Easy Breakfast “Sausage” Patties and Biscuits with Smoky Almond Gravy

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What?  Another breakfast recipe–and so soon, you say?  Well, you can never have too much breakfast is what I say.  I mean, breakfast really is the best repast of the trio of meals, isn’t it?

To begin with, if it’s breakfast time, you’re probably rested.  Your belly is primed and ready to accept food (after all, you have been fasting all night). You’re most likely clean (après morning shower), your face is still fresh and mascara-free, and you can feel good about giving your body “the most important meal of the day.”  And besides all that–breakfast  tastes better than just about any meal I can think of.

I’ve always favored breakfast, but I didn’t really develop my true allegiance to the morning meal until my late teens, when my friend Sterlin and I took our first vacation on our own–across the continent, to California.  (Were our parents insane, letting two seventeen year-olds travel alone? Naw–no worries there–we were total nerds).  Our first stop was LA, where we stayed with my dad’s aunt.

Let’s call her “Great Aunt Yetta.” (Actually, that was her real name, but let’s still call her that anyway).  Even back then, more than 30 years ago, Ms. Yetta was already ancient, in her late 80s.  Poor Yetta’s husband had died almost twenty years earlier, and she lived alone in their small bungalow near Beverly Boulevard in the city.  The place looked as if nothing had been disturbed (or, by the looks of it, cleaned too often) since her husband’s death.

About four-foot-ten in heels, Yetta greeted us at the door with a heavily teased, upswept ‘do reminiscent of Endora in Bewitched (except Yetta’s hair was entirely white), its outer layer shellacked with Aqua Net.  Despite her advanced years, she still took pride in her appearance, and in our honor had donned the full regalia:  fuscia and lime green flowered cotton housedress belted at the waist in shiny white vinyl; gold and black sandals revealing painted crimson toenails, the toes themselves bent various unnatural directions. On her wrists and neck she wore four or five strings of multi-colored plastic beads, along with sparkly, dangly earrings; her face was slathered with full theater-worthy makeup, the purple eyeshadow thick enough to glaze pottery, a coat of carmine lipstick (which only partially followed the actual outline of her lips) on her mouth.

Yetta spoke in a sqeaky, slightly sing-song voice that brought to mind a Polish Edith Bunker. Had we been a little less starry-eyed from having  just landed in California that day, Sterlin and I might have found Yetta somewhat creepy (that came later); instead, we assumed she was merely “eccentric.”

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On our first morning in the city, we bounded out of bed at 5:30 AM (with the time change, this was already 9:30 our time) and emerged ravenous from our room.

“Come, dahlink, eat some breakfast,” Yetta said, grabbing me by the forearm. She led us to the dilapitaded dining room, where the table was laid with a few dishes, cups and a teapot. There was nothing recognizable as food, but as we drew closer, we could make out what was on the table.  Without a word, Sterlin and I exchanged meaningful glances and began silently to plot our exit.

“No, you must eat some breakfast!” Yetta insisted.  “Here, have some cheese.”  She presented me with an amorphous blob of something half covered in soft, green fuzz.  “Oh, don’t worry, it is still good,you just do like this–” She grabbed a butter knife and began hacking at the outside of the blob.

“Oh, no, really, thank you so much, but we  aren’t hungry,” we piped up in unison.

“Okay, so some juice then,” she declared, handing over a jar of Tang that had clearly first entered her cupboard in the Sixties.  I unscrewed the rusty lid and cautiously peered inside.  The contents was so old that it had fossilized, one solid mass of crystalline orange rock.

Before I could say anything, Yetta grabbed the jar. “Oh, is okay,” she insisted, brandishing the same trusty butter knife, “You just make like this and you pour it out!” With that, she began to chip away at the ossified Tang.

“No, really, we never eat breakfast in the morning–OR drink anything before lunchtime!” we cried, backing out the door,  “But thank you so much, anyway!  See you later!” Luckily, we found a Farmer’s Market down the street, rife with fresh fruit, pancakes, waffles, and–a thrilling discovery at the time–frozen yogurt! (It didn’t exist yet in Canada in those days).

For the entire two weeks in LA, each morning we went through the ritual of thanking Yetta for her generosity, insisting that we never ate breakfast, and then running over to the market to gorge on every breakfast food (and several non-breakfast foods) we could find.

