November 24, 2012

Claire's Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Mushroom Gravy

When I think of Thanksgiving, I think of mashed potatoes.  Honestly, I could eat an entire plate of mashed potatoes on any given day, but on Thanksgiving Day I actually do.  Twice.  Now, don't be fooled.  These aren't the best mashed potatoes in the world because that title belongs to my mamma's potatoes, but I like to think these are a pretty close second.  

Claire's Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

makes a HUGE pot, enough for 5 people or just me


10 large yukon gold potatoes (or the Korean white potatoes), washed with the outer skins scrubbed
5 tbs non-dairy butter
2 heads of garlic
4 tbs olive oil
2-4 cups unsweetened soymilk
4 tbs dried herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary, basil, parsley)
salt and pepper to taste 

begin by cutting your washed and scrubbed potatoes into small pieces.  place in a large pot and fill with water.  boil the potatoes until they are soft enough to be easily smashed by a fork.  you may have to boil the potatoes in stages, which is totally fine.
while your potatoes cook, chop up 2 heads of garlic into very fine pieces (a food processor would be perfect for this or buy the pre-chopped garlic if you want to save time).  add the olive oil and garlic to a pan and cook on very low for about 15-20 minutes.  You are not trying to brown the garlic, just roast it and infuse the oil. 
once the potatoes are cooked and still warm, transfer to a large bowl and mix with non-dairy butter, garlic and infused olive oil and soy milk. smash with a potato masher until smooth.  add the dried herbs by rubbing them between your palms over the bowl.  the heat from your hands and movement will help to "wake up" the oils in the herbs. 
add salt and pepper to taste and more or less soy milk until you have the consistency you prefer! 

but what to go on top of the mashed potatoes?  personally, i like to mix my peas into my mashed potatoes but Thanksgiving calls for something a little more "grown-up".  Use this mushroom gravy recipe to impress! 

*if you hate mushrooms like i do, still give this a try! it's really good and has none of the "squishy" mushroom texture

Claire's Mushroom Gravy


2 bunches of mushrooms,  heartier mushrooms work best like cremini, white button or shiitake
1 cup of soy sauce
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 veggie bouillon cube 
1/2 cup flour
3-4 cups of soymilk
pepper to taste

begin by lightly rinsing and removing the stems of the mushrooms.  don't worry about them absorbing water during the rinse.  it will all cook off.  roughly chop the mushrooms.
add a bit of oil to a pan and cook the mushrooms over high heat.  once the mushrooms start to release their liquid, add in all of the soy sauce.  keep cooking over high heat until all the liquid is gone and the mushrooms are crispy and brown on the outside.  remove from the heat and blend the mushrooms in a blender with one cup of soymilk so that they are in very small pieces. 
add a touch more oil to the pan and over low heat, saut√© the garlic. add the mushroom mixture back into the pan and mix with the garlic and bouillon cube until it has disappeared.  
sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms until it binds up and and is sticky.  allow to cook for about a minute to cook off the "raw flour" taste.  
slowly add in the rest of the soymilk, whisking the mushroom mixture as you go.  it will be thin at first, but as it comes up to temperature, it will begin to thicken.  Add pepper to taste.
If you need to add more liquid to dilute the gravy, just use a bit of water until the desired consistency is reached.
serve on top of mashed potatoes, stuffing or anything else! 

photo by Claire Harris

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