Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sweet Potato Biscuits with Chipotle Turkey Gravy

On "Black Friday" I try to stay home. I love making breakfast for the family and putting up the Christmas tree first. I think it puts things in a proper order in my mind. This particular Friday I made a recipe I had been working on this week.

I received an email from a teacher who has been to Space Camp. At the time, it was just such a sweet letter I had to look into what she was asking me about. I honestly, love getting mail like that and try to get things done quickly. This gal wanted to know how to make light fluffy sweet potato biscuits. She enjoyed them at her local whole foods market and wanted a recipe that would work. She wanted fluffy slightly sweet with a very light hint of spice. I was immediately intrigued. My adoration for sweet potatoes is almost as close as my bliss over blackberries. Space camp... I've never been there. I've never once claimed to be good enough at math to even go to Space Camp. Biscuit I can do. Smothered in a light buttermilk chipotle gravy with chunks of turkey sausage I can do. Gentleman...and ladies, begin countdown. Check your oven dials. It's time...

Tess' Sweet potato biscuits (yield 8 large or 16 small)
Dry ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
1/2 cup butter or (organic vegetable shortening)
1/2 tsp salt
2T sugar (or granulated fructose)
5 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Wet ingredients:
2/3 cup milk or buttermilk
1/3 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. I cook the sausage gravy at the same time I make the biscuits. Don't worry if you can't do both at the same time yet. It's not landing the shuttle.

First you will need to mash some sweet potato.
I prefer the fork smashing compared to the ever popular version many mothers see. You know, the kids chewing it and spitting it out version.
It takes about 1/2 a small sweet potato to make 1/3 cup mashed. Not much, right?
Combine the sweet potato with buttermilk or milk (or water if you are vegan). The colder the liquid the better.
In a separate bowl, combine the shortening or butter with the dry ingredients. Mix until the shortening has been cut into tiny pieces, the size of a pea. If you don't know what that looks like see:Tuesday Tutorial Pecan Pie. It has great pictures on what shortening cut into flour looks like in the pastry world.
Once the liquid ingredients are combined, add them to the flour/shortening mixture.
Pour wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix very gingerly (like my fancy talk?)
Until a light dough is formed. There will be lumps and pieces of sweet potato.
Knead the dough 4-5 times, then roll out on an floured counter top. It will be about as high as a...canning ring.
Place on ungreased baking sheet and bake 15-20 minutes.

It's still not as hot as re-entering the Earth's atmosphere in there.
While they bake you can make the sausage gravy.
Tess' buttermilk chipotle Turkey Gravy
1 lb lean mild turkey sausage
1 T minced chipotle pepper
1/4 cup minced onion
2T minced garlic
1/4 cup flour
2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda (you only need the baking soda if you use the real buttermilk here...)
2 cups milk (You may need a little more if you prefer a gravy on the thin side.)

In a large 16 inch family skillet with deep sides, cook the sausage over medium heat along with the chipotle pepper onion and garlic. When turkey is cooked through, add the flour and cook 3-4 minutes until dark. Add the soda and buttermilk (soda neutralizes the acid in the buttermilk so it doesn't curdle and you still get that nice slightly tart taste of the buttermilk...nice.) Add the rest of the milk stir constantly. Simmer 10-15 minutes, stir periodically. Serve over hot sweet potato biscuits. Wonderful with cranberry relish.
There you go. Thanks for the great letter Heather!

No comments: