So how did it taste?
Not bad thanks to the delightful Shittake Mushroom Gravy that Evan George ladled over the slabs of soy bird. In the end Evan Kleiman declared the faux meat “eminently edible” but admitted if she ate it again that she’d have to ask Evan George to make the gravy to go alongside it. In short – it’s pretty bomb gravy. So keep reading for the recipe…
Hot Knives’ Shittake Mushroom Gravy
(Makes 2 cups)
3 tablespoons Earth Balance margarine
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup mushroom stock
1 cup almond milk
4-5 shittake mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon soy sauce
several sprigs fresh thyme
a lot of freshly ground black pepper
sea salt to taste
1. Make a roux: Heat a medium-sized stock pot on high heat and after 30 seconds toss in the margarine. Let it melt and coat the surface of the pot before adding the flour. Stir frequently with a spatula to keep from burning the flour. The flour and butter will form a thick paste.
2. After about 3 minutes or as soon as the roux starts to brown, add half a cup of almond milk and whisk vigorously. Let it return to a near-boil. (It should re-thicken as you whisk.) Repeat this step twice, adding another 1/4 cup while whisking each time. Now repeat this step two more times, adding 1/4 of mushroom stock each time (you should have 1/2 cup stock left over). Now you should have a less thick, creamy liquid. Lower the heat to a simmer and let it slowly return to a near-boil.
3. Dice your shittake mushrooms. Place a skillet on high heat with the olive oil. Wait 30 seconds and toss in the mushrooms along with the fennel. Saute for several minutes, tossing frequently. Once they wilt and start to brown, add about 1/2 cup stock and soy sauce and cook like this for 5-10 minutes on medium, letting the mushrooms soak up this liquid. Set aside.
4. Season the still-simmering gravy with sage, cayenne and black pepper. Rip the thyme off its stem and into the pot and stir. Add the mushroom bits with as much or as little of the liquid as desired. Season with sea salt to taste. (Add remaining mushroom stock if needed, it’s extra just in case)