Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Vegan Sausage and Beer Gravy over Cheddar, Scallion and Cilantro "Buttermilk" Biscuits with Fried Dill and Dandelion Green

If you're from the right part of the gold ole US of A, you know of a place called Bob Evan's. I'd call it a restaurant, but people in the know understand that it's more like kitchy, interactive dinner theatre. Let me first paint a pretty picture...

Red and white checkered table cloths, waitresses named "Fran" and "Ethel" that ask "What'll it be, sweet pea" in a raspy, twangy voice, biscuits that melt in your mouth like the butter smeared all over them, good pie, and lastly, a smoking section. As their slogan indicates, Bob Evan's truly is a "Down On The Farm" establishment.

Don't get me wrong...I'll always love B.E.s. But I had and heard my share of weird experiences that slightly taint my nostalgia. For example, my best friend, a vegetarian, ordered scrambled eggs and hash browns. As she's mid-chow, she looks up. Her face turns cracker-ass white.

"What?!" I ask, thinking she's about to start waving her hands in the air and I'm going to have to Heimlich.

"There's a piece of chicken in my hash browns!" She screams.

Vomiting and messiness ensue. Not to mention they only comp'd part of the check.

What? We're both Jews.

Part 2. Same friend that ate the chicken infused hash browns actually gets a job waiting tables at Bob Evan's. In her first few weeks of work, she has the pleasure of waiting on a large African American woman in a brand new ALL WHITE track suit. Best friend accidentally spills a glass of grape juice on said all white track suit clad African American woman, and almost looses her life.

Lastly, there was Rus. Rus seemed like a nice young man at first. Best friend was about to get off of work, so I decided to cozy up at Bob's breakfast counter and down some coffee to fuel our night of partying. One of her co-workers, aka Rus, took an immediate fancy with me. Before my best friend could stop me, he had my number in hand. Turns out Rus was a bit of a creepy creepster stalker. One horrendous date (let's just say it involved heavy metal and learning to drive stick shift), 50 phone calls from him a day and one week later, it had to end. I tried to let him down gently. I had to drop kick him to finally get the phone calls to end. It took a little over two months, but he finally gave up. Best friend still hasn't let me live that one down.

Bad stories aside, I still have a special place in my heart for Bob's place. I can't really eat there anymore...haven't in a long time, really. But damn do I miss my childhood feastings on their sausage, biscuits and gravy. Hell I just miss the damn biscuits.

I decided my own version was in order. Happy Halloween!

Vegan Sausage and Beer Gravy over Cheddar, Scallion and Cilantro "Buttermilk" Biscuits with Fried Dill and Dandelion Green

For the Biscuits...
• 2 1/3 cups Full Fat Soy Milk (4-5g per serving)
• 3/4 cup Vegan Sour Cream
• 3 TBSP White Vinegar
• 4 3/4 cups All Purpose Flour
• Heaping 1/2 TBSP Salt
• 1/3 cup Baking Powder
• 1/3 cup Vegan Sugar
• 1/3 cup finely diced Scallions
• 1/2 cup fresh Cilantro Leaves, chopped fine
• 1/2 Daiya Vegan Cheese Shreds (or other Vegan Cheddar, finely grated)

For the "Sausage"...
• 1 16 oz Original Field Roast Classic Meatloaf, or 2 packages of Gardenburger Breakfast
Sausage patties
• 6 TBSP Olive Oil, divided in half
• 2 cloves Garlic, minced
• 1/2 cup Fresh Dill Leaves
• 2 cup Dandelion Greens, halved crosswise and stems removed
• 1 Leek, top removed, split lengthwise, cleaned and thinly sliced
• 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
• 1 cup prepared Better Than Bouillon's No Beef Broth
• 1/2 cup Vegan Dark Ale of your choosing
• 1 1/2 TBSP Cornstarch mixed with 1 1/2 TBSP Cold Water (optional, for further thickening)
• Salt and Pepper, to taste

To make the Biscuits...

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Prepare a lightly floured work surface or large cutting board.

Make the "Buttermilk" by whisking the soy milk and vegan sour cream together until fully combined. Stir in the white vinegar, and set aside for at least 5 minutes until thickened. Once thickened, mix the scallions and vegan cheddar into the "Buttermilk".

In the bowl of a stand mixer or large mixing bowl, completely combine the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar on a low speed or by hand. Turn the mixer up to medium, then slowly pour in the "Buttermilk", scallions and vegan cheddar until the mixture just comes together.

Quickly turn the dough out onto the lightly floured work surface, then roll the dough out to a 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch round cooking cutter or the rim of a drinking glass, cut circles out of the dough and place on a greased or parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, then set on a cooling rack until ready to serve.

To make the "Sausages" and Gravy...

If you're using the Field Roast Classic Meatloaf, cut into 12 slices. If you're using the Gardenburger Breakfast Sausage patties, make sure they're defrosted well.

In a large saucepan, heat the first 4 TBSP of olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook the "sausage" in batches until browned and thoroughly cooked through, then remove from pan and place on a plate. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm, and set aside.

