Tag Archives: gravy

Bacon Gravy…omg!

This is the week before Mother’s Day and plans need to be made for all the glorious Moms out there!  My wonderful mother died three years ago and I’ve got to tell y’all, not a day goes by that I don’t think of her throughout the day.  She taught us so much beginning when we were small and instruction and advice ended the day she stopped speaking.  She was positively brilliant, wise, just, scrupulously honest and incredibly kind.  Even now, when I find myself in a pickle, I think to myself, “What would Mama do?”.  Funny, because I always know in my heart what she would have done.  To get her point across she would often tell me a story of something which happened when she was a girl on her father’s farm in Puerto Rico.  Growing up she lived in the country, outside of the town of Fajardo, with her parents, four sisters and five brothers.  My grandfather’s property sprawled down to the ocean, easily containing a cooling stream for the children to play and the boys to fish.  My grandmother had, I’ve been told, an exquisite rose garden.   My grandfather had horses and rode extensively to inspect his holdings.  The five boys all had horses and dogs but not the girls.  Oh my no! No.  The girls had china dolls, paints, smocks and easels, poetry…sigh.  That’s how it was in that household.  Anyway, Mama said when she was a little girl she was inside the house, standing next to an open window, simply looking out, longing to run free.  It was a glorious day.  The sun was shining brightly and fat bumblebees hovered over sweet meadow flowers giving Skipper, Swallowtail and Harlequin butterflies a run for their money.  Mama was stuck in the house with nothing fun to do while the boys were out having life altering adventures.  She stood quietly, staring out when, from around the corner of the house, came little Antonio, skipping along as happy as one could be.  Antonio was the youngest son of Pedro and Angelina, who lived on the farm.  Pedro drove my mother and her siblings to school and back everyday in my grandfather’s coach.  After dropping the children off, he continued into town with a list of items needed that my grandmother had drafted earlier in the morning.  Mama watched as her little friend pranced and hummed oblivious of any eyes on him.  He, too, was captivated by the beauty of the morning.  And then my mother thought, “Oh! I would give anything to be Antonio!”.  She watched as the boy disappeared into the meadow.  Minutes later she was still staring out of the window when she saw Angelina, Antonio’s mother, coming around the same corner of the house.  She, however, wasn’t happily ambling along.  No.  Oh, no.  She came angry and red in the face.  Her back was up and her blood was boiling.  In her hand Angelina slapped a brown leather belt while she bellowed, “Antonio!  Antonio!”.  Mama knew Antonio was going to get it and get it hard.  Her first thought was, “Oh, thank you, God, that I’m not Antonio! I don’t want to be anyone except myself!”.  And then Mama told me you never know what’s around the corner for other people, you never know what life is going to throw at you, be it good or bad  so be happy in your own self and with your life.  I’ve never forgotten that lesson, Mama, and I thank you for this one and so many others you’ve shared with us.  Happy Mother’s Day to all!

This is an old Southern recipe used when there’s no sausage to make gravy.  It’s heavenly!  Serve it over biscuit or country fried steak.  In the photos I made home fries topped with thick, broiled tomato slices.  There may have been fresh mozzarella melted on the tomatoes:)  Over the cheese I heaped flash sautéed fresh spinach, I covered the spinach with a fried egg and finished with a liberal pour of bacon gravy.  Sounds like Mother’s Day brunch to me!

Bacon Gravy

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 10 thick cut slices bacon
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion or 1 small onion
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  •  2 cup half and half plus extra if needed to thin out gravy
  • salt and black pepper
  1. Cook bacon until crispy.  Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.  Reserve bacon drippings separately.
  2. To a heavy bottomed pan add two tablespoons of bacon drippings.
  3. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are soft.
  4. Add the flour and whisk thoroughly for a minute or two so the flour is cooked.
  5. Add 1/2 cup of half and half and continue whisking until the gravy has thickened.
  6. Continue adding the half and half in 1/2 cup increments until the gravy has thickened almost to the consistency you want.
  7. Crumble the bacon into the pan and whisk in.
  8. Continue whisking the gravy until it reaches the desired consistency.  Or if the gravy is too thick add a tablespoon or two of half and half and whisk in until the gravy is to your liking.
  9. Taste for salt and pepper and serve immediately.

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Potatoes…Smashed and Gravy

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Mashed potatoes and gravy are an integral part of the Thanksgiving feast.  A fluffy mountain of potatoes with a golden river of rich gravy slowly inching its way down the sides is a most beautiful thing to behold…especially if said plate is sitting in front of me!  I’ve mentioned before I’m completely enraptured with carbs and turkey is just not my poison.  So I’ll stick to the side dishes.  Mashed potatoes are a little boring to look at so I like to boil them skin on and smash them with an old-fashioned potato masher.  I use red skinned potatoes as they boil best.  And the red skin looks good in the finished product.  A 5-pound bag will feed six to eight people, however, I usually make extra because, well, we’re Americans.  We tend to eat more.  Especially around the holidays when we say bye-bye to self-discipline and resolution!  I don’t mash them until they are smooth.  I like to leave in some lumps for texture.  If you don’t want skin then you’ll need to peel the potatoes prior to boiling.  So grab your potatoes and wash them well under cold water making sure to get out all dirt from any crevices.  While they drain in a colander fill a large pot with cold water about 1/3 of the way up.  Peel potatoes, if desired, and rinse again.  Cut each potato into quarters and place in cold water.  Add a good tablespoon of salt to the water, cover pot and bring to a boil.  Cook for 20 minutes or until fork tender.  Drain well and place pot with potatoes on heat-resistant counter, cutting board or a cool stove top burner.  For a five-pound bag of potatoes add 1 stick of butter, an 8-ounce container of fat-free Greek yoghurt and 1 8-ounce package of cream.  Or you can stick with the tried and true cup of milk and one stick of butter.  Using a hand mixer or old-fashioned masher roughly break up butter, cream cheese and potatoes and mash to your liking.  A handful of freshly chopped chives is oh-so-good added right now.  If the potatoes are still too stiff add a bit of milk.  Taste for salt and serve or return to very low heat, covered, for no more than 45 minutes.  This is not a do-ahead dish and cannot be frozen.  But any leftovers can be mixed with a little flour and egg for some GREAT potato pancakes!

Okay, now let’s talk gravy.  remember all those vegetables that propped up your turkey in the roasting pan?  If not check my last post, The Glorious Bird.  Put all the roasted vegetables in a medium size to large pot.  Add a cup of chicken stock or broth into the roasting pan and whisk all the little brown bits and pieces left on the bottom and sides of the pan.  Pour this also in the pot with the vegetables.  Add 1 tablespoon of Gravy Master to the pot and puree mixture with an immersion blender until smooth.  If you don’t have an immersion blender you can also make the gravy in an upright blender, pulsing and blending until smooth.  Taste for salt and pepper.  Sometimes it needs a little garlic powder or onion powder.  If it needs a little thinning add a little more chicken stock or broth to the pot.  Adjust accordingly.  And that’s it.  It is gorgeous!!!