For today’s post, my amazing hubby Travis is making a guest appearance. Nearly thirty weeks pregnant, these days, he’s doing more work in the kitchen than I am. Thankfully, he loves to cook and doesn’t view it as a chore. In fact, in the two years that he was working on his MBA, he really missed honing his culinary skills.
…not that they need much improvement! Travis is an excellent amateur chef and has even competed in the past. Like me, he will peruse a few ideas online for inspiration in creating something new and then just go for it. Every time someone tastes one of his dishes and asks for the recipe, he is at a loss because he never measures or writes anything down. His genius comes to fruition through randomly throwing items together.
For today’s savory mushroom gravy, I asked Travis to develop a versatile formula and this time, to record it. 🙂 He did not disappoint and highly recommends listening to Norah Jones during preparation.
Before we get to cooking, a quick note about one of the star ingredients: button mushrooms. The most commonly consumed mushroom, available year-round, is the white button. Although not as aesthetically appealing as fancier, more exotic varieties, these fungi get the job done. Like many (if not all) mushrooms, buttons develop a meaty texture when cooked and are rich in copper and essential vitamins. Several studies have even show buttons to prevent heart disease, boost the immune system, and treat and prevent some types of cancer. Win!
Portobello mushrooms are also featured in today’s adaption of Travis’s gravy formula. You can read more about this in my lettuce wraps post, another delicious way to consume fungus.
One more thing…if you like a chunky gravy, finely chop your ingredients. If you plan to puree the ingredients for a smooth, creamy gravy (which is what we’re doing today), a coarser chop is sufficient so long as the pieces are approximately the same in size for even cooking. Enjoy!
FORMULA BASE: MUSHROOM GRAVY
Yields approximately 2 cups
- 2 cups chopped mushrooms* –> Trav’s using 1 cup each white button mushrooms and portobellos.
- 1 cup+ cooking liquid (homemade veggie stock, red wine, water, unsweetened plant milk, etc.) –> Trav’s using stock.**
- ¾ of an onion, chopped –> Trav’s using white.
- 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tbsps flour –> Trav’s using whole wheat.
- 1 tbsp oil –> Trav’s using extra virgin olive.
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp minced fresh herbs (or ¼ tsp dried) –> Trav’s using ¼ tsp dried thyme.
- Salt and pepper to taste –> Trav’s using a pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt and several turns of freshly grated black pepper.
*If you’re using any large caps with lots of gills, remove the gills before chopping and cooking.
**Remember, we make veggie stock from veggie scraps. This version is reddish because of a beet scrap in the mix. Just FYI. 🙂
Pour your oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Chop your vegetables. Start by adding the onions only. After approximately 2 minutes, add the garlic. 2 minutes later, add the mushrooms, herbs, and bay leaf and cook for another 6-8. Add the flour and stir until thoroughly moistened.
Add cooking liquid, a ½ cup at a time and reduce until desired consistency is achieved.
Add salt and pepper to taste and remove the bay leaf. Pour the entire mixture into a blender and puree until smooth (optional).
Serve atop classic mashed potatoes, in a vegan shepherd’s pie, or in another favorite preparation. We are serving ours over rosemary mashed sweet potatoes and parsnips: the perfect balance between sweet and savory!
Travis reported that this gravy tasted best the first day, but can certainly keep for several in the fridge.