And so, my fascination with breakfast was established.

On our last evening in LA, we were asked to dinner at Great Uncle Norman’s house (Yetta’s brother), though Yetta was not invited.  After the meal as we sat chatting about our visit, we actually began to feel a little sympathy for Yetta.

“Gee, it’s too bad about her husband,” Sterlin mused.

“What do you mean?” asked Great Uncle Norman.

“Well, you know. . . that he died,” Sterlin said.

Great Uncle Norman’s mouth dropped open.  I think he may have even lost a few crumbs of his coffee cake.  “Died?” he repeated.  “Are you kidding me?!  He didn’t die!  He left her–he couldn’t stand to be in the same house as her for one more minute! He’s remarried and lives in Burbank.”

Maybe she’d fed him the green-cheese-and-Tang breakfast, too; who knows?  In any case, my own interactions with breakfast have remained consistently pleasant since that time.

The HH and I enjoyed these sausage patties and biscuits with gravy for brunch last weekend. After celebrating my birthday in a very low-key fashion (stupid flu! stupid virus! stupid germs!), the HH and I decided to aim for a special brunch instead.  (I did receive a truly beautiful, totally indulgent and indescribably warm and cozy cashmere scarf as a gift from the HH, however).

With leftover cooked rice in the fridge, as well as some nearly-dried sage left over from the roasted plum and spinach salad I’d made the week before, I developed a vague idea of wanting “sausages” and so devised  this recipe for super-simple and quick savory patties.  I baked mine, but they can be pan-fried just as easily.  The patties crisp up on the outside (even baked), retaining a moist yet firm interior.  The coupling of walnuts and sage here mimics a meaty flavor exceedingly well, I think.

After reading Lindsay’s post a while back about Southern biscuits smothered in gravy, I knew I had to try this pairing out myself!  Of course, my choices for both biscuits and gravy are currently limited, but I revised my coconut flour biscuit recipe as a savory round*, and topped it with a slightly altered version of Isa’s brilliant Smoked Almond Gravy (since I can’t eat smoked almonds–the ACD forbids pre-roasted nuts, as they tend to harbor molds–I simply roasted my own natural almonds, then added smoked paprika and some caramelized onions to the mix for an irresistible alternative).

This delicious, thick and chunky gravy, once ladled atop the savory biscuits, transported the dish from merely a “Jennifer Aniston good” to a stellar, “Meryl Streep good.”  They’re that good!

If you’re looking for a fairly quick and easy brunch that will encourage seconds, here it is. Add a green salad, and you’ve got a perfect meal.

The inclusion of Tang is optional.

Since this is a perfect brunch meal, I thought I’d submit this to Meeta’s Monthly Mingle event–this month highlighting brunch!

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Last Year at this Time: Date Pasta (and another Sterlin-related story)

© 2009 Diet, Dessert and Dogs

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Comments

  1. Love the Yetta story :-D

    Another great recipe!

  2. The faux sausage really looks like the real thing. I can’t wait to try this. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Alicia

  3. Your story about Yetta is so funny!

  4. Awesome recipe, Ricki!!

    Still laughing about Great Aunt Yetta…!

  5. You sure know how to rustle up an inviting breakfast. But, I’m concerned about Aunt Yetta – what on earth did she eat?

  6. Oh my, it sounds like Great Aunt Yetta and her breakfasts were something else… This breakfast of yours, though, wouldn’t get anyone lying and running to the closest market, that’s for sure! It looks scrumptious!

  7. WOW WOW WOW! I love breakfast sausage so much but haven’t been able to make any since the entire region ran out of vital wheat gluten a few months ago. You are my HERO! I can’t wait to make these, I will have to buy flaxseeds this weekend and then we are ON! Thank you SO MUCH for this recipe!

    Oh, and thank you for the story too! I just woke up and you’ve already got me laughing!

  8. And on the bus today?
    I met the queen of LA.
    At least, she said she was,
    And who am I to say?

  9. happy birthday for last weekend – sorry to hear you were laid low but these patties sound exceptionally good – lots of my favourite things – and I would like to try a few more sage recipes (well you are what you eat – ha ha) so will put these on the to do list

  10. What a great story!

  11. Fabulous recipe! I love how this doesn’t have soy in it, most vegan meat dishes do! I’ll be putting this on my to-make list!

