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Tomato Gravy

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  • 2 tablespoons margarine or olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper (scant)
  • 15-ounce can tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup milk or evaporated milk

Get out a nice big skillet. Heat the margarine or oil over medium heat. Stir in the flour with a fork or a whisk until it is lump free. Let the fat simmer for a moment or two, to toast the flour just a little bit. Add the sugar or honey, salt and little less than 1/4-teaspoon of pepper. Add the tomatoes. Smash the tomatoes with your fork to make them sort of choppy or shredded. This gravy is not smooth, so you don't have to work real hard at smashing the tomatoes. The lumpy tomatoes are actually what give it the characteristic texture which Tomato Gravy is famous for. When it begins to boil and thicken, add the milk gradually. Stir it all up and let it boil again. The milk will sometimes curdle a little bit. I don't know how to stop it, so I just serve it anyway. It tastes so good, folks seldom notice if the milk is smooth or not. This is good with any grain for a main dish, or just plain over noodles or potatoes. If you can your own tomatoes, you can double or triple the recipe for each quart of tomatoes you use. This recipe makes about 2-1/2 cup of gravy. Good with biscuits for breakfast or lunch, especially in the wintertime.   

UPDATE from a reader named Bob; November 2005

Bob says that in his restaurant they add the milk to the flour and fat first and then let it thicken. When it is bubbly and thick, then you add your tomatoes. This is supposed to keep it from curdling. If your tomato gravy always curdles, then try this trick and see if it turns out better. 

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