Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Good Gravy

It's interesting how much time I find that I have when I'm not scurrying around during the last few days before Thanksgiving doing all the things that I usually do.  During one of my butt-icing sessions, it occurred to me that I could use my extra time to try to include a few interesting dishes to complement our usual turkey-stuffing-potatoes-cranberry routine.

In my searching, I came across a very tasty-sounding recipe, which I immediately modified and changed to the point that I really can't post the actual recipe that I used.

Sorry. I can't remember exactly what amounts I used of anything. Or I'd put my modified recipe here.

So I decided to make a roasted vegetable gravy to serve alongside our traditional turkey gravy. I began by spraying a roasting pan with cooking spray, then spread a single layer of various veggies on the bottom of the pan and drizzled them with olive oil. I used onions, garlic, carrots, and celery. I roasted them at 400 degrees f. for about an hour, or until the vegetables were soft and were beginning to brown.

After I removed the pan from the oven, I dumped in some low-sodium organic vegetable broth and scraped all those yummy browned bits from the pan; and transferred the broth and veggies to a sauce pan. I added some more vegetable broth. I don't know how much.

Then I added some fresh herbs -- rosemary and parsley -- because that's what I had on hand, some soy sauce, and let the pot simmer for about another hour.

After I strained the vegetables out of the broth I was pleased to see that the gravy was a nice caramel color.  I added some salt and fresh-ground black pepper, hesitantly tasted it, and was pleasantly surprised by the flavor: kind of sweet, yet substantial and a bit salty. After making a roux of butter and flour, I scraped the browned buttery stuff into my stock and the gravy thickened nicely.

Well, now.

The original recipe said that this gravy could be made a two or three days ahead of Thanksgiving if kept refrigerated then warmed on the stovetop a few minutes before serving; and that the gravy may need a shot or two of vegetable broth or white wine or water to thin it a bit after refrigeration.

I'll give y'all a gravy update after Turkey day.

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