Guest Author - Angela Thornton-Millard
Gravy is definitely a staple around holidays. But, gravies made with fatty meat juices and butter can add a lot of calories to your plate quickly. This gravy has fewer calories and is also easily made vegetarian by using vegetable broth, and even the meat-lovers in your family will not notice the difference. This recipe relies on mushrooms for the “meaty” flavor and texture. Fresh mushrooms have a wonderful flavor. But, fresh mushrooms can be expensive and often go bad quickly. This recipe takes advantage of dried mushrooms to add flavor and depth to this low-fat gravy.
If you cannot find dried mushrooms or happen to have fresh ones on hand, go ahead and substitute 2 cups of fresh mushrooms for the dried ones in the recipe. You will also need a little more broth to make your potatoes and gravy.
2 to 3 pounds potatoes
1 cup dried mushrooms
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ medium onion, finely minced
Vegetable, chicken or beef broth
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon thyme
¼ cup of Wondra flour
Peel the potatoes and cut into 2-inch chunks. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring the water and potatoes to a boil and continue boiling until the potatoes are soft, but not mushy, when pierced with a fork.
In the meantime, cover the mushrooms with 2 cups of water. Bring the mushrooms to a boil. Then turn off the heat and steep for 20 to 30 minutes to rehydrate. When the mushrooms have finished steeping, drain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid.
When the potatoes are cooked, drain off and discard the water. Place the potatoes in a large bowl. Using either a stand mixer or a hand mixer, start mashing the potatoes on low speed. Add some of the reserved mushroom liquid and gradually increase the mixer speed to get the desired consistency. When the mashed potatoes are finished, you can place them in an oven safe dish and keep warm in the oven. Or, you can cool the potatoes and refrigerate or freeze for later.
To make the mushroom gravy, finely chop the mushrooms. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, and sautee the onion and the mushrooms until the onion is browned. Use the remaining mushroom liquid and add broth to it to make 4 cups of liquid. Add the liquid, salt and thyme to the pan. Slowly stir in the Wondra flour. Bring the mixture to a low boil and continue to boil and stir until the gravy reaches the desired consistency.