. You can substitute buttermilk for the milk directly, which is a nice variation.

4 cups pastry flour
5 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 16 - 20 pieces
1 1/2 cups milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Rub butter through flour mixture until you have incorporated it and still have many larger pieces of butter visible through the flour. Pour milk in and stir to form a soft dough.

Knead lightly to make sure all flour is mixed in. Pat or roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/2 inch thickness. Cut out with 2 inch round cutter (or any other shape you like). Place about an inch and a half apart on ungreased baking sheets.

You should be able to get just 20 biscuits from this. It is okay to pat together and re-roll the dough, but each additional rolling will make the biscuit less tender.

Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden brown on edges and flaky.


Breakfast Sausage Seasoning

We bought some breakfast sausage seasoning from Penzey's to try our hand at making bulk sausage. We thought it needed lots more sage, a little less sugar and some heat. So, we took the proportions they used and tinkered with them to get this. I use this to make sausage patties and sausage crumbles for eggs or breakfast casseroles.

1 pound ground pork
1 1/2 tablespoons sage
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional, if you want it a little milder)
1/4 teaspoon thyme

You can mix this up the night before if you are forming patties, or just toss all the seasonings into the pan with the meat like I do for browned sausage crumbles in other dishes.


Sausage Gravy

1 pound breakfast sausage
1/4 cup flour
5 cups milk
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3/4 teaspoon paprika
salt to taste

Cook sausage into crumbles in a large pan over medium heat. Brown and render fat out. If your sausage doesn't have enough fat in it, you may need to add a little lard or butter. Sprinkle flour over sausage, stir in and cook for a minute or two. Slowly pour in the milk, stirring well. Add pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until gravy is thickened to your liking. Taste for salt and season if necessary. If your sausage is shy on sage, you may want to add some to your gravy.

Serve over hot split biscuits.

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