We continue to prepare for the holidays with more of our favorite side dishes. This week we have the classic Mashed Potatoes and Gravy.
The thing about most mashed potato recipes that makes me crazy is that we fill up a big pot of water add the potatoes, cook them and then drain the water!!!! The water that has all that great starch and potential flavor. In cooking I'm always looking for ways to layer the flavors and create more flavor. So when we cook the potatoes in the old way were basically tossing flavor down the drain.
They key to these mashed potatoes is the cooking liquid. I want to flavor the liquid and use that same liquid to make my mashed potatoes.
Another thing that seems pretty simple but we often fail at is the actual cooking of the potatoes. People tend to over cook the potatoes which will lead to a watery mashed potato which will never be creamy and rich. You are looking for a slight tenderness to the potato. When you pierce it with a knife tip you want the potato to just yield. It should keep its shape and not fall apart.
The next key is the fat element. When I was kid my mom learned to make her mashed with milk, butter and mayonnaise. I know that might sound a little nasty but it made for some tasty mashers. So the point I'm making is the fat element is huge in creating a rich creamy mashed potato, after all fat adds flavor. Make a thick Cashew Butter with nutritional yeast and a heathy dash of apple cider vinegar to keep this recipe Whole Food Plant Based and Oil Free.
You’ll have more of the Cashew Butter than you need but it can be used as a spread. If you don't want to make the vegan Cashew Butter, you can use olive oil or a vegan butter such as Nature's Balance.
The key to this vegan Gravy are the caramelized onions. Again, we are building flavor with the Soy Sauce, Apple Cider Vinegar, Fennel and, of course, the Onions.
Vegan Mashed Potatoes & Gravy Recipe
2 Cups Almond Milk
3 Cups Water
8 Cups Potato -Yukon gold, diced
1 1/2 Tablespoons Yellow Miso Paste
1 Garlic Clove
1/4 Cup Chives, chopped
Cut the potatoes into large equal size chunks. Place in the pot with the Almond Milk, Water, Miso Paste & the Garlic Clove. Bring to a slow simmer, cooking for about 20 minutes.
Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them over a bowl to keep the liquid.
Now you have a few choices with this next step. A) Use an old fashion hand held masherB) Place in a standing mixer and whisk C) Use a potato ricer. All 3 work great the only difference is how smooth you like you mashers. The potato ricer will give you the smoothest texture.
Once you have picked your method of mashing. Place the potatoes in a bowl and add some of the cooking liquid about 1/2 Cup. Then mash and mix, adding more as needed. You are looking for a firm yet creamy balance. Then add 2 -3 Tablespoons of the Cashew butter. Mix well
Finish with finely chopped chives.
NOTES: You can peel or leave the skins. However if you plan to use a potato ricer itís best to peel them.
1 Cup Cashews
1/2 Cup Potato -Yukon gold, diced
1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast
1/2 Cup Water
2 Tablespoons Apple Cider vinegar
Pinch of Salt
Boil Cashews and Potato until soft.
Strain and add to a high speed blender or food processor with Apple Cider Vinegar, Nutritional Yeast and Salt. Blend until smooth.
Add water as needed, up to a 1/2 Cup, for smooth texture.
2 Yellow Onion, sliced
2 small Yellow Potatoes, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon Fennel Seeds
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
3 Cups Vegetable Broth
1 Tablespoon Parsley, chopped
1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast
1/4-1/2 Cup Almond Milk
1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Cup Cashews
Heat a sauce pan over medium heat add 3 Tablespoons of Vegetable broth or water and the sliced onions. Cook until the onions are a deep brown. Continue to scrape the bottom of the pan with a wood spoon to ensure that it does not burn.
Setting aside some Onions for Garnish
Add the fennel seeds to the onions continue to cook until the seeds become fragrant. Add the soy sauce, cooking until it is almost reduced to a glaze.
At this point add the potatoes, cashews and vegetable broth. Cook over low heat until the potatoes are tender.
Pour the mixture into you blender and puree until smooth.
Return the gravy to a clean sauce pan, add the apple cider vinegar, nutritional yeast, chopped parsley and the remaining caramelized onion.
Use the almond milk to adjust the consistency.