Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tomato Gravy & Biscuits

Tomato gravy & biscuits by Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books

 Before the tomatoes fade for another summer, do yourself a favor and make tomato gravy and biscuits for yourself and your family. This isn't the kind of "gravy" or "sauce" that you serve with pasta, just a creamy white gravy with chopped tomatoes, cooked up in a cast iron skillet and served over split buttermilk biscuits. 

My mother was a fine cook, but I did not grow up with this dish. I discovered it through other cooks and writers. Scott Peacock and Edna Lewis write about it in "Gift of Southern Cooking," and if I remember correctly, serve the gravy with fried chicken.
Cooks can spend a lifetime perfecting their biscuit recipes, and I've tried quite a few, but I always go back to the recipe on the back of the bag of White Lily self-rising flour, using whole fat buttermilk, when I can find it, and brushing the tops of the biscuits with melted butter.
This recipe can be made with bacon fat instead of butter. I usually serve bacon alongside and keep the butter in the gravy. 

Farmers' market heirloom tomatoes by Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books
Tomato Gravy

2 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 cup milk
1. In a heavy skillet, melt butter and saute onion until softened. Add garlic, salt and pepper and cook for another minute.

2. Sprinkle the flour over and cook, stirring well for another couple minutes.

3. Stir in the chopped tomato and cook for five more minutes. Slowly add the milk and bring to a simmer. Taste for seasoning, adjust. Serve warm with split buttermilk biscuits and a side of bacon.

Text & images copyright 2010, Lucy Mercer.


Nicole said...

Yum! We've got lots of yummy tomatoes just off the vine. I'll have to try this!

lucy@acookandherbooks said...

This is one of my favorite summertime dishes - I hope you enjoy it!