I LOVE GRAVY. I love mashed potatoes and gravy, rice and gravy with fried chicken, biscuits and red eye gravy for breakfast, French bread dipped in au jus, tomato gravy, sesame gravy on brown rice.
In my neck of the woods, Biscuits and Gravy for breakfast is made from browning crumbled bulk sausage, then using flour and milk to make a gravy, with plenty of black pepper. It is then served over piping hot biscuits.
Not sure if it is still the case, but I have heard more than one veteran from the U.S. Navy speak of enjoying S.O.S. (Sh*t-on-a-Shingle) while aboard ship. That recipe uses dried chipped beef to make the gravy which is served over toast. It is delicious!
I recently stumbled upon a fun food blog, The Egg Farm. The blogger, Mary, had made a country gravy with eggplant, to serve over biscuits. I fell in love with the concept.
I didn't really follow her recipe, but I have to give her credit for the idea--I'm pretty sure I would have never thought of this. Because I started with a "zebra" eggplant, one that is paler purple in color and streaked with white, with much thinner skin than the classic dark purple eggplant, I didn't bother to peel it. It gives my gravy a darker appearance than the one Mary made.
I took some other shortcuts with Mary's recipe and also served it over toast because
Vegetarian Sawmill Gravy
1 medium eggplant, peeled if desired, finely diced
1 small, sweet onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 - 3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. each sage, thyme, fennel, red pepper flakes
Pinch each ginger and nutmeg
2 Tbsp. flour
1 cup milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the eggplant and onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown. Add the garlic and all the spices, stirring for about 30 seconds.
Sprinkle the flour onto the vegetables and stir well. Cook for a minute or two then stir in the milk. Continue cooking and stirring until the gravy has the desired consistency. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Serve over toast, biscuits, rice, or noodles with roasted tomatoes.
For roasted tomatoes, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash tomatoes but don't bother to peel or core. Cut the tomatoes in half and place cut side up on a rimmed baking pan. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes. As you can see the tomato skins slip right off, but during cooking they hold in the juices.