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Sunday, October 17

Sausage Gravy

I don't do breakfast nearly as often as I should.  In fact, I'll freely admit that it's part of the reason I'm not exactly svelte in size...eating a healthy breakfast reduces your overall intake of calories per day, which keeps you slimmer.  Of course, there are other reasons...my fascination for cooking, for one...but we won't get into that.  I'm also not going to preach on what makes a healthy breakfast. 

What I am going to do, though, is explain how to make one of the easiest additions to almost any breakfast...sausage gravy.  Maybe it's a southern thing, but having homemade gravy over biscuits is VERY popular where I live.  There's a bonus to this, too...you can pretty much use this same technique to make ANY kind of gravy...chicken, brown, etc.  You know me...I'm ALL about versatile!! 

One thing that's kind of a MUST HAVE for making gravy is a whisk.  Using a whisk will eliminate any lumps, making the gravy very smooth.  Since it's so useful for other things, it's a definite addition to any kitchen gadget list.  So, if you don't have one, get one...they're very inexpensive, and worth more then their weight in gold!!  On to making gravy...

SAUSAGE GRAVY

1/2 pound ground pork sausage (I highly recommend Jimmy Dean Maple flavored...it is EXCELLENT for this)
2-3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon onion powder (you can use 1/2 a small onion, chopped fine)
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, cook the sausage thoroughly, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks.  When it's done, use a slotted spoon, and remove it from the pan.  Set aside.

Pour off enough of the grease left over to bring it down to about 2 tablespoons (if you use the Jimmy Dean, you should have just the right amount left...it's fairly lean).  Return to heat, and sprinkle the flour into the grease.  Using the whisk, stir constantly until they blend well...it will be a rather thick paste when it's done...takes about 2 minutes of stirring.  Add the milk, and whisking constantly, blend it into the flour mixture.  Continue stirring until it starts to barely bubble...add the cooked sausage to the mixture, and bring to a light boil, still stirring.  Remove from heat, and allow to sit for about 5-6 minutes.  It will thicken as it cools, so stir it just before serving.  Makes enough for 4-5 generous servings.

Total time to make that?  About 10 minutes!!  Yes, it's THAT easy. 

Now, to alter that for other gravies, simply eliminate the sausage, and use bacon grease (I save mine in a jar in the fridge), or simply butter as the grease.  To make it brown, you'll need to cook the flour mixture for a while (that's called making a roux), typically 20-25 minutes, until it's the shade brown you want.  It's imperative to continually stir it when doing this...flour will burn fast, and you don't want that!!  To finish, use water, rather than milk, as the liquid (ONLY for dark gravies...stick with the milk for light ones).  Season to taste (I find that using similar seasonings in the gravy to what it's being served with works well), and allow to thicken a bit before using.

To end, gravy is not hard to make, and it's a nice "garnish" for alot of meals.  I have to go...I hear a plate of biscuits and gravy calling me!!  ENJOY!!!

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