Biscuits with Sausage Gravy

Biscuits to me are one of the yummiest comfort foods you can eat. They taste so good warm out of the oven, smeared with butter, dipped in gravy or used as a breakfast sandwich. Whatever your preference, there is no mistaking that a good biscuit is both comforting and indulging.  For me, I love on a cold rainy day to make biscuits and sausage gravy. Nothing says warmth to me like fresh, light, fluffy mile high biscuits  smothered in a beautiful sausage gravy.
Traditionally I have made my biscuits with baking powder and baking soda but, I was watching Trisha Yearwood’s cooking show and she went to a biscuit cafe that made Angel biscuits with yeast. I had never seen biscuits made like this before, I worried that they would be dense like hockey pucks but they looked so good, I thought it was worth a try. WOW, they were delicious! Still very light and fluffy. I don’t know why I was worried about the yeast making them like hockey pucks, they definitely lived up to their name “Angel” biscuits.
So today’s post I am going to share with you a recipe for biscuits and sausage gravy that was inspired by Trisha Yearwood’s Angel biscuits.

The Biscuits

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Here is what you will need:

For the biscuits:

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm (90 to 110 degrees F) water
  • 1/2 ounce (2 packages) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, cold, cut into small squares, plus 4 tablespoons, melted
  • 2 cups buttermilk

 

For the sausage gravy:

  • 1 pound of ground sausage (any flavour you prefer)
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/4 cup of AP flour
  • 3 cups of milk (I used 2%)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Here is how to make it:

For the biscuits:

  • Preheat the oven to 425.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 3 tablespoons of the sugar.
  • In a small bowl, combine the warm water with the yeast and the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar; stir until the yeast is dissolved. Let stand until bubbles appear, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Using your hands, mix the 1 cup cold butter into the flour, breaking the butter into small pebbles, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk and the yeast mixture. Gently fold the flour into the wet ingredients. Keep mixing until a ball starts to form, then gently knead, 12 to 15 times, to create a smooth dough.
    Note: Trisha’s recipe covers the dough and lets it rest in a warm place for 1 hour at this point but I didn’t. I transferred the dough directly to a work surface without letting it rest.
  •  Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and press out to 1- to 1 1/2-inches thick. Fold the dough in half, press again to 1- to 1 1/2-inches thick, and then fold again.
  • Cut the dough using a 2- to 3-inch round biscuit cutter, depending personal preference.
  • Place the biscuits on a baking sheet fitted with parchment; cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.IMG_E2547
  • Remove the plastic wrap and brush the tops with melted butter.
  • Bake until golden brown, 18 to 22 minutes, depending on size. Brush again with melted butter and serve immediately or let rest until sausage gravy is ready.

For Trisha Yearwood’s full recipe vist: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/trisha-yearwood/trisha-yearwoods-angel-biscuits-3236443

 

For the Sausage Gravy:

  • Place sausage in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium heat until evenly brown. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon, leaving the drippings in the pan.
  • Stir in the butter until melted.
  • Add flour and stir until smooth.
  • Reduce heat to med-low, and cook until light brown. Gradually whisk in milk, and cook until thickened.
  • Stir in the cooked sausage.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • If gravy becomes too thick, stir in a little more milk.
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  • Cut biscuits in half crosswise, place on a serving dish. Pour gravy on top and serve.

I hope this recipe inspires you to be creative in your kitchen – enjoy!

 

Topsy Turvy Cherry Tomato Pizza

I love pizza, it is as simple as that. Now that the weather is warming up and the BBQ is going, I can find a reason to include pizza with almost every meal. It makes a great side dish to many BBQ menus. I have so many different types of pizza’s I like to make in the summer, thin crust, think crust, margarita, veggies, potato and garlic – the possibilities are endless. As we move through the spring and summer, you will see pizza pop up in my posts more often. One of my favorites is Cherry tomato pizza. I like this recipe because you need to prepare the pizza in a slightly different way. Instead of the traditional, roll the dough and place all the ingredients on it, you actually prepare your ingredients on a baking sheet and place the dough on top so, essentially you are cooking the pizza upside down. It is a great pizza that I am sure you will enjoy!

