Last weekend, we were taking a break from our usual Jumbars breakfasts to let them deal with the restaurant week crowds, and my husband asked for sausage gravy and biscuits (a favorite of his from when he lived in NC). Unfortunately, breakfast sausage is not a staple in our home (we really only eat breakfast on Sundays), so I told him he was out of luck. Well, dedicated as Kevin is when he knows what he wants, he found this recipe and asked me to make it. Of course, I can’t just follow a recipe, so I added some mushrooms and garlic and some different herbs, and the result was amazing! The mushrooms gave the sausage a nice meaty texture, and the seasonings totally allowed it to taste like sausage. I don’t know that I’ll ever make sausage gravy using sausage again!
Sausage-less Gravy for Biscuits
- 2 T. butter
- 2 T. flour
- 1 clove garlic (Apple Ridge Farm)
- 4 mushrooms (Pure Sprouts)
- 1/2 T. dried sage (my garden)
- 1/2 T. dried rosemary (my garden)
- 1/2 T. dried thyme (my garden)
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1.5 c. milk (Keepsake Farm)
- 2 biscuits, english muffins or toast
- Dice mushrooms and mince garlic.
- Melt butter in deep skillet or saucepan.
- Add mushrooms and garlic to pan. Cook and stir until mushrooms are slightly browned.
- Add sage, rosemary and thyme, plus salt & pepper, cooking for a minute until just fragrant.
- Sprinkle flour over butter and mushroom mixture and whisk until it reaches a paste-like consistency.
- Add milk all at once and whisk constantly until mixture is thickened and creamy.
- Serve over split biscuits, english muffins or toast
Sausage-less Gravy & Biscuits
One of Kevin’s signature dishes is saffron risotto (or “yellow rice,” as he calls it). His grammy in Delaware taught his family this recipe, and it is by far one of his favorite dishes. For many years, Kevin was the only one who prepared this dish for us since he was so particular about it, but I’ve finally gotten the confidence to make it myself (although I still call him in to make sure it is ready to add the Parmesan cheese). He insists in should be made in a dutch oven and stirred with a wooden spoon. This year, as part of a Christmas gift, his grammy gave him a box of rice and some of the signature saffron packets she uses to create the golden-hued, creamy dish. So, after I cooked up my vats of turkey stock, we put some to use making a big pot of risotto. We paired the risotto with a hash of sorts, blending mushrooms, spinach and smoked turkey into a spicy winter meal.
Kevin’s Saffron Risotto (or Yellow Rice)
Ingredients (I forgot to include parmesan & pepper in the picture!)
- 1 c. rice
- 2 cans worth (about 28 oz.) chicken or turkey broth (we used homemade turkey stock)
- half a 1/220 oz. packet saffron or a few threads saffron, crushed
- 3 T. butter (Flint Hill Farm)
- palmful grated parmesan cheese (Klein Farm)
- ground black pepper
- Melt butter over med-high heat in large dutch oven.
- Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly browned and nutty smelling.
- Reduce heat to low and add one quarter of the chicken broth to the rice, saffron and some black pepper. Stir well.
- Simmer over low heat until liquid is almost completely absorbed into rice.
- Add another quarter of the broth and some more black pepper. Stir well.
- Repeat simmering until liquid is almost absorbed, adding a little more broth and pepper, and stirring, until all broth is used. Stirring upon each addition is important—It’s what makes the risotto creamy!
Kevin using his nose to see if the risotto needs more black pepper.
- When the last of the broth is nearly absorbed, add the parmesan cheese and stir.
- Serve hot.
Smoked Turkey Hash
- Smash garlic and sauté in a little olive oil until fragrant.
- Slice mushrooms and add to garlic & olive oil.
- Add cumin, paprika, and hot sauce. Sauté until mushrooms are lightly browned.
- Chop turkey and add to mushroom mixture. Sauté until turkey is heated through.
- Add spinach and cook until just wilted.
Saffron Risotto & Smoked Turkey Hash
We’ve been eating a bit less meat than usual, trying to save money so we can make up for Irie’s vet visits. Kevin works manual labor out in the cold all day, so a warm hearty meal tends to be in order for the evening in the cold months. Since I started eating mushrooms last year, we’ve grown to enjoy using them as an inexpensive substitute for meat pretty frequently—You hardly notice the difference! Fortunately, the root vegetables that grow in our area at this time of year are also inexpensive and nutrient packed, so we were able to put together this awesome, filling dish for pennies per serving.
Mushroom & Root Veggie Shepherd’s Pie
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Peel and chop sweet potatoes and 2 of the turnips. Place in pot and cover with water. Add one whole, peeled clove of garlic.
