Saturday, May 9, 2009

I found an interesting recipe a while back that simply said it was from the South. I love Southern cooking. I know, it's not all that healthy but sometimes it just tastes so good. And I have the philosophy that if you deprive yourself you're just going to end up eating double of it later. So every once in a while I indulge. Fried food (I love making egg rolls), gravies or rich desserts. This particular recipe was like hitting the lottery. It was going to satisfy two of those cravings at once! Mmm... I couldn't wait to try Chocolate Gravy.

No, that's not a typo, Chocolate Gravy. Sure, it sounded gross but the ingredients were nothing unusual. It was just the idea of chocolate gravy. If I'd called it Chocolate Sauce I wouldn't have seen the "Are you out of your mind?!" looks from my family. As it turns out, getting around the name wasn't the hard part. Since the description was so sparse it didn't tell me if this was something Southerners served at breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert. And because of that it sat around the house, haunting me, for weeks. Yesterday morning I woke up and decided to make a "fun" breakfast.

Chocolate Gravy hails from the southern region of the Appalachian Mountains, covering the area of range from Alabama up to Kentucky and although pinpointing a specific origin wasn't possible, I did find numerous mentions of it being served in Georgia. Most often the recipes were handed down from grandmothers. It turns out that this mining region, stereotyped as hillbilly, redneck or a quaint backwater has actually been the starting place for many famous leaders, musicians, literary figures, innovators and some important social movements. Famous figures such as Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Nina Simone, Pearl S. Buck (first American woman to win the Nobel Prize), Thomas Wolfe and Cormac McCarthy to just name a few. I figured if all these good things were gifts from that part of the nation then who was I to say Chocolate Gravy wasn't worth a try?

As it turns out, buttermilk biscuits smothered in chocolate gravy with a few fresh strawberries on the side is my new favorite breakfast. Oh, I served a ham and cheese omelet too but I made sure I ate my dessert first. I did find many recipes that use fresh milk instead of canned but this one posted by Nancy Sneed was the one I found first so it's the one I started with. I did have to make some changes to the original recipe, which I've noted, and I elaborated on the instructions as they were very simple. I hope you enjoy this treat as much as we did. I think it would be a fun way to celebrate Valentine's Day with the whole family.

Chocolate Gravy

1 Cup sugar
3 Tablespoons flour
4 Tablespoons cocoa (I used Dutch processed cocoa)
1 dash of salt (I used fine ground sea salt)
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk (I had to use two 5 oz cans + 1 Tbl 2% milk)
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Fresh buttermilk biscuits (or a tube of refrigerated Pillsbury biscuits)

Mix dry ingredients in small saucepan.
Add evaporated milk and stir.
Cook on medium to medium high heat until the mixture thickens, stirring frequently.
When the chocolate is the consistency of gravy, add the butter and vanilla. Stir well to combine.
Serve over buttermilk biscuits.

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TinksTreats by Lorilyn Tenney is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License