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~Vegetarian Herb Gravy for Whatever Floats the Boat~

IMG_6314An all-purpose gravy that goes well on almost anything?  You betcha.  One basic recipe, made with a few pantry staples, and, in a few minutes (tick, tock), voila:  a great gravy that carnivores and vegetarians can sit down to enjoy, together, in harmony.  Yes indeedy, sans pan drippings, a luxurious gravy to drizzle over all things gravy goes on:  chicken-fried or smothered anything, meatloaf or hamburger steaks, open-faced bread-, biscuit- or waffle- sandwiches, French fries or poutine, rice or noodles, steamed or roasted vegetables, etc., etc., etc.  Read on:

Got drippings leftover from a roast?  Add them along w/the stock.

IMG_6287Like a chameleon adjusts its color to suit the environment, this gravy graciously accepts any carnivorous flavor you've got.  

If you've got meat-eatin' pan drippings leftover from your favorite roast beef, lamb, pork or chicken, run them through a fat-lean separator, discard the fat, and by all means, add them along with the vegetable stock.  Like a chameleon adjusts its color to blend in with its environment, this gravy graciously accepts any carnivorous flavor you've got to add.  Whether a vegetarian or not (and I am not), in a hurry with no worry, this recipe yields a luscious and generous two cups.  

IMG_62474  tablespoons salted butter

4  tablespoons all-purpose flour

1  teaspoon sea salt

1/2  teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper

1/2  teaspoon each:  garlic powder and onion powder

2  teaspoons herbes de Provence

2  cups unsalted vegetable stock, homemade or high-quality store-bought Kitchen Basics brand

2  teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, or a favorite steak sauce

1  4-ounce can, sliced mushrooms, drained (optional)*

* Note:  1/2-1 cup sautéed fresh mushrooms may be added, if it's an extra step you want to take.

IMG_6249 IMG_6249 IMG_6249~ Step 1.  In a small bowl, place and stir together the flour, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powders, and, herbs de Provence.  In a two-cup measuring container combine the vegetable stock with the Worcestershire sauce.

IMG_6258 IMG_6258 IMG_6258 IMG_6258~Step 2.  In a small 1 1/2-2-quart saucepan, melt the butter over low heat.  Add and whisk in the seasoned flour mixture until a thick paste forms.  Increase heat to medium- medium-high. Whisking constantly, cook the roux for 1-1 1/2-2 minutes, until bubbling and foamy.

IMG_6275 IMG_6275 IMG_6275~ Step 3.  Add the vegetable stock and Worcestershire mixture. Whisking constantly, bring to a boil over high heat.  If adding the optional mushrooms or pan drippings, add them at this time too.  Adjust heat to a steady simmer and continue to cook, whisking constantly, until gravy is thickened, 4-5 minutes.  

Float your favorite vegetarian's boat & serve ASAP:

IMG_6288Vegetarian Herb Gravy for Whatever Floats the Boat:  Recipe yields 2 cups + more if mushrooms or pan drippings are added.

Special Equipment List:  2-cup measuring container; 1 1/2-2-quart saucepan; whisk; fat-lean separator (optional); gravy boat

6a0120a8551282970b01b8d08b91a3970c 7.07.19 AMCook's Note:  At some point, all cooks encounter a hot liquid that needs to be thickened -- a soup, a stew, a sauce or a gravy (sometimes even a pudding or pie filling).  Not knowing how to do this can ruin a recipe. This fundamental task is one I always try to teach in my cooking classes. Why? Because I've come to learn it confounds a lot of home cooks:  ~ How to:  Make a Roux or a Slurry (to Thicken Liquids) ~.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2018)


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