Culinary Nunnsense: Pantry-style quarantine biscuits and gravy

Richard Nunn offers a take on pantry-style cooking -- use what you already have

Richard Nunn tried some pantry-style cooking and ended up with quarantine biscuits and gravy.
Richard Nunn tried some pantry-style cooking and ended up with quarantine biscuits and gravy. (WJXT)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – We had some fun in the Culinary Nunnsense kitchen with pantry-style cooking Friday morning. What is pantry-style cooking? Chances are you do this every day. It’s when you open the refrigerator or pantry, look at what you have on hand and make a meal from those ingredients.

Toilet paper, cleaning supplies and some foods are in short supply. This means some of your pantry or refrigerator staples may also be in short supply. But what if you get a hankering, hunger or craving for something and you are out of an item? Do you scrap the idea, grab a spoonful of peanut butter and move on?

No, you go to “the Google” -- and type in what you have and see if there is a recipe for it.

That is exactly what happened this morning. I had sausage, flour, butter, salt and baking powder, but I didn’t have buttermilk. I didn’t even have milk, of any percent. All we had on hand is almond milk. I heard, by the way, almonds are hard to farm and ranch, much less milk.

The sausage and gravy craving cowboy in me said, rustle up them almonds, we need milk!

Then Culinary Nunnsense kicked in and after reading the ingredients, I decided to treat the almond milk as water and thus began Quarantine Biscuits.

Here is what I did:

  • 2 Cups All-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup of almond milk, unflavored
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

I combined the dry ingredients into a bowl and then added the butter. Using my fingers, I pinched the butter and flour together with my fingers until a grainy, sandy texture was even through the bowl.

Then I slowly added the liquid until I could form the dough into a ball.

I divided the dough ball into six biscuits and baked as normal, 425 degrees until golden.

How were they? Honestly, I could not tell the difference in taste, but they were not as fluffy as buttermilk biscuits. I think that maybe due to the lack of acid from the dairy and baking soda. The bubbles, nooks and crannies of a biscuit not only add a lightness, but the give the bits of sausage and gravy a place to rest before each bite.

Self-rising flour may have been a better choice for this recipe, but I did not have any

With that piece of knowledge, go forth and raid your pantry! See what you have on hand and have some Culinary Nunnsense of your own.

If reading this has you craving real biscuits, with or without the gravy, check out this oldie but a goody from the Culinary Nunnsense archives:

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