The Thanksgivings of my youth were always large, potluck-style, informal affairs. We celebrated with our community and always started the gathering with a group walk around the farm. My papa and some friends bought the land around this time of year so Thanksgiving was always acknowledged as the anniversary of Sassafras Ridge Farm.
I have distinct memories of those cold walks in the last of the late afternoon light, knowing that winter was right around the corner, the teenagers eventually wandering off to…check on dinner. 😉
Even though it was a potluck a few things were a given.
Chris would bring his miso-onion soup and my mom would make the mashed potatoes and gravy (and leave the skins on the potatoes even though the neighbor girls protested each year).
My momma makes a good gravy. It’s vegetarian and includes superfoods like nutritional yeast and mushrooms.
This is my take on mom’s gravy.
Start with dried shiitakes, about 10 of them. Break them up and put them in a bowl. Cover them with about 3 cups of boiling water.
You’re going to need some chopped button mushrooms too, but we’ll get to those a little later on.
Finely chop some onion. I used about 3/4ths of a red onion because that’s what I had. If you are a huge onion fan you could probably to a little more than that.
Melt some butter in a skillet. I used about 2 teaspoons, again if you’re a big fan of the butter go nuts.
Add onions and cook over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Mince a few cloves of garlic and throw it in the mix.
When the onions and garlic are soft…
Add flour and yeast and whisk to coat onions.
Don’t let it burn! Whisk regularly as you add chili flakes, rosemary, and lots of fresh ground pepper.
Now comes the fun part. Drain the shiitakes, reserving the bothy liquid. Make sure your whisk, the wine, and the shiitake broth are all within arms reach.
Turn the heat to low. Whisk away as you pour the shiitake broth and wine into the skillet. The issue here is clumping so you want to incorporate everything as quickly as possible.
Turn the heat up just a little and things should start to thicken. Taste and add salt and a splash of soy salt. Adjust pepper, chili flakes, and salt according to preference.
Add shiitakes and buttons.
Cook for another 5 minutes or so, whisking regularly to keep texture even and avoid burning/stickage on the bottom.
|Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy||
- some butter (at least 2 teaspoons)
- most of an onion (red, yellow, or white, whatevers you prefer), finely chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 ounce dried shiitakes and 3 cups boiling water
- 5-7 fresh button mushrooms, chopped
- 1/4 flour* 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- chili flakes
- soy sauce
- 1/4 cup white wine
- break shiitakes into small pieces and cover with three cups boiling water
- sautee finely chopped onion and garlic in butter over medium heat until soft
- add flour and yeast to onions, whisk to coat onions
- add pepper, chili flakes, and rosemary
- separate shiitakes from broth
- add broth and wine to skillet and whisk swiftly to incorporate
- add salt and soy sauce to taste
- add shiitakes and chopped button mushrooms
- continue to cook, whisking regularly, over medium heat for another 5 minutes or so
- serve hot!
*I used Namaste brand’s gluten free flour mix because I was given a bag of it when a friend moved a few weeks ago. It is a mix of sweet rice, sorghum, and tapioca flours. It worked beautifully. I’m not gluten-free but thought I’d give this flour mix a try. Feel free to use white or whole wheat.
Here’s the thing, I don’t really love mashed potatoes. I love potatoes but I prefer being able to bite into them. So I ate this gravy over boiled potatoes and kale. And I most certainly left the skins on the ‘taters.
There’s lots of leftovers. I’m thinking of serving it over short grain brown rice today, that would be a nice texture contrast.
Past Thanksgiving recipes include
Not-So-Traditional Pumpkin Pie