For a long time I'd only heard about Biscuits and Gravy, the American comfort food from my friends in the US. I finally got to taste them in 2010 as a part of the all you can eat Sunday brunch plate at the Sugar Plum Vegan Café in Sacremento. It was everything I'd expected it to be and more.
This evening, while I was going through an old baking book looking for a Sourdough Bread recipe, I chanced upon a recipe for biscuits and the memory of that breakfast came flooding back. I was overcome by a craving for Biscuits and Gravy and I decided right at that moment that I'd be having it for dinner, no matter how long it took me to prepare it.
As it turned out, it took me barely 30-35 minutes to make this from start to finish. It's hard to believe that deeply satisfying, hit-the-spot kind of food like this is so simple to whip up.
Biscuits are commonly made with all purpose flour but I made mine with whole wheat and they turned out deliciously flakey and crunchy on the outside. A perfect combination with thick, creamy gravy. This also made them healthier than traditional biscuits.
Healthier but not completely healthy. There's an insane amount of baking soda and baking powder used in biscuit recipes. And a lot of fat/oil too. This leaves one with a bloated tummy effect that raising agents usually cause. Nothing that a small swig of Oman Water can't fix, but now I do understand why this is traditionally a breakfast dish and not a dinner dish. haha
I am going to figure out a way to drastically reduce or eliminate the baking powder and soda the next time I make it though. But for now, the biscuit recipe below is totally worth trying! So yum!!!
1 1/2 C Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Sugar
2-3 T Thick Coconut Oil (or vegan margarine)
1/4 C Cashew Mylk (or other vegan mylk)
1 tsp Vinegar
1/2 C Peanut Mylk Curds (or other vegan yogurt)*
Preheat oven to 220 C / 425 F
Line a baking sheet with foil.
Sieve together the dry ingredients.
Add the coconut oil and rub well to form crumbs.
Whisk the vinegar into the cashew mylk.
Pour the cashew mylk into the dry ingredients and mix.
Slowly add enough of the peanut mylk yogurt to form a soft, slightly sticky dough.
Make a ball and place on a floured surface.
With a floured rolling pin, roll it out into a 1/2 inch thick sheet.
Cut out rounds using a cookie cutter or the edge of a cup/tumbler.
Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
*If you don't have any vegan yogurt at home then just whisk the vinegar into 3/4 C of vegan mylk instead of 1/4 C and use that.
I looked up gravy recipes and realized that a gravy consists of three main elements. A creamy sauce that's been thickened with the use of a roux. Chunks of something soft/chewy for texture. And interesting spices/flavours. As long as these three are in place, the gravy can be made of any combination of things. So I just used what I had at home and concocted my own version of gravy. I wasn't sure how it would taste but it turned out so delicious that I had to immediately record the recipe so I wouldn't forget it.
2-3 T Olive Oil
1 tsp Garlic - roughly chopped
1/2 tsp Celery (leaves, not stalk) - finely chopped
2 Cherry Peppers (or any other spicy chillies) - chopped
Pinch of Freshly Crushed Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1 small block Tofu - cubed
1 1/2 C + 1/4 C Cashew Mylk (or other plant based mylk)
1 T Soy Sauce
1 tsp Sugar
1 T Corn Starch
1/4 tsp Tamarind Paste (or something else to add a wee bit of tang)
Salt (if required)
Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan/wok.
Add the chopped garlic, celery and chillies and stir fry for a minute on low heat.
Add the crushed black pepper and cinnamon and mix.
Add the tofu cubes and stir fry for a couple of minutes.
Pour in 1 1/2 C cashew mylk, soy sauce and sugar, mix well and allow to simmer.
Meanwhile, whisk together the corn starch and the remaining 1/4 C cashew mylk.
Pour into the sauce slowly and stir continuously until the mixture thickens.
Turn off the heat.
Add tamarind paste and mix well.
Taste and add a bit of salt if required.
Slice biscuits in half and ladle the gravy over them.
Enjoy hot! :)