Tag Archives: gravy

Breastfast Poutine (for dinner from someone who has never had poutine before)

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Disclaimer: I have never had proper poutine before.  I have only been to Canada once, and I didn’t really eat anything. I just remember drinking.  Cheap drinks up there, eh?

This week, Henry and I took our newly 2 month old, Graycen Olivia to California to see some Redwoods.  And by “see some Redwoods,” I mean sleep or cry (but mostly sleep) through the entire car ride.  On the way home, we stopped in Bandon, Oregon, for a much needed breast feeding sesh and coffee for mama.  Desperately, I pulled into the first large-ish parking lot, Face Rock Creamery. I changed a diaper, and Henry went inside to scope the coffee. Diaper changed, Henry came out and told me they had ice cream, wine, and cheese. So of course, we all went in. What an amazing little place.  We tasted so many awesome cheeses and I got enough coffee to sustain me for the rest of the drive home.  We bought some cheese curds, just ’cause, and Henry suggested poutine.  When we got home, neither of us wanted to go to the grocery store for what we needed to make proper poutine (which neither of us have had), and so Henry and and I came up with a breakfast poutine idea.

Components:

  1. Hand off baby so you can have a drink and cook dinner
  2. Take the drink your husband makes you and make it stronger
  3. Make sausage gravy
  4. Make hashbrowns
  5. Layer garlic cheese curds between hashbrowns and gravy.
  6. Eat

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Fried Chicken Potpie with Heirloom Squash and a Parmesan Buttermilk Biscuit Topping

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It was a rough sort of week. It was a week of goals being met, tears being cried, frustrated, whispered arguments, and exhaustion. For every high we had, the lows arrived on schedule.

Here we are, Saturday afternoon and we have survived. Henry has started college, got his driver’s license, and I got nominated for the Oregon Small Schools Teacher of the Year. It was a gorgeous afternoon. We went to the park this morning and have really enjoyed our day together. Now Henry is off to work, and the kids and I are settling into our evening.

Since Henry started school, he reduced his hours at work and is only working weekend nights. I rushed to make a good dinner for us before he left, and I really threw it together. I made a huge mess in the kitchen and spilled flour all over the flour.

But dinner turned out and it’s worthy of a blog post, so here it is. It’s really approximate, so use your own judgment if you choose make it.

Ingredients:

  • chicken tenders, cut into chunks
  • 1 squash, roasted in the oven, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • some celery, diced
  • flour
  • milk and chicken stock
  •  butter and/or oil
  • baking mix
  • buttermilk
  • parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper, thyme, and sage

Method:

I floured the chicken chunks with flour seasoned with sage, salt, and pepper. I fried the pieces in batches, and then put them into the bottom of a casserole dish. In the meantime, I had the squash roasting and when it finished, I cut it out of its skin and diced it. I layered the squash over the chicken.

When the chicken was all done, I sauteed the onion, garlic, and celery in the same pan the chicken fried in. When the veggies were a little soft, I added a tablespoon of butter, some flour, and made a roux. Then I added stock and milk until I got the gravy to the right consistency.

I seasoned to taste and poured the gravy over the chicken and squash. Then I measured out the baking mix, added buttermilk and parm, then dropped large spoonfuls of the biscuit batter over the chicken and gravy.

Then I baked it in the oven at about 400 degrees for 30 minutes. It was was fast for a casserole dish, and super satisfying on a crisp, fall day.

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Roast Chicken Dinner

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I got a lot done today. Kids up, fed french toast, clothed, and sent to church. Grocery shopping and battling every senior citizen in Eugene at Winco. Three homework assignments for my Master’s program. All of the laundry (with lots of help from Henry). And a roast chicken, sausage cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy dinner. And I still have work to do before Breaking Bad. I think I have some journals to grade.

The chicken was roasted with a mixture of whole grain mustard, honey, garlic, butter, and salt and pepper slathered all over it. It was good–but next time, I’ll do something differently. Be careful to not burn the bird–that honey colors the skin FAST.

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Cornbread stuffing mix + onion + celery + fresh Italian sausage…it was perfect and homey. The potatoes were of the red variety. Mashed, simply. The gravy was thrown together without the pan drippings from the chicken. The mustard/honey was a little strong.

Anyway. Whew. There’s nothing like a Sunday dinner.

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Happy Spring! Sausage Gravy and Snow Days…

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I woke up Wednesday morning to a text from a work friend who told me it was snowing. Uh…thanks? Why the text at 5am? 30 minutes before my alarm is set to go off? Then another text: 2 hour delay. Oh. I quickly sat up in bed and threw open the blinds. More snow in Eugene than I’ve seen since moving here. I set my alarm for seven and was woken up around six by another text that said school was canceled. So, here today, Thursday, school is canceled again. With spring break technically starting next week, it looks like I get a week and a half off instead of the standard week. And before falling asleep last night, I told the boyfriend that if I didn’t have school today, I’d get up this morning and make sausage gravy and biscuits for breakfast. It looks like I gotta make good on my promise.

