Monday, November 7, 2011 Mushroom Gravy and Roasted Roots
Yesterday I had a grand vision of a healthy roasted veggie dinner with mushroom gravy. I had homemade stock, I had cauliflower and I had carrots. I skipped my usual 3 mile walk and instead opted for walking to the supermarket, not exactly 3 miles but there's a big hill on the way back that I've convinced myself is good exercise. Down at the market I picked up a couple sweet potatoes, mushrooms and an onion. The mushrooms were baby portobellos - $3.99 for 10 ounces. They had assorted exotic mushrooms, that was leaning towards buying until I saw the price - $4.50 for 4 ounces! 18 bucks a pound! Remind me to get into the mushroom business! I settled on the portobellos and walked up the hill to go home.
Of course, when the dinner prep began I realized the cauliflower was past its prime, as were the carrots I've had in my fridge for a little too long. So out they went. I found a potato that was still good enough to eat and a turnip I'd bought at the Farmers Market - they'd have to do.
First I started on the gravy, caramelizing the sliced onion in butter and olive oil. It takes time caramelizing onions, but they're so worth it. Caramelized onions make everything better, it's just a fact. Once they were in good shape I added the mushrooms I'd sliced, stems and all, and let that get happy for a while. Once the mushrooms started to get their cook on I added 2 cups of my homemade stock. Once that came to a simmer I turned down the heat and let it go...for like an hour. (More than an hour, actually. My husband was down the street watching the Titan game so I was waiting for him to get back.) As the stock reduced the flavors concentrated in the most beautiful way - sweet onion, earthy mushrooms, complex stock. I'm talking 5 star dining here. I added a little more stock here and there as it kept simmering away, desperately waiting for the game to be over. God bless NFL.com - I can predict to the minute when he'll be staggering home (and I can say, I'm sorry your team lost...again).
The veggie prep was pretty straight forward. I left the skin on the white potato but peeled the sweet potato and turnip. They all got chopped into chunks and were tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper. Into the oven at 350 for 45 minutes (or until the Titans lost) and ta-da. Finish the gravy with a little cornstarch slurry to thicken it up, portion out the veg, slather it with mushroom gravy and we had ourselves an awesome roasted dinner - without the meat! And we didn't even miss it!