No More Bland Potatoes: Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy

February 08, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Other

Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy

No need to let mashed potatoes go bare anymore. Even vegetarians need a good gravy recipe…and this is it!

Use this gravy when making Pistachio Blue Corn Crusted Tempeh with Mushroom Gravy.

Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy

by Megabeth

1 .5oz package dried porcini mushrooms (or shitake)
1/4 onion, diced (or more if you prefer)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups vegetable broth (the stronger the better)
1/4 cup tamari
pinch nutmeg
pinch cayenne pepper
salt and freshly ground pepper

2 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon water
1 Tablespoon corn starch, optional

Soak mushrooms in one cup of warmed vegetable stock for at least 20 minutes. Transfer to a small pot and simmer mushrooms for 5 – 10 minutes. Remove mushrooms and reserve remaining broth. Cut mushrooms into smaller pieces.

In small saucepan, heat olive oil and saute onions and garlic until softened. Add mushrooms and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add nutmeg, cayenne, salt and pepper and tamari.

Add remaining broth and cook for 5 minutes on low heat. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, make roux by combining olive oil, water and flour. Whisk until a thick paste is made.

Add roux mixture and cook until the gravy is thickened, stirring frequently. Another 5-10 minutes. If gravy is not getting thick enough for you, add some corn starch, if desired. The longer it simmers, the better it gets.

Wild Mushroom Stroganoff with Herb Crumb Topping

January 26, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Side Dishes

The original version of this impressive dish was created in honour of Count Stroganoff by a Czarist chef for a cookery competition in the 1890s. Since then Stroganoff has been served at celebratory banquets the world over, and this stunning gourmet vegetarian version will give any occasion a little Imperial magic

I decided to take the original recipe for Wild Mushroom Stroganoff with Herb Crumb Topping, as described above by the Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom, and add a little bit of the Megabeth flair. (For example, I don’t think the Czarist chef used panko on his version…)

This hearty and earthy side dish was the perfect accompaniment to the cabbage rolls served during our monthly vegetarian club dinner featuring Eastern European recipes. The original recipe also included the final step of dishing out the potatoes on the plate, adding the mushrooms and breadcrumbs then sticking it under a hot grill to brown the top. I did not have the luxury of being able to perform this final step as I needed to be able to carry my dish on the Metro. Instead, I layered it in a casserole dish and let it sit in the oven until browned. Then I wrapped the dish up for its journey across town.  It transported very well and, the teeny tiny bit that was leftover, reheated nicely. It’s certainly a different riff on the same old mashed potatoes.

Wild Mushroom Stroganoff with Herb Crumb Topping
adapted by Megabeth from The Vegetarian Society

1 1/2 lbs yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup milk or soya milk
1 tbsp mixed fresh herbs, finely chopped (I used fresh oregano, thyme and basil)
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine
1 8 oz package, baby bella mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 8 oz package, white mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup double cream
1 cup panko
2 Tablespoons fresh herbs, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Bring large pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender. Drain and add back into pot.

Pour milk over potatoes. Mash well. Stir in chopped herbs, add butter/margarine, salt and pepper to taste.

Melt 1 Tablespoon butter in saute pan. Add mushrooms and garlic and cook until heated through and soft – about 5-8 minutes.

Stir in cream. Cover and reduce heat to low to keep warm.

Melt the last Tablespoon of butter in a pan, stir in panko and herbs. Let panko toast and warm a bit. Remove from heat.

Lightly cover the inside of a casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Put potatoes in as thick bottom layer leaving enough room for the mushrooms to sit on top of them.

Put mushrooms and sauce on top of potatoes.

Sprinkle top with panko. Place in oven preheated to 400 degrees. Leave in oven until top is golden brown – about 10-15 minutes.

Cheesy Polenta with Sauteed Spinach and Chanterelles

January 24, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

Polenta with Spinach and ChanterellesLooking for a little something different to make for dinner tonight that’s easy to make, warm and filling?  Then make this polenta with spinach and chanterelle mushroom dish. This is definitely going to be on normal rotation in my kitchen especially during this seemingly never-ending winter.

I had three pans going at the same time on the stove – mushrooms were simmering, polenta was cooking and the spinach was sauteing. Never fear, though, you won’t get that “spinning plates” feeling. Everything cooks in it’s own time and there is no fear of burning or overcooking.

Cheesy Polenta with Sauteed Spinach and Chanterelles
adapted by Megabeth from What the Hell Does a Vegan Eat Anyway?

