Sunday, January 04, 2009

The Craving Heard Around the World

A month or so ago, I woke up craving biscuits and gravy. Being the dork that I am, I changed my Facebook status to reflect this. You see, I have this little problem. I am addicted to a word game on Facebook. Wordscraper is like Scrabble, and I play frequently, some might say incessantly, with a variety of friends. In between games, I have developed the habit of posting mundane facts or observations in my status bar. I don't know which is worse, my feverish need to form letter tiles into words, or my willingness to announce to the world my eating, cleaning, shopping, and basic living habits. Maybe I have more than one little problem. :-)

But, back to the biscuits and gravy...I posted something about thinking about biscuits and gravy, but settling for oatmeal. It wasn't long before one friend commented about her favorite diner location for biscuits, gravy and hash browns. Another friend asked about my biscuit preference and provided her family's favorites. Yet, another friend declared a love for this simple treat and offered a creamed chicken alternative for those who didn't care for sausage.

Before the day was over, my status update had a string of comments as long as my arm. People heard my craving and responded, people that I had reconnected with on Facebook, but hadn't seen in the 20 years since high school; people that live in the next town, but just don't seem to cross my day to day path; people that I talk to everyday; people that I have never met in real life, but have grown to know through other websites. Some had no clue who the other was, but all of us had biscuits and gravy in common. From Iowa, to Virginia, to Washington, to South Korea and back to my hometown, the craving for biscuits and gravy brought us together.

Ultimately, some did give into that seed of the craving I had planted. They posted their delight on savoring the fluffy biscuits topped with creamy, rich gravy. I was jealous. I still hadn't had my chance to enjoy this comfort food. It was the midst of the holidays, and demands on my time and menus were many. Biscuits and gravy weren't fitting into the schedule...until today.

Today, I tried a new idea on that favorite. Rolling the cooked sausage up Stromboli-style inside prepared dough and baking gives this a slight upscale twist. The gravy is prepared in the sausage pan (don't waste those drippings) and ladled over the slices of the crusty sausage-filled roll. I used HOT Jimmy Dean sausage for maximum flavor and due to ingredients on hand, used half skim milk and half heavy cream in my gravy (although the posted recipe does not reflect that). I heard the craving and responded. I finally have biscuits and gravy On My Plate.

Biscuits and Gravy Breakfast Roll

1 Pillsbury refrigerated crusty French loaf
1 (16 ounce roll) Jimmy Dean Hot pork sausage (or your favorite)
4 tablespoons pan drippings
3 tablespoons flour (for this, I prefer Wondra flour, as it seems to clump less)
2 cups 2% or whole milk

Crumble sausage into skillet and brown.
Tilt pan at an angle to filter drippings to one side, push sausage up out of drippings to drain slightly.
Spray a foil (or parchment) lined cookie sheet with Pam.
Open the French loaf and find seam.
Unroll the loaf onto the cookie sheet.
Spread an even layer of the cooked, crumbled, and drained sausage over the dough.
Leave about an inch border on one long side of the dough without sausage.
Starting at the other side, carefully roll up the dough and sausage jelly-roll style using the inch border without sausage to seal the dough on the final roll.
Place seam side down on the cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until browned and baked through. (Mine actually took about 25 minutes.)
Meanwhile, reheat the pan with sausage drippings.
When hot, add the flour and stir to loosen the crust bits in skillet.
Slowly add the milk and continue to stir until creamy and smooth.
Add more milk if gravy thickens too fast.
Slice the baked sausage breakfast roll and serve topped with gravy. (Serves 4-6)

1 comment:

  1. I just found your page, and this post for biscuits and gravy. I was on a roll where for about 2 months that was all I ever wanted to eat. I ate more biscuits and gravy in that time frame than alot of folks will ever eat in their lifetime. Your recipe for this sounds fantastic and I may just have to try it this coming weekend. Thanks for the recipe and I love your blog. Thanks for your words. Lynn


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