  12. Bring on the breakfast recipes…or even better: come and cook for me!

  13. you think it might work with quinoa?
    you had me at smoky almond gravy!

  14. VG,
    Thanks! Glad you liked it. :)

    Alicia,
    Can’t say I’ve ever had a “real” sausage patty, so I’ll take your word for it! :)

    Kiersten,
    Well. . . I think it’s funny–now. ;)

    Lisa,
    Thanks so much! And glad for the chuckles.

    Andrea,
    I have a feeling SHE ate the good food and gave the spoiled stuff just to us. . . she was as healthy as an ox and lived about 10 more years!

    Josiane,
    Glad to hear that this wouldn’t be a Yetta-esque brekkie! I know the HH and I certainly loved it. :)

    Voracious Vegan,
    I’ve been looking at gluten-based sausages for so long that I couldn’t wait any longer to try one without! Glad it works for you. :)

    Claire,
    Could you have met Great Aunt Yetta–??!

    Johanna,
    I hadn’t thought of it that way–but considering how many of these I’ve eaten, I should be the wisest person on earth by now! ;)

    Whole Body Love,
    Thanks so much! :)

    Shelby,
    I hadn’t even thought of the soy issue. . . glad you like the recipe! :)

    Mihl,
    If only I could, I’d love to hop over there and cook up a storm for you!

    Cheryl,
    It’s definitely worth a try–I don’t see why it WOULDN’T work (though quinoa packs tighter in the measuring cup than rice, so maybe reduce it by 2 Tbsp or so?).

  15. Awesome, another sausage recipe for me to try out! I’d have never thought of using rice. And Yetta–oh my, she sounds like quite the character!

  16. Now this is my kind of breakfast! YUM. So, when are you coming out with a savory cookbook? :)

  17. Cute story and yumilicious looking breakfast!!

  18. It was your birthday?! Happy Birthday, Ricki! I hope you had a great day :-)

    Courtney

  19. i love the story about your great aunt yetta, Ricki. she kinda reminds me a little of my grat aunt brownie. i remember we would rumage through her fridge looking to see who could find the most expired foodz – and she dressed quite “fabulously” as well. she was such a hoot. that’s crazy that her husband never passed – that he actually left & remarried. wow! i too love me some breakfast, and i love a good breakfast recipe – your sausage patties ‘n smoky almond gravy fit the bill. i think the combination of walnuts & brown rice is brilliant, and the gravy – it sounds oh-my-goodness gooooooood!

    i’m sorry you weren’t feeling too terrific for your birthday, Ricki. i hope you’re 100% & feeling great now!

  20. Oh my Ricki, you are a true storyteller… I’m still giggling! :-) I think such an experience would truly make one appreciate breakfast… Which is definitely, unequivocally, positively, the best meal of the day! Your “sausage” looks incredible – truly the dish to elevate breakfast to heavenly heights!

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I’m so sorry you were under the weather for your birthday – poor you! Sending big happy birthday hugs!

  21. Wow, a bungalow near Beverly Blvd! You girls sure hit the location jackpot on your first visit to LA.

  22. great recipes!

  23. Your trip to LA sounds like a hoot!

    That breakfast looks wonderful and so filling. I like that the sausages are baked.

  24. Happy belated birthday! I am so super excited about these sausage patties, can’t wait to try them!

  25. Mmm I was in love at Sausage!!! But with smoked almond gravy too!?!??! YUM!!

  26. Amazing!

  27. Hahaha, I loved the story of Yetta…I have some “Is okay, just make like this” relatives of my own…

    And those patties look so delish, my mouth is watering…

    I hope you realize that in combination, I was laughing out loud AND salivating, making me look like some slobbering madwoman, cackling at her computer screen. Thanks Ricki. Thanks a lot.
    ;)

  28. funny you should mention Endora, my mom wanted to be her for Halloween! randomness aside, I apologize for having been rather absent lately, and am therefore in awe of the many, many wonderful creations you have come up with while I was kept away from being up to date with your site, Ricki.

  29. My standard gravy is chickpea-based, but almond gravy sounds so rich and creamy… I’ll have to at least try it before Thanksgiving arrives!

  30. Oh Yetta! The poor woman. I wonder if her eyesight was bad — having all that bad food in the house. Yikes. Great story Ricki and I’m glad you found the farmers market!

