I woke up after my passing-out-in-a-coma-after-staff-meeting nap, hungry for comfort food. The wind was blowing and it almost felt like winter, which made me hungry for sausage gravy. Brazil has fantastic sausage but it's not quite right for this dish. And I am technically allergic to pork; I had hotdogs for breakfast at the children's home (don't ask!) and my left thumb is now a stiff little thing that refuses to join in typing up this post. So now I'm on a hunt for a vegetarian sausage gravy recipe that uses no artificial sausage products, which aren't available out here in meat-lover's paradise.
I had to do some combining, some guessing, but the end result is really good. Tastes like home. My biggest complaint is my own laziness; had I browned the TVP longer, I think it would have kept a better texture. Or maybe I should have made patties and fried them...because what I ended up with was kind of soggy crumbles in a tasty gravy. But the gravy has all the flavor I expected; a little spicy, full of sage and garlic. Because there's no pig fat in the recipe, I felt free to use liberal amounts of butter and cream. Don't fool yourself by the vegetarian title. This is certainly NOT a diet recipe!
Vegetarian Sausage Gravy
2 cups flour
1/2 t salt
1 T baking powder
1/2 cup cold butter (or a mix of butter and stick margarine, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup creme de leite (thick cream)
1/2 cup milk
Mix dry ingredients, then work the butter into the flour using your fingers, until crumbly. Add the milk and creme, turn out onto a lightly floured workspace and roll out, cut biscuits. Cook in a 425 oven for about 12 minutes.
Mince and saute in 2 T oil:
1/2 medium onion
3-5 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp each mustard seed, coriander seed, cumin, thyme (ground or whole)
1 T sage
1 tsp salt
black pepper and/or cayenne to taste
(any other spices you might have on hand that you think would taste good)
1/2 tsp soy sauce
a couple drops of worstershire sauce
1/2 cup TVP dry
1/4 cup water
Let simmer and dry out a little. You want some of the TVP granules to stick to the bottom of the pan and get almost burnt; this is going to give "flavor" to the gravy. When the TVP mixture is how you like it (check for seasonings), sprinkle about 1 T flour and a scant 2 T butter over the whole thing and stir. Let brown a little more, then add milk to reach the thickness of gravy you prefer. Serve hot over biscuits.