To the few readers I have in the States (and that one random one from Myanmar): I’m currently vacay-ing in the Philippines. WiFi sucks. This blog post is long overdue! Hopefully I can write a little more frequently once we transfer from our hotel to our actual house. Till then….
(DISCLAIMER: The author’s views are simply his own. All opinions regarding the consumption of alcohol are merely anecdotal, have absolutely no scientific basis, and if you’re the type who would turn your nose up to such opinions and think “Hmph! Kids these days”, then you good sir/madam, are in need of a very stiff drink.)
Pre-gaming. It’s an art. Or at least it should be. One cannot simply take an indiscriminate number of shots a la college frat party and there are various other factors to take into account. Do you start with dark liquors? Beer? Does it matter? Should you consume as much as you can now and sober up slowly throughout the day? Or should you slowly increase your rate of consumption to ensure you make it to the afterparty before knocking out in a blaze of glory (or shame)?
To be honest…I don’t know. As long as the everyone’s happy (not sloppy), I guess it doesn’t really matter does it? BUT…us gastronomes and food lovers know that the food at the pregame is just as important! Such was our focus last weekend at the annual sh*tshow slopfest drunken revelry Festival known as SantaCon. An all-day pub crawl where hipster Brooklynites link arms with bro-tastic bankers, don red suits, and attempt to get their faces to match colors with said apparel.
It was going to be a good pre-game (our friend Tia even brought quiche…who do you know eats quiche at a pregame?). What with this being my last day cooking in NYC before flying back to the Philppines, the first time I cooked with my friend Ricky in a long time, and Chelsey of baking blog Little Paula Deen fame (and collaborator on a previous post on Filipino-style pork belly sliders) coming back for a second collaboration.
On the menu: homemade cheesy bacon biscuits topped with spicy jalapeno sausage gravy and Mediterranean-style eggs. This was a strategic and carefully thought out plan: absorbent carbohydrates from the biscuit and gravy, sausage fat to line the stomach, filling protein, and dehydration-preventing sodium. Elements to ensure that every mimosa, beer, and questionable liquid intake was enjoyed and not squandered on a dingy dive bar bathroom. The recipe is simple, quick to make, even quicker to consume, and wards off the New York cold (term used loosely) like no other. Let’s get started.
*Feeds a team of Santas, the occasional elf, and a lone reindeer (about 15 – 20 people)
2 heavy pans (we didn’t have these so we used 2 woks instead)
Small pot to heat the milk in
Baking sheets for the biscuits
Lotsa serving trays (those cheap foil ones caterers use will do)
Homemade biscuits (check out Chelsey’s recipe here!) – make the mix beforehand so you only have to bake it day-of.
For the gravy:
3 12 oz. packs of your fave sausage (for some weird reason we ended up with soy and jalapeno chicken sausages….trust me…I was skeptical too)
1 pack mushrooms, sliced
½ large yellow onion, diced
8 tbsps. flour
4 cups whole milk (plus some more if you prefer a wetter consistency)
Spices: anything you’d like (I used the usual S&P plus Old Bay Seasoning and red chilli flakes)
For the eggs:
3 – 4 dozen eggs
Other ½ of the large yellow onion, cut into bunny shapes (or diced…..)
Bunch of dill, roughly chopped
2 large tomatoes, diced (opt.)
Note: if you’re baking the biscuits day-of, pop them in the oven after step 3 below.
1) Heat oil in a large pan on high and saute the onions and sausage for about 8 mins. until they brown. If you’re using pork or beef, don’t worry about all that oil coming out. Remember, oil = awesome stomach lining = a less painful gut after a day of drinking.
2) Warm the milk in a separate pot. Alternatively, microwave it.
3) Toss in the flour and stir well so you don’t have random clumps lying around though this step doesn’t have to be perfect. Keep frying for 5 more mins. or until flour is nice and brown but not burning and sticking to the bottom.
4) Pour the milk onto the mixture and stir well. Reduce the heat to medium.
Note: If you have a second person like I did, they can cook the eggs simultaneously as you cook the sausage gravy. Otherwise, start cooking the eggs now so that they’re done around the same time your biscuits are.
5) Stir constantly and let the gravy thicken. Pour yourself a mimosa as this will take anywhere up to 15 minutes to get the right consistency.
6) Heat oil in a large pan on high and saute the rest of the onions.
7) In a large bowl, whip your eggs together. Pour in pan once onions turn opaque (about 2 mins.)
8) It’s important to stir and fold (ie. Scrape the bottom of the pan away from you with the spatula/spoon turned up and flipping egg over) constantly to maintain evenness. No one wants deliciously creamy eggs flecked with burnt crust ya dig?
9) Season with spices and the juice of 2 lemons (acid adds brightness and “pop” to your dish [speaking of pop, you might wanna start popping the champagne at this point]).
10) When eggs are about done to your liking, toss in the dill (and tomatoes if you want to) and stir.
Assemble your biscuit sandwich. You can serve a plate of garnishes on the side (avocado, tomatoes, more alcohol). Get creative!
Eat quickly, clean as you go, and remember, you don’t wanna be that person whose sausage, egg, and gravy biscuit makes a second appearance come noon time: SO PACE YOURSELF!