A few months ago, I got biscuits and gravy for breakfast at the Phoenix with Brad (if you haven't been, GO! Or, obviously, request I take you when you visit). I've only had biscuits and gravy once before, and, of course, it was meaty gravy. But, oh my heart, the gravy at Phoenix was mushroom gravy. 100% vegetarian. It has been SO LONG since I've had gravy. I nearly turned into a little puddle of happy right there. And, no surprise, this meal was delicious - two yummy biscuits, amazing gravy, and two poached eggs (I think there were potatoes, too). We went back a few weeks later and it wasn't on the menu, so I've been dreaming of it for ages. Yesterday, I decided to take matters into my own hands and got my mushroom on.
I googled recipes and decided on this Martha version. Mushroom gravy kind of takes forever to make. And requires oodles of mushrooms.
I couldn't find cremini mushrooms, so I just bought all shittake (and the one portobello). I was even a little short, but it still created quite the mountain of fungus.
You hang on to all the chopped caps for a bit. First you have to make stock - which is hilarious because it is really like making chicken stock. Just with, you know, mushroom stems.
After a while, it was time to start cooking the the actual mushrooms - Martha said to scrape the bottom of the pan with marsala, but I cracked open a bottle of White Pine (local winery) Dune Shadow Red. I ended up cooking the mushrooms in a few sploshes - when did a little extra wine hurt anyone?
Eventually you mix everything together. I added a few more sploshes of wine, a few sploshes of half and half, and a ton of pepper. Done! We had to have real food with our gravy, though, so I also made some mashed potatoes, some local (yeah!) asparagus, and Parmesan-crusted whitefish. Be sure to also take note of the ridiculous but cute chicken napkins I got in town for 99 cents.
The fish was ok. The asparagus was yummy. The potatoes and gravy were super duper! Very mushroomy, very gravy-like, probably a lot like a homemade mushroom soup, actually. That being said, this was not at all like the Phoenix gravy I've had in my mind for months (which was creamier and super peppery). So... when we've come down from all this gravy (it makes a LOT), I'll try out different recipes to hopefully replicate it. But I give myself two thumbs up for a valiant effort. Brad even liked it - and this was kind of like his nightmare meal. He hates mushrooms and onions (there are a ton of shallots).
Also on my mind for a while - the portobello burger I had in Saugatuck a few weeks ago, when Brad and I got out of town for the afternoon. Phil's Bar and Grille is one of my favorite spots we've found thus far. A small hometown bar with great food but a humble and cozy atmosphere (it hits that right-in-the-middle of fancy and dive perfectly). Anyway, I had my very first ever portobello burger, which was on a pretzel roll with goat cheese, avocado, and sun-dried tomato pesto. I had one portobello leftover from gravy, so tonight I tried to re-create this meal as well.
I couldn't find good pretzel rolls and I wasn't too worried about the pesto, but I had goat cheese and avocado, so I was happy. I marinated the cap in balsamic and oil for about 20 or 30 minutes, and then I sauteed it for about 15 minutes - 7-ish minutes on each side. (Side note: Real burger for Brad. I bought him a pre-burgered burger at the store. I didn't even have to touch it. Sweet!)
This was SO GOOD. Why are portobello burgers just now coming onto my radar? I need to have this often. Who knew?