Still emptying the freezer…. Had some ham in there and wanted to make something tasty. My dad was from South Carolina, so growing up we were exposed to some foods and dishes that were unusual for a kid living in Colorado. Okra, lima beans (Dad called them “butter beans”), collard greens, black-eyed peas, and buttermilk biscuits, were on the menu often. One dish I was extremely fond of (and now so are James and Laura) was rice with tomato gravy. We had some last night to accompany the ham and I wanted to share the recipe with you. I have never seen this referred to anywhere in any cookbook and we can’t find it on the internet. The dish goes exceptionally well with baked ham and a nice vegetable like green beans, asparagus or collard greens!
Take a 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes and put it in a blender and puree completely. In a sauce pan add about 2 Tablespoons of butter and an equal amount of all-purpose flour. Stir with a whisk until the roux cooks and just turns a pale brown. Carefully add the pureed tomatoes a little at a time and continue to stir with the whisk. Reduce heat to low and add salt, pepper and a bit of sugar. This you need to do to taste. Just keep tasting and adding until you like the result. Cook about 10 minutes longer stirring constantly otherwise it will burn and/or spatter.
Serve over white rice.