Thursday, November 28, 2013

Updated! THE ONE GRAVY TO RULE THEM ALL!!! aka GRAVY MASH-UP!!!!



This gravy rocks. Forget that it is made with only plant fat. In fact I wouldn't tell people that its vegan. I have served it to a host of meat eaters and they poured it all over their turkey and loved it.

Gravy is one of those culinary glues that hold things together. Mashed potatoes for one without gravy is just, well mashed potatoes!  I have a few really great recipes for gravy. The first of note is from Jill Nussinow. Her Golden Gravy uses a combo of tahini and soy with some flour for a really nice, simple, creamy gravy. Super easy to make and hard to screw up.Next up is a more complex, more savory gravy from Miyoko Schinner. Her Poultry-type Gravy employs a yeast flavoring powder made from Nutritional Yeast (aka vegan crack) and various herbs and spices. I like this one because the yeast and spices really give a warm, savory, chicken like flavor. It is a fuller bodied, rounder gravy than the simpler golden gravy.Lastly Mary McDougall's Rich Brown Gravy employs a whole onion for the base and I am just crazy about using onions for the foundation of so many dishes.


Of course being the extremist that I am I decided to mash-up all these recipes to create the ultimate gravy. Its rich, savory, full bodied, tastes like onions and chicken and everything good in gravy. It has very little fat. 2 tablespoons of tahini for 5-6 cups of gravy is pretty good! It employs the yeast concoction from Miyoko's Poultry-type gravy, the tahini from Jill's golden gravy, and the onion from Mary's Rich Brown Gravy.


WITHOUT FURTHER ADO...


THE ULTIMATE VEGAN GRAVY



Preparation Time: 20 minutes 
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Servings: makes 6 cups
1 1/2 cup water
4 cups of broth
1 onion, chopped 
1 cup whole wheat flour 
2 tablespoons light miso
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tablespoons tahini
½ teaspoon celery seeds
3 tablespoons light yeast flavoring powder*(recipe follows)
Black pepper to taste

Dry saute the onion in a medium saucepan. As it starts to brown and stick after a minute or two add the 1/4 cup of water and continue to cook until soften and starting to change color about 5 minutes. 

Add the flour and mix in well. 

Continue to cook for another 3 minutes, stirring constantly. (This is an important step as toasting the flour deeply without burning it helps develop the rich flavor). The flour and onions will clump together.

Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

Puree until smooth with no lumps with an immersion blender scraping down the sides at least once. If you don't have an immersion blender click here and get one for 15-50 bucks. You are worth it. :)



Pour gravy into a clean skillet or saucier (if you are fancy). 

Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until gravy thickens, about 10-15 minutes. Season with fresh ground pepper to taste.


Hint:
If the gravy fails to thicken to your satisfaction, you may want to add an extra thickener to the gravy. Use a mixture of 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed in 1/4 cup cold water. Add a small amount to the gravy while stirring until it is thick enough for serving.

Light Yeast Flavoring Powder
By Miyoko Schinner
1 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons celery seed
2 teaspoons dried sage
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon powdered ginger
½ teaspoon turmeric
Pulverize all ingredients in a blender until powdered.  Store in a covered jar in a cool place.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Autumn harvest Sweet Potato and Apple soup

This is one of those super simple crock pot soups that is pretty fool proof. I hesitate to even put amounts in the recipe. You basically chop up the veggies and cover with broth. Add a little ginger and black pepper and cook overnight. Puree in the morning and adjust some seasonings. That's it! For those of you that love the steps see below.

Autumn harvest Sweet Potato and Apple soup


Chop these into medium sized chunks-
3 small-med sweet potatoes (unpeeled)
3 small russet potatoes (unpeeled)
3 small apples
2 large carrots 
1 onion
3-4 cloves of garlic peeled
3" piece of fresh ginger peeled and grated
Black pepper to taste
2 qt of broth
1 cup of white dry wine (optional)

This is stupid simple. Throw all of this in a pot. The veggies will fill the slow cooker and the. You add liquid to cover them. Cook on high for 4.5 hours. Then puree and adjust any seasonings and salt. I suggest serving  it with rice blended in for some extra energy and texture.

served with wild/brown rice garnish
Hope you all enjoy it as much as we have.

-benjamin

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