Question: Can a blogger who normally posts about writing, and words, and blah, blah, blah totally switch gears for a post and talk about food and recipes? Not recommended because a blogger must build her “brand” and only stick to one topic? Totally gauche and unprofessional and will result in never earning a blogger award?
Defiance: TOO BAD! I like food almost as much as writing, and maybe some of my readers do too. Besides, I’m not likely to win a blogger award anyway, so “they” can go to hell.
When I say FOOD, I’m talking about real, slow, homemade food, preferably made with local ingredients, including those from my garden and hen-house.
Background: I’ve been baking since I was tall enough to reach the counter. My mother would hand me a piece of bread dough to kneed while she busied herself with the rest of the gooey, yeasty mass. I blame my mother for where I am today–a fully unrepentant food snob. When in 4th grade and spending the night at a friend’s house, I had to hold my breath to eat what her mother had literally called, “a feast”. Dinner consisted of frozen fish sticks, chicken nuggets, and tater tots, and Top Ramen noodle soup. Honest to goodness; I’m not even using artistic licence to exaggerate here.
And don’t get me started on pie. I’d never seen or tasted a store-bought pie until I lived in the dorms in college–and that I think I only choked down because there was likely alcohol involved. After I was married, I saw several store-bought pies sitting on my mother-in-law’s hutch at Thanksgiving one year (brought by my husband’s ne’re-do-well cousin, NOT my mother-in-law who is an excellent cook, shout-out to MamaJo). I hid the homemade pie I’d brought to be sure I wouldn’t have to eat the slimy, insipid, pitiful-excuse-for-a-pie from Albertsons “bakery”. My sister-in-law, husband, and I gorged ourselves on pumpkin pie that year, eating it standing in the kitchen so others wouldn’t catch us.
Over the last few years I’ve learned to bake the delicious things I’ve always loved with gluten-free flours, as both my oldest son and I can’t seem to tolerate gluten anymore. I have to admit, my yeast-breads (besides my pizza dough) are still not quite up to the standard I would like, but I might just have to come to terms with the fact that our bread will be a bit more dense and crumbly, no matter what I do.
BUT, my quick-breads are every bit as wonderful as the gluten-filled kinds, and today I’m going to share one of my own recipes I’ve worked on for some time to reach gluten-free perfection: Homemade Biscuits and Sausage Gravy. My sons (ages 7 and 11), can eat two and a half biscuits each, piled high with gravy, and with a fried egg on top. If they can do it, so can you.
Warning: I do not take the easy route and say “Use 1 cup all-purpose GF flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill”. Nope. Instead, I will tell you the various flours that you must measure for yourself to create these light, flaky, irresistible biscuits. If you use Bob’s Red Mill*, your biscuits will taste like garbanzo beans and poo, so don’t do it.
Boy, for a woman who said she wasn’t going to focus on writing, I’m doing a lot of writing. I think I have a problem…possible word addiction. Here’s the recipe already!
Best Ever Gluten Free Biscuits
1 c. oat flour (Bob’s Red Mill makes a certified GF oat flour for those w/ celiac disease)
1/4 c. rice flour
2 Tbs sweet rice flour
1/3 c. potato starch
3 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp soda
1/2 tsp guar or other gum
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c. shortening
about a cup (8 oz) of buttermilk
Directions: mix all dry ingredients. Cut shortening into dry either using a food processor/ pastry cutter/ two knives. Add buttermilk so that the mixture is wet and can be scooped up and plopped onto a cookie sheet. Do this. Then bake at 450 degrees F. for 14 minutes. Cool on rack. Hint: If you do not need to be gluten free, I think you could just add up the amount of flours and use regular. Take out the gum. But just know, I can’t guarantee those will be as amazing as the GF ones.
(This is not a picture of my drop biscuits. I don’t have a picture of my drop biscuits because I do not run a food blog. BUT, I give you this picture stolen from the web so that you can see what a drop biscuit should look like. I think these look a tad dry, but hey, you get the idea).
Want the Sausage Gravy recipe too? Of course you do, because what better to top your biscuits, but Sausage Gravy. Heart attack on a plate you may as well call it, but at least you die happy!
Sausage Gravy (GF)
1 lb. homemade link sausages (OK, if you are not as big a freak as me and don’t make your own sausage, then just buy some yummy breakfast sausage in bulk)
about 2 cups milk
2 Tbs. cornstarch
salt and pepper to taste.
Directions: Easy peasy. Fry the sausage until it’s done. Pour in the milk and stir up all the brown bits in the bottom of the pan. Bring to a low simmer (don’t boil milk. It’s not pretty when you’ve scorched milk. I know. Trust me.). Let simmer for about 5 min. or so, then make a slurry of the cornstarch with about 3-4 Tbsp. milk. Pour into pan and stir until thickened. If it’s not thick enough for your liking, add more cornstarch. Too thick? More milk, of course. Add salt and pepper to your own taste. Pour over piping hot biscuits and top with a fresh egg! God. I’m hungry.
*I actually love most of Bob’s Red Mill products (which is located in my lovely state of Oregon) but can’t abide their all-purpose GF flour with its garbanzo and fava bean blend. If I wanted my cookies to taste like beans, I’d fill them with refried pintos instead of chocolate ganache.