Damaris Phillips’ Top Tips for Making Biscuits and Gravy

by in Food Network Chef, November 25th, 2013

Damaris PhillipsJust in time for Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday, Food Network Star winner Damaris Phillips, a lifelong southerner with a knack for baking and the host of Southern at Heart, is demystifying biscuit making so that you can skip the store-bought tubes of dough and make your own buttery beauties at home. This Kentucky native is known for enjoying her biscuits with gravy for breakfast, and just last month she took the stage with fellow Food Network Star alum Justin Warner at the New York City Wine & Food Festival to fuse her classic recipe with another morning favorite: bagels and lox. She walked fans through the step-by-step of creating this hybrid breakfast while chatting about basic biscuit-and-gravy how-tos, like simple tricks for cutting biscuits and the importance of cooking the flour in the gravy roux. Read on below to get Damaris’ top-six tips, then try her recipe for Sweet Potato Biscuits with Peppered Pork Loin, Apple Mustard Butter and Salad.

1. Don’t worry if you don’t have a fancy biscuit cutter at home; a round glass will do the trick.

2. There are two kinds of biscuits: flaky and cakey. Damaris prefers the cakey variety, as they’re better suited for sopping up gravy, so consider this if you plan on serving your biscuits with gravy as well.

3. When making the roux for the gravy — the mixture of fat (here, butter) and flour — it’s important to let the flour cook for a bit so it loses its raw flavor. The more you cook it, the darker the roux will be.

4. Opt for warm milk instead of cold when adding the liquid to the roux; this will help it better incorporate.

5. Pepper is a must when making traditional Southern gravy. Don’t be afraid to use plenty of it.

6. To best serve biscuits and gravy, slice the biscuit open like a book, then flip it over, so the top and bottom sides are facing up and the insides are flush on the plate. You’ll be better able to glide your fork through the biscuit this way once it’s topped with gravy.

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Comments (22)

  1. Disspointed viewer says:

    I am disappointed that Food Network eliminated Paula Deen. She made a mistake, she apologized, and she will not use the offensive language again. She gets dumped but yet Oprah makes a racial comment and receives an award from our President. These are double standards and why should Paula be punishe more than Oprah. She was a delightful person to watch. You have disappointed you did not support her thru an unfortunate mistake. I have lost all interest in your station and rarely watch it anymore. You have become boring and now the Chew is now my favorite cooking show since they are more real. Your loss.

  2. DebbieSoAmboy says:

    Good luck Damaris your doing real good I loved your show but I'm done with this network they have double standards get rid of Paula but keep Giada with her behavior say what!!!

  3. shannon says:

    Damaris just keeps getting better and better. Awesome choice of a new show host. I really enjoy watching her. She is entertaining and educational. I wish she would have been on TGL.

  4. Crouton40 says:

    We have a valuable show with Southern At Heart. Chef Damaris is a joy to watch, and the dishes are fabulous! It's what she puts *in* things, and how she prepares them. And it's easier than you may think. So many good creations: Peppered Pork, HER chili, HER Mac-n-cheese (watch out, Alton. She may challenge ya to a Mac-n-Cheese throwdown, he he).
    And–we learn so much, even in just one show. Onion Jam, Veggie Pot Pie, times & temps, sauces, granola, a little peanut butter in chili reduces acidity, Parfaits, Scones, Pot Roast sandwiches. YUM! And she's a good explainer. I wish more of the folks on twitter would see these Blogs, and write, here. (They do, on twitter.) Food Network–you've got a definite keeper, here.

    • shannon says:

      Crouton, That peanut butter trick in the chili..it makes perfect sense! I am dying to try that with my next batch of chili. She really is teaching and suggesting things to me that I had never considered previously.

    • DebbieSoAmboy says:

      I so agree she is really true to herself I hope she stays that way. Love her BIG SMILE! Not fake!

  5. Amy says:

    I want to know what Damaris is wearing for todays show the green shirt!!! Where is it from

  6. loola says:

    It's a problem that I really care, I just started reading and I'm glad I did, thanks

  7. mr bean says:

    I so agree she is really true to herself I hope she stays that way. Love her BIG SMILE! Not fake!

    Read more at: http://blog.foodnetwork.com/fn-dish/2013/11/damar

  8. Emily Leitner says:

    I don't like all the competitive shows. I enjoyed watching a true professional chef cook foods that I would like to try at home. I don't care about Paula Deen. Or Oprah. I just want to have fun watching a GOOD cook, not a Worst cook or a challenging cook (except Iron Chef, I loved that) make things my family would love and it would break any boredom for me in cooking. Food Network, you are totally missing the point these days. I am hanging in but am about to stop watching also. Go back to just showing us how the pros make wonderful dishes! That's what you started at and it worked. And that idea has not gotten old. The Chew? Hate it.

  9. JanB says:

    I have enjoyed her when I have been around to see. She had a recipe for Kentucky Derby sandwich and I'll be darn if I can find it anywhere in her recipes.
    I really do not like the competitive shows they bore the daylights out of me.

  10. wwe games says:

    1. Don’t worry if you don’t have a fancy biscuit cutter at home; a round glass will do the trick.

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