Saturday, November 26, 2011

Vegan mushroom gravy for a crowd

My main contribution to friend Thanksgiving (Thanksgiving part I!) this year. Actually Lester did all of the chopping for this, and it's a considerable amount of chopping, so he should get most of the credit. A food processor would help with that. Substitute whatever mushrooms you like, of course. Makes 4-6 c gravy, enough to comfortably feed about 15 wonderful friends.

2 heads roasted garlic
several T earth balance
2 shallots, minced
5 large portabellas, minced
several cups (maybe 8oz?) shitakes, minced
1 t no-chicken bouillon
pepper, thyme, and paprika to taste
2 t cornstarch
2 t flour
wine and water
salt to taste

Start the garlic roasting (drizzled with oil and wrapped in foil) at whatever temperature the oven is at, and get all the ingredients chopped and ready to go. Saute the shallots in the earth balance in a large frying pan, then add the mushrooms and cook (may need to add the mushrooms in batches, letting each batch cook down a bit to make room for more). Stir in the bouillon, spices, and starches. Splash in some liquid and let simmer and thicken to your desired consistency. I wasn't measuring this part at all, but I probably used about 1/3 c red wine and 1-2 c water over the course of several additions; you may want more flour and/or cornstarch too. Whenever the garlic is done, scoop out the cloves into a little bowl, mush them up a bit, then stir them into the gravy. Adjust the spices at the end, adding more salt only if there wasn't enough from the bouillon. Serve hot over Michelle's turkey, Lindsay's biscuits, Elise's taters, and many different stuffings.


This recipe from the Scandinavian Baking Book is one of my family's few holiday traditions. This year I made them for family Thanksgiving (Thanksgiving part II!) at Sarah's house. They have a lot of butter in the dough, but it's not a croissant recipe--they end up soft and puffy rather than flaky.

1 c scalded milk
1/2 c warm water
1/4 c sugar
2 t yeast
1/4 t salt
3 eggs
1 stick butter, softened
5+ c all-purpose flour
couple T milk and/or cream and/or egg, beaten together to make a glaze

Make sure the scalded milk isn't too hot, then stir in the water, yeast, and sugar, and let sit for a few minutes until foamy. (If it doesn't get foamy, add some more yeast, and if it still doesn't get foamy keep going anyway.) Stir in the salt, eggs, and butter, then stir/knead in 5 c flour one cup at a time. Turn onto a floured board and knead for a few minutes, incorporating about half a cup of flour to make a dough that doesn't stick to everything but is still quite soft and pliable. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.

Prepare a work surface by oiling it lightly (yes, oil not flour), getting out the rolling pin and a sharp knife, and buttering 2 or 3 baking sheets. Punch down the risen dough and divide into 3 equal-sized pieces. Roll the first piece of dough into a ~12" circle, and cut into 8 wedges. Roll up each wedge, starting with the wide end. Transfer to a baking sheet, making sure the tip of the wedge ends up underneath the roll, and arranging the wide ends into a slightly curved elongated horn shape. Repeat with the rest of the dough, then let rise until puffy.

Preheat the oven to 375F and brush the rolls with the glaze. Bake for 15-18 minutes until light golden. Serve warm with a holiday dinner (possibly with even more butter).