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Here is what you will need:

For The Topping

  • 1-2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 quart cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 2 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1/2 an onion diced
  • 1 package of diced pancetta
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • Diced bocconcini
  • Fresh thyme and oregano
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves plus small leaves for garnish

For The Pizza Dough

  • 1 cup (250 ml) warm water
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) sugar
  • 2 cups (500 ml) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt

How To Make The Pizza:

For The Topping

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  • In a frying pan over medium-low, heat the olive oil.
  • Add the onion and pancetta, cook for a couple of minutes before adding in the garlic.
  • Add the white wine, herbs and chili flakes and cook for a few minutes until the alcohol has cooked off and a nice sauce has formed.
  • Take off the heat and stir in the cherry tomatoes.

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  • Place tomato mixture on a non stick rimmed backing sheet and set aside. 

For The Dough
This pizza dough recipe is really simple and only takes a few minutes to prepare. I make mine in the food processor, but it is not essential. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook or you can make the dough by hand by making a well in the flour and salt and pour the liquids to the center. Work with your fingers gradually adding dry ingredients to the liquids until it forms a soft dough.

  •  In a bowl, combine the water, yeast and sugar. Let stand until the mixture foams approx. 5 minutes.
  • In a food processor, fitted with the plastic blade, combine the flour and salt. With the machine turned on low add the yeast mixture until a soft ball forms.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and knead for a few minutes on a floured surface to prevent sticking.
  • Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean cloth or plastic wrap.
  • Let the dough rise in a warm place draft free place for at least 30 minutes.
  • Cut the dough in half and freeze one half for another day or you can use both.
  • Once the dough has risen, on a lightly floured surface roll the dough to the shape of the rimmed baking sheet.
  • Place dough over rimmed baking sheet and cover the tomato and pancetta toppings with the dough.

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  • Place dough in a preheated 425° oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Let cook for 5 minutes and turn pizza out on a cutting board.
  • Cut into squares and serve.

I hope this recipe inspires you to be creative in your kitchen – enjoy!

 

Pizza Cake

As you know Saturday is my day to experiment in the kitchen and try new things. This Saturday I made a pizza cake. What I liked most about it was how simple it was to prepare, just like a regular pizza BUT much more filling with just one piece. I have seen different versions of this on the internet, the key thing for me is make it as simple as possible. Hope you enjoy this recipe.

Pizza Cake

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Here is what you will need:

  • 9″ spring form pan
  • Non stick cooking spray
  • Pizza dough
  • Pizza sauce
  • Medium or large tortilla wraps
  • Salami
  • Thinly sliced onion
  • Grated mozzarella
  • Any other pizza toppings that you prefer.

 

How to make the pizza cake:

Pizza sauce

  • One can of diced tomatoes (plus half a can of water)
  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh thyme
  • Olive oil
  • Diced garlic
  • Diced onion
  • Red wine (optional)

To make the pizza sauce: In a small pot heat olive oil and saute the onions. Add the garlic, splash of red wine. Once the onions are translucent (about 5 – 10 minutes) add the tomatoes plus half a can of water (water is the best diluter and will help cut the acidity of the tomatoes). Add the herbs and reduce for approximately 15 minutes. Set tomato sauce aside and let the flavors merry for about 30 minutes.

Pizza Dough

  • 1 2/3 cup of AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp of active dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of tepid water

Put water and yeast in a large bowl and mix together. Let stand for 5 minutes until it starts to foam. add the four and olive oil and gradually work the flour until a soft dough forms. Sprinkle more flour if the dough feels sticky but make sure not to dry it out. The dough should be pliable and smooth.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and kneed to about 5 minutes. Sprinkle flour as needed. Rub some olive oil over the dough and return the dough to the bowl. Cover and let rest for about 1 hour or until it doubles in size.

Remove the dough to a lightly floured surface and roll to desired size.

Preheat the oven to 425. Spray the spring formed pan with cooking spray. Place the dough in the pan and gently press the dough to make sure that it fits comfortably in the pan.

Spread a layer of sauce, toppings and cheese. Place a tortilla wrap flat on top of the pizza toppings. Spread another layer of sauce, toppings , cheese and tortilla wrap, repeat until you reach the top of the pan. The last layer should be sauce, any remaining toppings and cheese. If there is pizza dough hanging over the edge of the spring form pan, gently fold the edges over to create a boarder or crust on the inside of the pan

Bake in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly and melted on top.

I hope this recipe inspires you to be creative in your kitchen – enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Wrap Up

I am always trying to find ways to eat healthier. If anyone is following my blog, you would know about my menu board in my Saving money momma post, where I plan out our dinner meals for the week, not only to save money but also to try and eat a bit healthier. One of my favorite meals on the healthier side of things is shrimp lettuce wraps. We usually make these when we find shrimp on sale. They are like a healthier versions of tacos – easy to prepare, fun to eat and surprisingly filling.

