Sunday, January 29, 2012

Miracle Mushroom Gravy over 3-2-1 Drop Biscuits

I worked at Mickey D's for a while when I was a teenager. It was my first job apart from working for my dad at the paint store. I was vegetarian as I am now, and I was a manager -- that's right, a teenage manager -- at the world's largest fast-food corporation. I still have the spatula I received upon my graduation from their esteemed and highly-competitive Hamburger University. 

Anyway, any vegetarians or vegans that came through on my shift got the royal treatment for sure: a veggie big mac with tons of toppings and cheese and a bag of fries; at breakfast, I'd make our biscuit and sausage gravy special for them without the sausage added into it. I just wanted them to know that someone out there had their back.

In honor of my time in the service, I made this wonderful gravy that has all the flavor of a sausage gravy with none of the sausage. I use meaty crimini mushrooms and the seasoning you'd normally find in a flavorful breakfast sausage to make this Southern breakfast staple. It's so good you'll be looking for other things to gravy.

(Okay, y'all, all of this has me thinking, and I have to know: What was your first job?)

Miracle Mushroom Gravy

10 oz crimini (a.k.a. baby bella) mushrooms
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup shallot

1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon clove
1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk

Slice mushrooms about 1/4-inch thick.; you will blend them later so no need to be overly precise. In a medium frying pan over hight heat, sauté the mushrooms until browned. Add the shallot to the pan and continue to cook for another minute until the rawness has cooked out of the shallot and it's translucent. 

Add the mushrooms and shallot  to the work bowl of your food processor along with the sage, red pepper flakes, clove, soy sauce, and maple syrup. In the same pan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the flour. Whisk mixture until fragrant (about five minutes.) Whisk in the whole milk and heat mixture until slightly thick. Add milk mixture to the food processor that contains the mushroom mixture. Pulse until mushrooms are finely chopped and well incorporated into the milk, but leave some chunkiness for a nice texture. Return the whole thing to the pan and keep warm until ready to serve. If gets too thick, add some milk or stock to thin it out.

3-2-1 Drop Biscuits
3 tablespoons baking powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup 2% milk (more if mixture looks dry)
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in the shortening using your fingers until pieces are no larger than a pea. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add the milk. Using a rubber spatula, fold the milk into the dry ingredients -- but use as few strokes as possible. The less you stir the dough, the more tender your biscuits will be.
Using a medium ice cream scoop, scoop up a 1/4-cup portion of dough and drop it onto a parchment or silpat-lined baking sheet. Repeat until all dough has been used. (You should get about a dozen biscuits from this recipe.) Be sure to leave an inch or so between each biscuit, but don't be too particular about their shape -- drop biscuits are supposed to be rustic. Bake for 15 minutes or until the craggy edges are brown and crispy.

To serve, just split a biscuit and douse it with gravy. Garnish with a pinch of smoked paprika. It's perfect along with soft scrambled eggs.


Stacy Evans said...

That looks DELICIOUS. I'll definitely have to try those biscuits - I have biscuit issues, haha.

That's a mighty fine spatula you have there! ;) My first job was a tiny department store called SAAN - since gone bankrupt. :)

Bianca said...

Blockbuster Video! What is rubbed sage?

The Chubby Vegetarian said...

It's just dried sage as opposed to the fresh kind. It looks fluffy not powdered. I got mine at Penzeys. I remember your job at Blockbuster. They had a laminating machine..HA!

The Yogi Vegetarian said...

My first job was a Saturday job in a local restaurant to save up for uni. I would mostly waitress and sometimes wash up. I wasn't very good especially when things got busy, but I did learn to make a mean risotto!

Mel Spillman artwork said...

My first job was at Yogurt Temptations, a frozen yogurt place (with gourmet toppings and fancy flavors) in Germantown off Exeter in 1988! It was a fun job for a teenager :)
I know you did not ask, but my 2nd job was even cooler. I worked as a cashier at Mount Moriah Liquor for over 7 years! I was hardly 16 when I started there and it was AWESOME!

CJ said...

Hi I am new to your blog and I love it. I am a veggie too :). Loved your recipe!!

The Cozy Herbivore said...

My first job was as a cashier for the now-defunct chain of auto supply stores called Wheels. Which was really a terrible fit for me, as I didn't drive and had absolutely ZERO interests in cars. I remember one time a man asked me which aisle air filters were in, and I just looked at him blankly because I had no idea that cars had air filters. So, yeah.

Anyway, this gravy looks great-- gravy is one of those things I definitely miss from the meat world! And kudos to you for being such a cool McDonald's manager-- I've gotten some major eye rolls and crappy food whenever I've tried to order something vegetarian from Mickey D's!

Janice said...

I was 14 when I got my first job at a local flower shop. Sounds pretty? It wasn't. I was the youngest and got all the dirty, unglamorous work at the rate of $3.45/hour.

Anyway, gravy looks delish and something both me and my omnivore significant other will love. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

You deserve a medal for this. Just about licked my plate and then the pan. Thanks for posting

Heather said...

You guys seem to use lots of canola. I am curious what the preference is over say olive oil or grapeseed oil.

Canola oil even from wholefoods is still an unnatural food source and also genetically modified.

No judgement, just a curious fellow vegan :)

The Chubby Vegetarian said...

We use olive for most things unless we want a neutral oil that is without flavor or if we need to pan fry or fry. In that case we use canola.

It seems fine to us. I'll give grape seed oil a try.

Unknown said...

Good Blog ! Thick creamy gravy and mushroom gravy in it very much, thankyou for shearing. online food


Jess the Cook said...

I have the book and this is the second recipe I tried. The first was the jalepeno cornbread and I was very pleased with that.

This was very good with biscuits. I thought it was a tad bit sweet for my taste -- next time I'll add less maple syrup -- and wasn't quite salty enough. I love to toss mushrooms in a little bragg before cooking so that they soak up some flavor, so I'll do that next time.

However the gravy tasted very good with biscuits.I have a different biscuit recipe that's my fave, but I'll try these next time. I'm thinking about using the leftover gravy as a kind of po'woman's pasta sauce.