My raggedy recipe notebook

Gravy (for to make Biscuits and…)

June 3, 2017

Here’s another of the old cart recipes. I didn’t call it Open Source Cafe for nuttin’.

It’s my own special gravy (now, now, there’s no need for that). This town is awash in biscuits and gravy and there are plenty of vegan options, but they do cost a pretty, and occasionally downright shaggable, penny.

Originally, I made it with regular wheat flour, but it tended to get stodgy as it cooled, which is pretty common in my experience.  I switched to Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 gluten free flour and: Lo, Verily, and Lawks even! The clouds parted and a golden ray of sunshine… wait, this was in Portland so that didn’t happen.

What did happen is that the flavor and texture improved dramatically and the consistency doesn’t change as it cools. There is also the added benefit of it now being gluten free.

Beyond that, the magic ingredients are shallots, aminos, and red pepper flakes. It’s totally edible (and even potable) without them, but their addition turns what is essentially a condiment into the main event. But mind you go easy on the red pepper flakes if you’re sensitive to spicy.  I think some is essential, but if you buy or grow the really good stuff, 1 1/2 teaspoons might be more than you bargained for.

This recipe results in a concentrated gravy that you can store and dilute as and when you need it. This saved me a little space in a very squeezy food cart.  When an order was placed, I would plop a dollop of cold gravy in the pan and heat while whisking in more almond milk until it was just right.  You may wish to as much as double the volume, but you may like it a bit thicker.  Just you do you.

Image notes:

The picture with the beer in it is the wheat flour version.

The picture at the bottom is the gluten-free version.


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Papa Garbanzo’s Garlic Wow-Wow Sauce

May 29, 2017

This recipe started out as an attempt to reverse engineer The Clearing Cafe’s amazing Creamy Garbanzo sauce (with their full knowledge, but cheerful obstinence when pressed for the secret).  I never got it exactly right.  For the real deal, you’ll have to head out to NW Thurman and have one of their fabulous rice and bean bowls. It’s also damn good on a Henry Higgins bagel.

This stuff, however, isn’t half or even three eighths bad.  It’s just something else.  In my Open Source Cafe days, it became an important part of the fried (vegan) bologna sandwich and a dollop on a bowl of chili never went amiss.

The menu description ran: “garbanzos, herbs and enough garlic to slaughter an unholy army of darkness”.

Adjust the garlic to your tastes. Some won’t think 25 cloves is nearly enough. We call them “single people”.

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