Shrimp lettuce wraps

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Here is what you will need:

  • Iceberg lettuce leaves
  • Cooked shrimp (peeled, cleaned and deveined)
  • Cooked vermicelli noodle tossed in sesame oil
  • Shredded carrot
  • Bean sprouts
  • Finely chopped green onion
  • Peanut sauce

How to make the lettuce wraps

  •  For the shrimp: Melt 1 tbsp of butter, 1tbsp of EVOO in a frying pan over medium low heat and add the shrimp. Cook shrimp until they start to turn pink, turning them over once. Add 1 clove of minced garlic and cook until the shrimp are pink on both sides (be careful not to overcook the shrimp or they will taste rubbery).
  • For the vermicelli noodle: Cook noodles to package directions. Drain the noodles and while the noodles are still hot, toss in 1 tbsp of sesame oil and set aside.
  • For the peanut sauce: Place 3 tbsp peanut butter, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1-2 tsp lime juice
    1 tbsp sesame oil, 1minced garlic clove and crushed red chili flakes to taste in a bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of water, and whisk until a loose sauce forms.
  • To assemble: Set out the lettuce leaves on a serving platter. Fill lettuce leaves starting with the noodle, then layer the carrot, bean sprouts, shrimp, green onions. Drizzle with peanut sauce and serve.

I hope this recipe inspires you to be creative in your kitchen – enjoy!

The comfort of pasta

Everyone has their own comfort food. Mine is fresh pasta in a tomato sauce. There is just something about making pasta on Sunday’s that bring me back to my childhood. It was a Sunday staple in my parents house growing up and now it is a Sunday staple in mine. I try to make different styles of pasta sometimes with my pasta maker and sometimes rustic – just rolling out the dough and cutting it into shapes like ravioli or fettuccine. Last Sunday I made a rustic version of fusilli. There is something therapeutic about making and kneading dough that I simply enjoy.

Sunday’s pasta

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Here is what you will need:

  • Pasta dough:
    • 2 cups of all purpose
    • 1 1/2 cups of semolina flour
    • 5 eggs
    • 3 tbs of cold water
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 cup EVOO.
  • Tomato sauce:
    • 1 (32 oz) can of crushed tomatoes
    • 1/4 cup of EVOO
    • 1 onion finely chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
    • 1 celery stalk finely chopped
    • 1 carrot peeled and finely chopped
    • 1 dried bay leaf
    • Fresh basil
    • Dried oregano
    • Fresh or dried thyme
    • 1/4 cup red wine
    • Water
    • Small piece of pork shoulder to taste (optional)
    • Salt and pepper to taste

How to make the pasta dough and sauce:

  • Pasta dough: In a bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, place both flours in the bowl of the electric mixer and whisk together to blend. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, water, salt and EVOO. While the mixer is running on low speed (no higher than speed 2) add in the egg mixture and mix until a dough forms a ball like shape.
    On a lightly dusted flour surface need the dough for 2 to 3 minuted until a smooth and stretchy. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and let rest for at least 3 minutes.
    Working in small batches of dough you can either roll out the dough and cut into desired shapes.
    If using a traditional pasta machine, cut the dough into quarters and work with 1 quarter at a time. Start on the lasagna setting and roll dough through the machine until a thin sheet forms and then roll through the desired spaghetti/fettuccine  setting.
    If using a pasta machine like a Kitchen aid, follow machine instructions for the different pasta settings.
    Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt for flavour. Place fresh pasta in the boiling water and give the pot a gentle twist to loosen the pasta so it won’t stick. You can also stir it gently with a wooden spoon. When cooking fresh pasta, it is important to remember it tends to cook a lot faster then dried pasta. Pasta is typically done when it starts to float to the surface of the pot.
  • Pasta sauce: In a large pot, heat the oil over a medium flame. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, pork shoulder if using and red wine. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, basil, oregano, thyme, and fill the empty tomato can with water and add to the mixture and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, approximately 1 hour. Remove and discard the bay leaves and thyme stems if using fresh thyme. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper, to taste.

    The sauce can be made ahead of time, just rewarm over medium heat before using.

    I like to add a piece of pork shoulder to my sauce for flavour. My mom use to do it and I find that the pork gives this nice silky sweet taste. By all means, you do not have to use it the sauce will taste fantastic without it, that is why I made it optional in the recipe.

I hope this recipe inspires you to be creative in the kitchen – enjoy!