So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.Isaiah 41:10
The most versatile and important meal of the day in my opinion is breakfast. I have not always been a huge breakfast eater, especially during the week, but over the last few years I have realized how important it is to start my day off on the right foot with a nourishing meal. Growing up, weekends were always reserved for a big breakfast from my mom. Saturdays were usually a quick bite after we had spent the morning going to yard sales with my aunt and cousins, so on Sunday she went all out!
My absolute favorite breakfast is a country ham biscuit with tomato. It’s frequently my choice when we are back home and grabbing breakfast at our favorite local breakfast spot, Glendas (side note: you can also not go wrong with getting their classic chicken biscuit and a sweet tea!).
I made a special gravy for my ham this time around, called red eye gravy. Wikipedia tells us that the name is associated with President Andrew Johnson and his request for a gravy as red as the cooks eyes (he had apparently been out drinking all night). Mostly, the name comes from the fact that strong black coffee is used to deglaze the skillet after you have fried the ham.
I’ll never forget the first time I made red eye gravy. My cousin Amanda had decided to make her dad biscuits with country ham and red eye gravy. I have no clue what we put in that pan, but I remember he ate it and told us it was delicious! Those sweet memories are prized possessions, especially now that he has passed.
This recipe is the best biscuit recipe that I have found in some time. There are LOTS of theories in the South about what makes a good biscuit, butter vs. Crisco, and our personal one in our house, to use a biscuit cutter or to pinch and shape a biscuit. This recipe comes from Joanna Gaines cookbook, Magnolia Table. Jake had one of these when we were in Waco a while back, so I came home and gave them a try. A perfect rise with a great butter flavor!
- 4 cups self rising flour
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 pound salted butter, grated or small cubes
- 2 large eggs, plus a one egg brushing
- 1 1/2 cup buttermilk, plus 1 tablespoon for brushing
Whisk flour, baking powder, and baking soda together. Add butter and work with hands until butter pieces are the size of peas.
Stir two beaten eggs with a wooden spoon. Add buttermilk and stir until a sticky mash forms. Adjust if needed by adding more flour ( tablespoon at a time), or buttermilk until correct consistency is reached. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 mins. or overnight.
Flour your work surface with self rising flour. Use your hands flatten dough to a 1/2 inch thickness.
Use a floured biscuit (or cookie) cutter to form roughly 20 biscuits (this will depend on the size of your cutter). Scrape up scraps and continue to reform until you have used all the dough. NOTE: At this point you could place the cut biscuits on a parchment lined cookie sheet and freeze until solid. Then place them in a freezer bag for up to 2 weeks.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay biscuits together so that they touch, but do not overlap.
Whisk one large egg and 1 tablespoon of buttermilk together in a small bowl. Brush tops of biscuits with mixture using a pastry brush.
Bake at 400 degree on the center rack of oven for 15 to 20 mins., or until golden brown.
Red Eye Gravy
- 2 cups, strong black coffee
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
Mix hot coffee and brown sugar together. Cool slightly while you fry country ham. Once you have cooked the ham turn pan to medium. Deglaze pan with a whisk using the coffee mixture, being sure to scrape ham bits off the bottom of the pan.
To assemble biscuits, split a biscuit into halves and place 2 slices of country ham on each half. Use a spoon to pour desired amount of red eye gravy on each half. Enjoy!
I hope this recipe helps to make a new food memory to cherish, or to at least recall one with a cherished person in your life.
Until next time,