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Edited: I made this again yesterday (12/30/11), and I wanted to add some additional notes. See below.
I was telling a friend about this tasty delight last week so I decided I needed to make it and share it with you. It is undoubtedly Southern and very delicious. This is one of Mr. J’s family recipes. It’s not something I grew up eating so I had to get the deets from my MIL Mama D. Of course, it wasn’t that easy, as she learned to make it by throwing in a little of this and a little of that…it’s perfect for a lazy Sunday morning, a brunch “dessert,” or even for brinner, if you’re feeling crazy.
2 1/2 c sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 c flour
1 stick butter
7-8 cups of water (divided)
Mix dry ingredients and stir to smooth out lumps. Mix in about 3 cups of water and add butter. Start on med-high and watch closely. Stir continuously until it starts to thicken. Reduce heat to med and add more water (2 cups or so). Keep stirring! Add 2-3 more cups water in total gradually until final consistency is like gravy. Serve over biscuits.
I made half a recipe of gravy and biscuits, and it was more than enough for the two of us. We’ll probably have enough gravy for leftovers. If you have any left over, add water and warm in a saucepan. Make a fresh batch of biscuits, and you’re good to go.
The full recipe makes a HUGE amount. I made a half batch, and it was still enough for more than 1 batch of biscuits…I usually make half for us, so that’s a lot! I mixed up the full recipe and saved half as “mix” for later.
This would make a great gift. Just put the dry ingredients mixture in a bag or jar with a recipe for biscuits, the directions for the gravy, and wet ingredients needed, and I promise you’ll be famous!
This time I subbed out half of the water for milk to make it a little more rich, and I added 1/2 t of salt to the half recipe.
When you go to reheat leftovers, add a little water at a time to thin it out. The last two times I’ve reheated, I’ve added way too much water, and it was impossible to get it to thicken back up the right way. Runny gravy = 🙁
The main ingredients in this gravy are flour and water, and if you’ve never made a parade float before, you might not know that this combination makes a great glue. Make sure you wash your pan, utensils, and plates immediately or the gravy will turn into concrete and make clean up not so fun!
Last week, Mr. J smoked ribs and grilled chicken for his coworkers. I’ve heard lots of good things, so it must have been a success! Here’s the run-down straight from Mr. J…
So here’s how I did the ribs. As for the chicken, well if I give that one away, nobody will come visit me anymore. 😉
- 4 tablespoons sweet paprika
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground white pepper
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
Combine all dry ingredients – makes about a cup, which was just enough for 6 racks of baby backs.
Neely’s sauce recipe (served on the side, but they really don’t need it IMO):
- 2 cups ketchup
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 5 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
- 1/2 tablespoon ground mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Combine, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for 1 hour 15 minutes.
Cooking the ribs (3-2-1 method):
- Remove the membrane from the bottom of the ribs (search YouTube if you haven’t done this before – important to get rub flavor in there)
- Dissolve 1/2 cup table salt and 1/4 cup of sugar per 4 quarts of cold water and brine ribs for an hour
- Massage in 1 tablespoon of rub per side of the racks, then wrap in plastic wrap and leave in refrigerator over night
- For smoke flavor, I used 3/4 cup hickory wood chips to 1/4 cup apple. I ran at 205 degrees. Aim for somewhere between 200 and 215.
- Place the ribs in the smoker for the first cooking stint of 3 hours. If you’re using baby backs, it should be around 2-2.5 hours.
- I have three racks in my smoker, so at each 45 min intervals (because they were baby backs), I rotated them so that they all had equal time at each level
- After the 3 hours is up, wrap all the ribs in aluminum foil, refill the wood chips and place back in for 2 more hours (stick to this time – this is the tenderizing stage)
- Next unwrap the ribs and place them back in for 45 minutes to an hour
This guy makes picture and mirror hanging a breeze. You don’t have to worry with a single tool or even think about where the studs are. You just poke a hole in the wall and feed the hook through. It handles pretty heavy stuff, too! I got them two Christmas’s ago from Mr. J’s mom, D, along with several other great picture hanging tools. After our yard sale, a few weekends ago, I FINALLY got around to hanging up some things around the house.
They’re called Monkey Hooks, and you can find them here: http://www.monkeyhook.com/.
*This is not a paid endorsement. I just like them.
We’re spending the day with family, and I hope you’re enjoying your day as well!
Hat tip to Keeping Up with the Joneses Wine Friday feature. I found another great wine, and I wanted to share.
A neighbor and church friend brings this wine to me from Michigan. After my second year, I’ve decided to go to the our wine store down the street and ask them to order it. It’s my understanding that Tennessee has stringent rules about shipping wine in. I don’t know if I can limit myself to once a year…it’s that good. It’s very sweet, almost like white grape juice. It’s very similar to another favorite of mine, Bug Juice, but it’s about $20 cheaper. Another great this is that the bottle is beautiful. You’ll see my bottle from last year featured at the top of my blog in the masthead image. Check out the winery: http://www.leelanaucellars.com/.
Origin: Omena, Michigan
Average price: $7.99
Wine notes from the vineyard: Our ever-popular table wine also known as “the wine in the blue bottle”, is very similar to a Piesporter in style and is light-bodied and semi-sweet. Empty blue bottles of winter white have been used in many craft and design projects or simply converted to a lovely flower vase.
Pairings: Serve with appetizers, including cheese and crackers or pair it with chicken or fish for a meal.