Add the second 4 TBSP of Olive Oil to the saucepan, and turn the heat up to high. Once the oil is hot, carefully add the dill, dandelion greens, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, then fry for 1 minute. Remove the dandelion greens and as much of the fried dill as possible from the pan. Reduce the heat to medium, add garlic and leek and cook until soft.

Sprinkle the cooked leeks with 1/2 cup of flour, and stir well to combine. Then slow pour in the No Beef Broth and Ale, stirring until all the lumps of flour are completely eliminated.

Bring the gravy to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer until thickened to your liking. If you like your gravy very thick, whisk in the cornstarch/cold water blend and simmer for a few minutes longer. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To serve...
Split each Biscuit in half lengthwise, the serve topped with browned "sausage" and gravy.


Anonymous said...

if these really taste like bob evans biscuits sans lard, give me one.

danamite said...

i just twittered this all over the innerwebs with the word mouthgazm - that is very not my style but you PROVOKED ME! wow - this recipe and image might do me in. INCREDIBLE! i am so all over this this weekend... AND most of the ingredients are possible for the rural vegans - you know the ones who don't have the amazing access that you guys do to the amazing amazingness... although i think we will plan our next venture to Portland around some meet up of yours... if they are friendly to hicks from the Canada?!!?!

The Voracious Vegan said...

AMAZING as always! Delicious food, hilarious stories, your blog is the best. Thank you for always sharing your brilliance!

Amanda Rock said...

you are amazing. i can't wait to eat that!!

Tami said...

I feel your B.E. pain. Definitely trying those biscuits!

Jenn Shagrin said...

Yes, they do. I'd happily hand some over if there were any left :)

Thank you so much! I try to throw in an easier one here and there. Let me know how it turns out! And I'm pretty sure P Town is a friendly one :)

Anonymous said...

jenn, you can imagine how fucking delicious this looks to me....considering i just a microwaved boca burger patty.

I WANT THIS NOW. considering this recipe uses daiya and burger crumbles...i think i may actually be skilled enough to make it. I'M GONNA TRY!

Jes said...

Ohhh Bob Evans. It always scared me a bit, actually, and I could never get myself to eat there more than twice in my life. But it does ring nostalgia...

and fancy biscuits and gravy?! Awesome!

Trinity (of haiku tofu) said...

Ah, Rus... with the good country food comes the good country weirdos. love it.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what Bob Evan's is, but this looks fantastic!

Sophia said...

Man, you tell the best stories! That was so funny I chocked a little on my coffee! One time when I was eating at an Italian restaurant there ended up being a piece of chicken in my ravioli, hidden under marinara sauce and portabellas. It was comped (and I got a new one, and luckily only taken a few bites on the opposite side of the plate) and we got free dessert. But let these stories be a warning to all Veggies out there when dining at a non-veg restaurant, inspect your food first! I always do now.;)

Ratsofritz said...

I can't wait to try this recipe! Seriously, I need to leave work now and troll the suburbs for dandelion greens. Biscuits! I'm delirious with anticipation...

Jenn Shagrin said...

Thank you! You'll have to let me know how they turn out :)

janelle said...

Love the stories!! I recently had a similar experience as your friend with the chicken. I ordered a BEAN burrito and when I bit into it, it was full of ground beef! I turned white, spit it everywhere and screamed! I got the waitress and told her I don't eat meat (while crying my big pregnant crocodile tears). They gave us the bean burrito and the meal for free. I'm such a drama queen, lol!

I gave you a blog award, you can see it/ pick it up at my blog! Have a Happy Halloween!

Mihl said...

Oh, those biscuits are calling my name!
Will you include all your wonderful stories in your cookbook? You are such a funny and talented writer, I am always looking forward to the stories you provide with your recipes. Go, write a novel :D

Unknown said...

This looks great! How many biscuits does this yield?

Jenn Shagrin said...

Thank you! It depends on how big you make them. My recipe yielded around 30 smaller biscuits.

Ratsofritz said...

Oh my,I did something terribly wrong.I have had call to utter these words many times in my life, but never with as much woe as today.I was so excited to try this recipe because, as with all of your posts, it looked amazing. Despite my careful choice of fresh quality ingredients and attention to detail, my biscuits were devoid of flavor and everything else just went down hill from there. What I produced was an abomination. I love to cook and I'm reasonably good at it, but the culinary gods did not smile on me this day.

Jenn Shagrin said...

Wow...I'm sorry you had that experience. My dinner guests really enjoyed them. Maybe email me and we can figure out what didn't work?

Jenn Shagrin said...

Wow...I'm sorry you had that experience. My dinner guests really enjoyed them. Maybe email me and we can figure out what didn't work?

Ratsofritz said...

Your recipes are AMAZING and I'm in no way blaming you or the recipe for what I produced, that would not be cool or sane. I'm just not much of a baker, I need a new stand mixer, and I just had a bad day in the kitchen. I'll live to try the recipe again, and I might take you up on your offer to figure out what the hell I did so wrong. I love your blog and I'll be one of the first in line to buy your cookbook when it comes out.

Jenn Shagrin said...

No worries! I'm just a perfectionist :)