And we’re back for day 11 of our 31 New Year Recipes! As you’ve seen, we have actually have TWO recipes today. But we’re counting it as one because they were made for each other. ^_^
We are making a mushroom gravy and poultry-seasoned tofu. Let me tell you my history with this gravy recipe, then Ryan will chime in with his tofu…
Gravy happened every holiday in my house growing up and sometimes on special occasion throughout the year. I guess because we ate it rarely, it was special for me. We usually ate the store-bought version, which was really good but when I got older I experimented in the kitchen more and I wanted to make a more wholesome version.
A lot of my recipes are culminations of dishes that I have seen and made throughout the years. I really love to play with food and make delicious creations in the kitchen. Sometimes I get inspired by other people’s recipes, other times I make up my own, and a lot of times it is a combination where I spin off of peoples ideas and add my own ‘flavors’.
This gravy has inspiration from when I was cooking a lot back at home in Maine, and also includes a new element from my more recent life in Hawai’i.
In Maine, I would love to put red wine in my gravy; just a little bit, to give it deep flavor and that something special. And now in Hawaii, I got inspiration from when I worked at Sweet Cane Cafe and we would make poi gravy there. Their recipe is great and they make it there on special occasions.
If you don’t know what poi is, let me explain… In the Polynesian islands, a starchy root vegetable called taro is a staple food. When taro root is steamed and mashed with a native tool called a “poi pounder”, it turns into a pasty substance that is cherished here. You can have it alone, as a side, on meals, or in them - like this recipe!
So if you are lucky enough to have access to it, make it with poi. And we realize that’s not likely, as poi isn’t available everywhere, but it’s ok, because it is still a solid recipe without it.
Now let’s hear Ryan’s take on this bomb new tofu recipe he just created…
A lot of people roll their eyes at tofu because of its blandness, and honestly I can’t disagree. However, I think what is first seen as a weakness can be made into a strength.
My approach with this dish illustrates the fact that –since it is such a ‘neutral’ protein, similar to chicken breast – tofu is actually quite versatile.
The concept here was to make tofu have a poultry-like presence, and to give Alexa’s amazing mushroom-poi gravy the perfect subject to make shine.
I used a relatively gentle marinade that is enough to make the tofu more tasty on its own, yet subtle enough so it becomes the perfect vehicle for our light brown gravy.
In this instance I didn’t have much time to let it marinade, but it most definitely did the job with only about an hour to soak in the juices. I am excited to cook up the rest of it tomorrow after a full night absorbing flavor. And then our leftover gravy will just set it over-the-top.
Without further ado… Let’s get into it!
In order of appearance…
• 1 small Onion
• 2 stalks Celery
• 1 1/2 cups Crimini Mushrooms
• 1/2 tbsp Oil (I used avocado oil this time)
• 1/4 tsp Poultry Seasoning
• 1 tsp Tamari
• Salt & Pepper
• 1 cup Milk*
• 2 tsp Red Wine
• 1/4 cup Poi
• Again, any milk works good - I’ve use almond, macadamia, coconut
Dice the onion, mushrooms, and celery and sauté on the stove with oil until soft. You can add the poultry seasoning here while cooking
When done, add the sautéed veggies to the blender with the rest of the ingredients: tamari, salt, pepper, milk, wine, and poi, if using
Blend well and serve over your favorite dish!
Pre-prep: 10-15 minutes
Cook time: 10-15 minutes
Total: 20-30 minutes
Poultry Seasoned Tofu
In order of appearance…
• 1 cup Water
• 1 tbs White Miso
• 1 tsp Poultry Seasoning
• 1 tsp Ginger Powder
• 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
• 1 tsp Black Pepper
• 1/2 tsp Spike seasoning
• 1 tsp nutritional yeast
• 1/2 tsp Paprika
• 1/4 tsp Cumin
• 1 block (16-oz.) extra super firm Tofu
Heat water to a near boil.
Add miso and whisk until dissolved.
Add spices and whisk.
Slice tofu to desired thickness, around 1/4” – 1/2” recommended.
Lay tofu in one layer on dish with a rim, and pour marinade evenly overtop.
Let sit at least 1 hour in the fridge, flipping once halfway through. The longer it sits the more it will soak up flavor.
Put a little oil or butter in a pan on medium heat, and sautée tofu until it browns.
Flip each piece and brown the other side.
Some complementary sides include cooked or pickled vegetables, mashed potato, rice, sauerkraut.
Also would be prime served atop a salad, or as the meat in a sandwich.
Think of it as a chicken/turkey replacement, and you’ll figure how to use it. ;)
Pre-prep: 15-25 minutes to prep sauce and tofu (plus 1 hour for marinating tofu)
Cook time: 10-13 minutes
Total: 35-40 minutes to prep and cook, (plus 1 hour for marinade)
The gravy isn’t a special occasion type of recipe anymore. :) You can eat it any time and as often as you want; that’s what it has turned into for me. I made this for Thanksgiving and Christmas and here I am in January making it again. It’s that good.
And the poultry-seasoned tofu, straight winner as well. It’s delicious by itself but also very versatile for use in many ways. We will be making this again very soon. Maybe even in a sandwich or salad tomorrow…
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– Alexa & Ryan