There is one question you need to ask yourself at brunch. Ok, maybe two if you need to pick Bloody Mary or Mimosa, but I don’t like Bloody Mary’s.
The important question is: How much of a food coma can I be in after brunch?
This is especially important when brunching at Morning Glory in Philly. The line for a table is always long and the space inside is never enough for the amount of people eating, but the food. Oh the food. It is exactly what you need after a night out. But you need to decide if this a breakfast that will restore you and jumpstart a day of virtuous activity or if you will shuffle back to your bed and watch episodes of Sex and the City with the commentary while sipping a mimosa.
If sloth status is in your future and the specials menu has it, order the biscuits and gravy. The gravy is a creamy blanket of love studded with sausage, and it keeps fluffy biscuits warm with its porky love. It is a brick that your stomach needs to have. It is the dish that restored me after a night with my friend Amy and provided the belly sustenance for an afternoon of slushy frozen daiquiri’s at Fat Tuesday.
This dreamy breakfast popped back into my head when Timehop reminded me of a tweet that perfectly summed up this comforting dish: “The sausage gravy and biscuits at Morning Glory taste like Paula Deen, but in the best possible way.” The drum for biscuits and gravy kept pounding when I nearly assaulted a Target employee for a copy of Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings and found a recipe when flipping through the book.
Trying to lessen the food coma status of biscuits and gravy, I subbed out sausage for deeply caramelized mushrooms. You will feel slightly less comatose after eating biscuits and mushroom gravy but still extremely sated.
I brown crimini mushrooms over high heat like you would sausage, to develop a nice dark exterior. It takes time but doesn’t require much minding because stirring the mushrooms too often will make them steam instead of brown. While the mushrooms are cooking down, I stir together a quick drop biscuit dough.
Cheese makes basically everything better and swiss cheese and mushrooms are best friends. A shaggy pile of grated swiss is stirred into a basic biscuit dough. To help make my biscuits flaky, I grate frozen butter into the flour mixture. I’ve already got the box grater out for the cheese so it’s no work to turn the butter into luscious strands. Then the flour is wet with milk and stirred together into a sticky dough.
Gourmet’s recipe says there should be 12 biscuits but any time I make something I always end up with less than the suggested amount. I got 8 biscuits. If you are less greedy and make daintier dough mounds then you might reach the dozen.
Then while the biscuits are baking, you turn your attention back to the mushrooms. Grated onion and garlic melt into the sauteed mushrooms. To keep the flavor profile of sausage I stir in herbs that would be welcome in a sausage link. Ground fennel is added with salt and pepper. Later on sage and thyme make their way into the gravy, but not before you make a pseudo roux by sprinkling flour over the mushrooms. This helps thicken the stock and milk that are stirred into the skillet next.
The only thing that’s left to do is split open a biscuit, spoon on some gravy and lay on your couch with the plate of biscuits and mushroom gravy while you watch Housewives reruns.
- 4 Tbs unsalted butter
- 8 ounces mushroom, roughly chooped
- 1 Tsp salt
- ½ Tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ Tsp ground fennel
- 3 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 small onion, grated
- 3 tablespoons flour
- ¼ cup stock, vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 cups milk
- 2 sprigs of Thyme
- 2 Sage leaves, thinly sliced
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 6 tablespoons frozen unsalted butter, grated
- 1 1/2 cups grated Swiss cheese
- 1 cup milk
- Chop the mushrooms into bite-sized pieces.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat and melt 4 tablespoons of butter.
- Saute the mushrooms for at least 20 minutes to deeply brown them and build up their meaty flavor. Only stir every few minutes to give the mushrooms a chance to brown instead of steam.
- When the mushrooms are almost done cooking, grate one small onion and 3 cloves of garlic.
- Add them to the skillet with the mushrooms and continue cooking for a few more minutes to soften the onion and take the bite away from the garlic.
- Season with salt, pepper, and fennel
- Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and stir until the butter absorbs the flour. The mixture will look kind of gnarly with nubs of mushrooms coated with flour.
- Cook the mixture for another minute or so to cook out the raw flour taste. You need the flour so the liquid you're about to add will thicken into gravy.
- Drop the heat to medium low and stir in the vegetable stock and milk. Bring to a simmer and then let the gravy cook for 15 minutes.
- Before serving stir in the herbs and adjust the seasoning.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Stir together the dry ingredients.
- Using the large side of a box grater, grate the butter and swiss cheese and add to dry ingredients.
- Stir until the butter breaks down and is incorporated evenly into the flour.
- Add the milk and stir until combined.
- Drop 8 equal sized mounds of dough on the parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 16-18 minutes.
- Halfway through the baking process rotate the pan.