Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Quick Onion-Mushroom Gravy

Developed March, 2023. Good companion to grilled or roast meats, meat loaf, mashed potatoes, steamed rice, noodles, spaetzle, or open-face sandwiches. 

1 T vegetable oil
2 oz button mushrooms, finely chopped
1 T all-purpose flour
1 t beef dry rub
1 T dry onion
8 oz hot water, divided
1 T beef or onion stock base (Better Than Bouillon™ is good)
1 T porcini powder
1 T tapioca or corn starch dispersed in 1 T cold water

Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium and add mushrooms. Fry for a few minutes until they are browned. Stir in the flour, heat for a minute, then add the dry onion, the dry rub, and heat for another minute. Off heat, whisk in a 1/4 cup hot water to form a smooth slurry. Stir in stock base and porcini powder. When incorporated, stir in the remaining hot water, and simmer 5 minutes. Whisk in the starch slurry and heat until it thickens. The recipe is easily doubled.

Variations: Dilute the finished gravy with 1 cup beef stock to make a jus for French dip sandwiches or as a base for hearty soups or stews.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Vegetable Lo Mein

Developed Summer, 2022 from an earlier dry-noodle dish. This version utilizes fresh lo mein noodles purchased at a local pan-Asian grocery.

1 medium yellow onion, thinly cut through poles
1 T minced garlic
2 c baby bok choy, cut on the bias into 1-inch pieces
2 c napa cabbage, cut into shreds
1 7-oz can bamboo shoot strips, rinsed well, and drained
3 T vegetable oil, divided

16 oz fresh lo mein noodles


1 c chicken stock

2 T soy sauce
2 t roasted sesame oil

1/2 t sugar
2 t fish sauce

1 T shao shin rice wine
2 T oyster sauce

2 t tapioca or corn starch

2 green onions, cut on bias

Bring 3 quarts of salted water to a gentle boil. Add the noodles, separating them as they boil. Boil gently for 3 minutes. Drain well, toss with 1 tablespoon of oil, cover and keep warm. Meanwhile combine the sauce ingredients in a cup. To make the topping, heat 1 T of oil sizzling hot in a large wok. Stir fry the onions until they begin to soften. Then stir fry, in turn, the bok choy, napa, onions, bamboo shoots, and garlic, adding oil as needed. When the vegetables are almost done, stir in the sauce and bring to a boil. Then, fold in the noodles, and heat through. Serve in a large bowl, garnished with the green onions. Serves 6. Variation: shreds of meat cooked separately can be added with the noodles.