Friday, January 22, 2016

Crescent Dragonwagon????

Twelve years ago or thereabouts, while browsing the aisles of the Castle Rock, Colorado library, I came upon a cookbook that I have been enamored with ever since - Passionate Vegetarian, by Crescent Dragonwagon.

 Her name alone was enough to make me pick it up and take it home. And, being the curious person I am, I did a bit of research online and discovered that when she was sixteen she and her then husband decided to come up with new names, and that was what she ended up with. If you're as curious as I am, you can read all about it on her website,

 I have tried numerous recipes from that cookbook over the years, but my all-time favorite is Mushroom - Miso gravy. I usually serve it on mashed potatoes... mmmmm.... but Larry suggested trying it on fried potatoes, so that is what we're doing tonight. This is a typical Friday night for the two of us -  not too exciting for some, but we love to try new recipes, and now and then revisit an old favorite.

Here's the recipe...

Yield: Makes about 4 cups


    • 1 teaspoon of butter or Better (see tips, below)
    • 1 teaspoon olive oil
    • Cooking spray
    • 1/4 medium onion, finely chopped
    • 2 cups sliced mushroom caps (about 1/3 pound)
    • 3 1/4 cups vegetable stock (see tips, below)
    • 3/4 cup dry white wine
    • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
    • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon golden miso (sweet white miso)
    • 1 tablespoon dark miso (traditional red miso)
    • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (see tips, below)
    • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


    1. 1. Melt the butter and olive oil together in a large skillet, well sprayed with cooking spray, over medium heat for about 1 minute. Add the onion and sauté, stirring often, for about 4 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften. Raise the heat slightly and add the mushroom caps. Continue cooking, stirring often, for 5 to 6 minutes more.
    2. 2. Pour the vegetable stock into a medium saucepan or Dutch oven, preferably nonstick, and warm over medium-low heat.
    3. 3. Pour the wine into a food processor and add the garlic, flour, golden miso, dark miso, nutritional yeast, and mustard. Buzz together to form a paste.
    4. 4. Whisk the paste into the warmed, but not hot, vegetable stock. Gently bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Take a ladleful of this liquid and swirl it into the sautéed mushroom mixture, stirring well to scrape up any little flavorful bits from the bottom of the skillet. Add the mushrooms, onions, and liquid to the pot with the stock, scraping the sauté pan clean.
    5. 5. Reduce the heat to very low and let the sauce simmer very gently, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Correct the seasonings with salt (you'll need little, if any, since miso is salty) and a lot of pepper. Serve hot, ladled over whatever good thing you are serving. 

Cooking in a motorhome is a bit of a challenge - everything has to be planned out step-by-step, and it is crucial to CLEAN AS YOU GO!!! It's such a challenge that more times than not I opt for a baked potato with Green Giant frozen broccoli with cheese sauce (I do love that stuff!) or a quick stir-fry using packaged chopped salad. But since  I really do love to cook,  every now and then we make some real food. 
 I love using the electric skillet whenever possible rather than the propane range, but since the skillet will have to be used for the fried potatoes, I'll cook my gravy on the stove top.
 So, first I chopped some nice red onion that I had hanging out in the refrigerator.  

And then sliced up the star of the show -the mushrooms...

I sauteed the onions and added the mushrooms in olive oil and a lot of butter...
 Woops! I forgot to take a picture of the wine, flour, garlic, miso, and Dijon mustard pulsing in the Magic Bullet, but here is the paste making its way into the mushroom broth...

 Now it just needs to simmer until it's thickened to a nicely smooth consistency.

Meanwhile, Larry's making the fried potatoes, which he had cubed hours ago....

He then fried up some onion and sprinkled it with salt and pepper...

added the potatoes, and let them do their thing until nice and crispy!

 Larry and I had agreed to cut back on our wine and beer consumption to save money, but this recipe just wouldn't be right without some white wine, so had to have it. I only used a half cup in the gravy, and couldn't let the rest go to waste!

The potatoes were ready for a final stirring,

 Larry broke two eggs into the pan.

Time to dish it up and pour on that delicious mushroom gravy!

The fried egg goes on top - Let's dig in! Mmmmmm....

And there are leftovers for tomorrow night!!!

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