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