Ingredients:

  • Milk
  • sausage
  • butter
  • flour
  • onion
  • garlic
  • chicken stock
  • whomp biscuits

Start by browning your sausage in a large skillet. I bought some bulk country sausage yesterday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the sausage fries for awhile, add a quarter of an onion, finely diced, and a few cloves of garlic, minced.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After it all fries together for a bit, add a couple tablespoons of flour to the pan. Alternate milk and chicken stock (stirring continuously) into the roux until gravy starts to form.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fry some eggs. Plate it all up. (Oh, yeah. Make some biscuits.)

Potato, Spinach, and Sausage Casserole

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I am not a big casserole person.  But this looks so warm and comforting. And slightly trashy. And I’m sick, so don’t judge. You’re just lucky I didn’t top the whole damn thing with biscuits.

I’m not sure if I’ll make any changes; well, knowing me, I probably will.  I think I’ll just take the concept of potatoes, spinach, and sausage and put it together however it best makes sense to me.

Ingredients:

  • 8 potatoes (7 russet, 1 sweet)
  • a bunch of spinach
  • 1 onion
  • garlic
  • 1.5 pounds country style, bulk sausage
  • cheddar cheese
  • milk and butter
  • salt and pepper

Method:

Peel, chop, boil, and mash potatoes. Add milk and butter, salt and pepper.  Wilt spinach into mashed potatoes. Saute onion, and garlic.   Brown sausage. Make a roux and add a bit of milk to the roux and sausage to make a bit of gravy. Spread a layer of potatoes and spinach in a casserole dish; top with sausage gravy; top with cheese.  Bake until heated through–bubbling and brown on top.

Sunday Menu Planning Session

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This has been a ridiculous week.  Stress at work; stress in my personal life.  As I often jokingly say, I’m about ready to run off and join the circus.  And then I realize that my life is a circus. And I have no place to go.

Except to the kitchen to cook.

I haven’t come across very many recipes this week that I’d like to try this weekend.  I didn’t do much grocery shopping last weekend, and I didn’t cook much, so this week was full of Chinese take-out from Kowloons, sandwiches from Quiznos, and pizza from Papa John’s. And cheap wine from the gas station down the street (Don’t judge me. I said it was a rough week).

A few recipe notes:

I love gravy.  Gravy is one of the first things my mom actually lovingly taught me how to make.  Most of my cooking skills were born of necessity, so gravy has always meant love and comfort to me because my mom took the time to teach me how to make it.  Never one to say I love you–or to even show love, pride, appreciation, or anything like that, my mom was always proud of my gravy making abilities.  Never a lump.  Never the chalkiness of raw flour.  Perfectly seasoned.  I had that shit down.

But, now I’m a vegetarian. Or, rather, a vegetarian who has recently succumbed to the siren’s call of a cheeseburger (or two).  Stress eating meat.  But, I digress.  That’s definitely a topic for a different post.

Where was I? Oh, yes.  Can vegetarians make good gravy?  Gravy that rivals the richness and umami that meat drippings impart?  I’ve made a lot of vegetarian gravy over the past year.  The key to good vegetarian gravy is patience, care, and caramelized onions and mushrooms.

Many recipes call for nutritional yeast (called nooch by many vegetarians), soy sauce, or wine.

I don’t use those things because I want the gravy to taste like the gravy of my childhood and never, in a million years, would my hillbilly family ever consider putting white wine or soy sauce in gravy–and I’m certain that they have no idea what nutritional yeast even is.

So, I do what I was taught to do.  Be patient and kind to the gravy.  The onions and mushrooms become the backbone to the gravy–if cooked correctly, you don’t miss the meat drippings.

Caramelize.  Cook the roux just so.  Alternate carefully: a pour of liquid, vigourous stirring until the liquid incorporates into the roux, another pour of liquid, back and forth–back and forth until gravy emerges from the dance of roux, milk, onions, and mushrooms in your pan.

Some recipes say add all of your liquid to the roux at once and stir vigourously.  In order for that to work and to keep your gravy lump-free, your pan needs to be pretty hot.  And if it’s not…or if you stop stirring, your gravy is ruined.  It’s hard to de-lump gravy.

Slowly adding the liquid until it completely incorporates into the roux before adding more gives you an insurance policy against lumpy gravy.

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Hmm.  I need to hunt down some recipes for my cooking marathon this weekend.  All this talk of perfect gravy isn’t going to cut it.  Woman cannot live on gravy alone.