1 cup fine cornmeal
1 Tablespoon salt
2 Tablespoons margarine
1/2 cup Gouda cheese, shredded
freshly ground pepper
1 oz package dried chanterelle mushrooms
1 cup vegetable broth
olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
3-4 tightly packed cups fresh baby spinach

Add mushrooms and stock to a small pot, bring stock to a boil.  Turn heat to low and let them simmer for about 20 minutes.Polenta with Spinach and Chanterelles

In large pot, bring three cups of water to a boil with 1 Tablespoon of salt. Whisk the cornmeal into the boiling water and turn heat to low. Let cornmeal absorb the water, then add an additional 3 cups of water 1/2 cup at a time. Let each 1/2 cup of water absorb before adding the next. Stir occasionally to ensure that the polenta does not stick to the bottom of the pan.Polenta with Spinach and Chanterelles

When the polenta is near the end of cooking, remove mushrooms from cooking broth and then saute in a small pan with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Add a splash of tamari to the mushrooms. Heat through and remove from pan into a small bowl. (If there are large pieces of mushrooms, feel free to cut some smaller.)

Add another 3 teaspoons of olive oil and garlic to the saute pan. Let garlic saute a bit. Add spinach to pan and wilt. Remove from heat.Polenta with Spinach and Chanterelles

Once the polenta is cooked, stir in gouda and margarine into the pan. Add freshly ground pepper to taste. Stir to combine. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until cheese and butter is melted.Polenta with Spinach and Chanterelles

Add polenta to serving bowl, top with sauteed spinach and mushrooms. Shred some additional gouda on the top to taste.Polenta with Spinach and Chanterelles

 Polenta with Spinach and Chanterelles

Three Recipes for Vegetarian Steamed Dumplings

January 12, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

I received a bamboo steamer as a gift over the holidays from my in-house taste tester. It was partially a hint to make some of the awesome dumplings we had when we were in Sydney, Australia. I’ll some day try to re-create those dumplings, in the meantime, I adapted three recipes and created my own dim sum extravaganza.

If you get a brand new bamboo steamer, heat some water in a wok to boiling. Place the steamer over the water, and let it sit there empty for about 30 minutes. When you’re ready to use it for cooking, line the bottom with lettuce or cabbage leaves so all your hard work doesn’t end up just sticking to the bottom of the steamer. (Trust me, I experimented by not using them for the last batch and I really don’t want to go through that clean-up again.)

The stuffings are very easy and quick to make. Count on spending a little time in the assembly of the dumplings; although, they are a lot of fun to put together.

Three Recipes for Vegetarian Steamed Dumplings
by Megabeth

Prior to starting these recipes, cut 14 oz block of tofu in half, press with paper towels for at least 20 minutes. Two of the recipes below require one half of the entire block.

1 package won-ton wrappers (40)
lettuce or cabbage leaves for bamboo steamer

Dumplings with Tofu and Vegetables
(inspired by Alton Brown)

7 oz firm tofu, diced
1/2 cup broccoli slaw (prepackaged shredded mix)
1/2 cup shredded carrots
2 T finely chopped scallions
1 T soy sauce
1 T hoisin sauce
1 egg lightly beaten

Finely chop shredded broccoli and carrots. Put ingredients in small bowl and mix to combine.

Shitake and Soy
6 shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced and chopped
1 T soy sauce

Combine in bowl.

Spicy Tofu with Chili Garlic
7 oz tofu, diced
1 T chili paste with garlic
1 scallion, finely chopped

Place ingredients in small bowl. Stir to combine.

Place lettuce or cabbage leaves in bottom of bamboo steamer. (Leaves prevent the dumplings from sticking to the bamboo…trust me.)

Place wonton wrapper on flat surface. Scoop a heaping teaspoon of filling in middle of wrapper. Wet finger with water and brush the edges so that they will stick together when folded. Fold into a triangle or into a bundle. Place dumpling in steamer. Cover dumplings with damp paper towel while working on assembling the rest.

Once you’ve filled the steamer trays, fill the bottom of wok with water (not enough to touch bottom of steamer) and bring to a boil. Place covered bamboo steamer in wok. (Be sure to remove the damp paper towels from inside of steamer used during preparation!) Allow to steam for 10-15 minutes.

While they are cooking, assemble more of the dumplings until you run out of filling (or run out of energy). Put finished dumplings in a preheated 200 degree oven until all are finished cooking. Otherwise, serve dumplings straight from the steamer.Vegetarian Steamed Dumplings

 Vegetarian Steamed Dumplings

 Vegetarian Steamed Dumplings

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