- Boil until tender, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mince remaining garlic and chop leek or onion, celery and jalepeño, if using.
- Sauté garlic, leek, celery and jalepeño in olive oil in large skillet until onion is translucent.
- Peel and chop remaining turnips and carrot, then add to skillet. Continue to cook and stir until turnips have begun to soften and turn golden.
- Slice mushrooms and add to skillet. Sauté 1-2 minutes, or until mushrooms begin to caramelize.
- Add 1 can beer, applesauce, thyme and sage.
- Bring beer to boil, then reduce heat and let simmer until reduced by half.
hearty mushroom & root veggie filling
- When sweet potatoes and turnips boiling in water are tender, strain them.
- Add 1/2 can beer, a few tablespoons of olive oil and salt & pepper, then mash sweet potatoes and turnips until smooth, adding more beer if necessary.
creamy sweet potato & turnip mash
- Transfer mushroom mixture to 8×8″ casserole dish.
- Spread mashed sweet potatoes and turnips over mushroom mixture.
- Brush top of sweet potato mixture with olive oil.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until topping is golden and filling is bubbly.
- Serve warm with hearty bread and salad.
Mmm. We enjoyed this with some Apple Ridge Farm dinner rolls.
In using up the contents of my all local bin from Pure Sprouts last week, I decided to make a leek and shiitake pizza on a whole wheat crust. The crust was earthy, complimenting the mushrooms, and a roasted garlic cream sauce (which would be excellent on pasta, too!) balanced nicely with the slight bite of the leeks. Making your own crust is always a plus, but you could also start this pizza off with a premade crust (Apple Ridge Farm sells some!). To save even more time, roast a bunch of garlic ahead of time, then squeeze the cloves out of the papery skin and freeze them for easy access to slow-cooked flavor. I’ll post the ingredients and directions for the crust, sauce and entire pie separately so you can pick and choose as you like!
Leek & Shiitake Pizza
Pizza Crust Ingredients:
Whole Wheat Crust Ingredients
- 1 T. sugar
- 1.5 c. warm water
- 1 (.25 oz) pkg dry yeast
- 3 T. olive oil
- 2 c. whole wheat flour
- 1.75 c. white flour
- 1.5 tsp. salt
- Whisk 1 1/3 c. warm water with sugar in bowl. Sprinkle yeast on top and set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes.
- Add olive oil and stir.
- Place flour and salt in large mixer bowl fitted with dough hook.
- Add yeast mixture and mix until dough is smooth and elastic. (You can also knead the mixture by hand for about 5 minutes.)
- Divide dough in half and form into balls.
- Place each half in a greased bowl, then flip dough over so all sides are greased. Cover with dish towels and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Roll out each crust or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze. (I prebake the second crust without toppings and freeze it for a really fast dinner another night!)
I didn't prick my crust before baking without toppings, so it bubbled up a bit.
Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce Ingredients:
Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce Ingredients
- 5 T. olive oil
- 4 T. flour
- 1.5 c. milk (Keepsake Farm)
- 1 head garlic (Apple Ridge Farm)
- pinch each of rosemary, thyme and sage (my garden)
- salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°. (If using the sauce right away on pizza, place pizza stone in oven while cold)
- Slice off top 1/4″ of garlic head, exposing cloves, and drizzle it with 1 T. of the olive oil.
Garlic Head to Roast
- Wrap tightly in foil and bake for 35 minutes, or until garlic is soft.
- When garlic is done, heat remaining olive oil in saucepan.
- Squeeze garlic cloves from skin into saucepan, mashing garlic with spoon into olive oil.
- Add flour and stir until paste-like.
- Whisk in milk and add herbs, salt and pepper.
- Simmer 15-20 minutes, or until thickened.
- 1 leek (Pure Sprouts)
- 6 shiitake mushrooms (Mother Earth mushrooms via Pure Sprouts)
- 1/2 c. mozzarella cheese (Groffdale Meadows Dairy)
- black pepper to taste
- 1 pizza crust
- 1 c. roasted garlic cream sauce
- Preheat oven to 425°. (If using pizza stone, put it in cold oven and allow to preheat)
- Roll out pizza dough to 14″ round and place on cornmeal coated pizza peel or baking sheet.
- Spread sauce over pizza crust.
- Slice white part of leek and shitakes, then sprinkle them over sauce.
- Grate cheese over vegetables and sprinkle with pepper.
- If using pizza stone, slide pizza from peel onto stone, or place baking sheet into oven and bake pizza for 13-18 minutes, or until crust is done to your liking.
- Serve hot with any leftover cream sauce for crust dipping!
Leek & Shiitake Pizza