    AND! Great looking recipe. It makes me want to stray from my turkey patties….

  31. Ph yeah this is a good brekkie for sure. i loved reading the post! brilliant. thanks so much for the entry!

  32. All of us have a crazy aunt somewhere in the family – it must be a requirement! We love them anyway . . .

    This burger/patty is another great looking combination that I want to try. I don’t have two dogs and a willing helpmate so my freezer gets backed up.

    Keep on creating – we love your recipes!

  33. Jes,
    I love the look of your sausages, too! Yay! Another brunch recipe :)

    Heather,
    Hmmmm. . . hadn’t planned it, but hey? Who knows!

    Alisa,
    Thanks!

    Courtney,
    Thanks so much! It was lovely. :)

    jessy,
    I know–but after spending 2 weeks w/ Aunt Yetta, I understand her husband’s behavior!! ;) Thanks for the b-day wishes. . . still getting better, but much improved. :)

    Astra Libris,
    Thanks so much! I must say, I have appreciated a good breakfast ever since!

    Vegyogini,
    Yep, the entire trip was pretty much a jackpot for 2 17 year-olds. Our first morning we sneaked into CBS studios, then later ABC recording studios (stories for another post), met a couple of cute French tourists. . . all in all, a great first trip on our own!

    lindsay,
    Thanks so much! Glad you like them.

    Diann,
    “A hoot” is a great description! And I just couldn’t justify frying.

    Ordinary Vegetarian,
    Thanks so much! Let me know what you think if you do give them a try.

    Vegetation,
    I think the gravy was my favorite part! ;)

    Whitney,
    Aww, thanks! :)

    Alex,
    Always happy to do my part for PR relations. (Um, sorry?) ;)

    celine,
    Apologies never necessary–talk about busy! And I love that your mom wanted to be Endora. How cool is that??

    Hannah,
    Well, I’ve never tried the chickpea-based one,so there’s something new for my menus! Yay!

    Liz,
    Don’t feel bad for Yetta–she was sitting on a goldmine (both of money and that house in a primo location!). And believe me, her eyesight was fine–she was constantly criticizing our outfits and picking on teensy tinsy details. She was just a bit of a crazy woman, that’s all! ;)

    Meeta,
    Thanks so much! And glad you liked it. :)

    Mom and Rita,
    Yep, I know what you mean! And glad you like the patties (I’ll have to try your lentil ones soon). :)

  34. Haha interesting story about how you came to love breakfast and your adventures in California! These sausage patties and gravy look so yummy! I love that there’s sage in the patties.

  35. Just came here via another blog to check out the almond gravy.
    I DEFINITELY need to try this, and soon!
    I just (finally) got some Smoked Paprika and have been looking for ways to include it in… well, in everything.

  36. These sausages look fab, I’m deffinately gonna give them a go!

  37. This all sounds delicious! I’m getting sensitivity testing results in 3 weeks, so I’ll hopefully have an answer once and for all on what I should and should not be eating! I’ve been avoiding all nuts, but maybe I’ll find I can tolerate some.

  38. Melissa says:

    Just finished the last of these recipes for breakfast (brunch?) with a side of mustard greens. Excellent recipes, thanks for sharing! I love that the patties are soy AND gluten free, yet they’re some of the most realistic patties I’ve ever had. Both the almond gravy and patties were great the first night and even better as leftovers!

    • Melissa, I’m so glad to hear that! Those patties are one of my go-to recipes for a quick, substantial one (and I love the gravy, too). They also freeze well, just in case you want to save for later! :)

  39. Just made these this weekend. I tried both frying them and baking them. Baked was much tastier. Thanks for another delicious breakfast recipe!

  40. Ricki, I have cooked buckwheat groats sitting at home in my fridge. Do you think those would work as well as brown rice in these sausages? They look awesome!

  41. Can I do it grain free? Sweet potatoes to sub, or what would you use? :D

    • You can certainly sub whatever you wish instead of the rice, but in effect, you’re creating a new recipe. Most of the substance in these patties is from the rice–you would change the texture and taste so much that it wouldn’t be the same patties at that point. I have other patties on the blog that you might like better. Or, if you’re looking for entirely grain-free, you might try a Paleo blog like Elana’s Pantry. :)

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