Monday, September 8, 2014

First Day--Sausage Gravy and Baking Powder Biscuits

Early morning Seminary is held in our home weekday mornings at 6 AM.  I was asked to provide food of some nature for the high-school-age students who spend their first hour of the day with us.  I committed to doing this on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. (One of the parents and the teacher provide on Tuesdays and Thursdays, for which I am EXTREMELY grateful.)  This blog will be about the food that I make and how it is received so I can avoid making a second or third time something that is not popular with the young people.  There were nine students last year.  Some graduated and others moved out of the area so we only have four students, the teacher, and my husband to "feed" this year.

2 pounds ground pork
1 pound McKenzie's Country Sausage
1 Tablespoon each Sausage and Meatloaf Seasoning and poultry seasoning

Mix all ingredients together well and let sit covered  in refrigerator overnight.

In morning place meat in a very large pot with 1/2 cup butter to saute. Stir regularly to break up meat into small somewhat uniform pieces. If there does not seem to be enough fat in the pot, add another 1/2 cup butter.  You cannot go wrong with butter....When sausage is nicely browned add 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and stir well until all flour disappears into the meat.  At this point pour in 2 quarts milk and stir continually until a nice thickish gravy is made.  Taste to know if correction of seasoning is needed.  It is likely more of each seasoning will be necessary, but it is better to have a bit LESS seasoning than too much seasoning.  The Sausage and Meat Loaf seasoning tends to be a bit too salty.

To keep the sausage gravy hot, place in a 3-quart crock-pot on low and add a small ladle for use in serving.

Baking Powder Biscuits
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons coarse Kosher salt
1 cup butter, chilled and cut into smallish cubes
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1/2 cup sourdough starter
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
In large bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well-combined and there is no chance that any "chunks" of baking soda remain.  Cut in butter cubes until mixture is somewhat homogenous.  In a small bowl stir yogurt, milk, and sourdough starter until mostly uniformly mixed.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir with wooden spoon until all the flour is dampened.  If necessary, add a little more milk.  This wants to be a soft but not wet dough. It also does not want a LOT of mixing because that makes the biscuits tough.

Dump soft dough only lightly floured counter and knead gently a few times, just enough to bring together into a patting-out consistency.  Pat out into a square and use a pizza cutter to cut into square biscuits. 

Place these square biscuits on parchment-paper-covered half sheet pan and bake for 10-14 minutes or until the tops are lovely and browned, NOT burned.  If necessary, cook a few minutes longer, 2 minutes at a time.  Let sit a few minutes on a wire rack to cool a bit, OR if you don't worry about burning your fingers, pick up a biscuit, open it up, slather on butter and raspberry jam and you are in heaven.  For the rest, or if you are making these biscuits a few hours earlier, just stack the cooled biscuits on a platter for easy access.

Makes 24 biscuits, depending on how thick you cut them.  Cutting them about 3/4 thick is optimal.

This combination of food seems to be popular with the kids and adults alike, except for the vegetarian among us.

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