Dinner And A Movie Ep. 17: 10/20/13 Hampton, VA

The next Dinner And A Movie features the band’s October 20, 2013 show from Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, VA. The full show will play for free this Tuesday at 8:30PM ET at or Phish’s Facebook page.

For this week’s recipe, it’s Breakfast for Dinner! Burlington’s beloved Penny Cluse Café has been serving up breakfast and lunch for over 22 years and a long line for a table is a regular sighting and well worth the wait. While Mike wanted us to make clear that while his regular order (“the salad with grilled tofu and corn and peanut dressing and a side of sautéed spinach with mushrooms and pesto”) is on the healthier side, he thought some of Penny Cluse’s signature breakfast dishes might be more fitting: biscuits with herb gravy and their gingerbread pancakes. The biscuits and gravy are often ordered with 2 eggs, any style. Enjoy!

Our beneficiary this week is World Central Kitchen. Donate anytime at Founded in 2010 by Chef José Andrés, World Central Kitchen (WCK) uses the power of food to heal and strengthen communities through times of crisis and beyond. WCK weaponizes empathy and uses hot plates of food not just to nourish bodies but to share hope, dignity and a sign that someone cares and tomorrow will be better. WCK’s Covid-19 relief response has served more than 20 million meals to vulnerable communities and frontline responders across the country. For more info, visit

Penny Cluse Biscuits & Herb Cream Gravy

Penny Cluse Biscuits
(makes about 10 biscuits)

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp + 1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup buttermilk (whole milk can substitute)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix dry ingredients. Blend in butter until somewhat granular. Add buttermilk (drizzle slowly), mix and let form into a cohesive dough. Add in an additional 1/8 cup if the mixture seems too dry. Roll out on a floured surface and cut the dough into circles with a 2 3/8” biscuit cutter for traditional round biscuits. Or to avoid leftover dough scraps, cut the dough into squares with a knife. Brush on some melted butter. Bake at 425 on an ungreased baking sheet for 14 minutes or until lightly browned, turning once.

Penny Cluse Herb Cream Gravy

2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 cup plus 2 tbsp half-and-half, divided
1 cup whole milk
4 tbsp butter
¼ cup diced onion
¼ cup grated carrot
1 tsp minced garlic
1½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp dried basil
¼ tsp dried oregano
⅛ tsp dried thyme
4 tbsp all-purpose flour

Purée fresh herbs with 2 tablespoons half-and-half in blender. Heat milk and 1 cup half-and-half. Keep warm.

In a separate pot, melt butter and add vegetables and dried spices. Cook until vegetables are soft. Add flour and stir for a minute.

Gradually add warm milk mixture, whisking after each addition. Bring to a low boil after last addition.

Remove from heat and add fresh herb purée. Whisk to combine.

Gingerbread Pancakes
(Makes about 20 3-inch pancakes, can easily be doubled)

1  ¾ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
¼  tsp allspice
¼  tsp salt
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk (see note below)
2 tablespoons melted butter, plus more butter to fry pancakes
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons Vermont maple syrup

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and then whisk in buttermilk, melted butter, brown sugar and maple syrup.

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir just until combined. (Do not overmix or pancakes can become tough.)

Set a large frying pan over medium heat. Add a little butter. Ladle  ¼-cupfuls of batter onto hot pan and cook, about 2-3 minutes a side, turning when bubbles appear on top. (Reduce heat if exterior of pancakes gets too dark before center is cooked through.)

Serve with plenty of Vermont maple syrup.

Note: If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make your own in a pinch by adding 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar to 2 cups of regular milk. Let sit to curdle slightly. Another option is to whisk milk into plain yogurt until it is pourable.