Recipe by: Courtney Flood
This recipe has several of my favourite ingredients that I love to promote. They sound somewhat “exotic”, but once you know how to use them they are great ingredients to have on hand and all have a great shelf life.
Nutritional yeast is high in protein and B vitamins and has a cheesy flavour that is a great vegan substitute for cheese. You can find it in bulk food stores.
Miso paste is made from fermented soybeans and adds a great vegetarian umami flavour. It’s a live food that is rich in probiotics, but can be pretty salty so use sparingly. Because it’s live, you need to be careful not to cook it; it’s best added at the end.
Yellow miso paste has the most mild flavour. Find in an Asian specialty grocer or health food store and store in the refrigerator.
Dried shitake mushrooms have a great shelf life and just need to be soaked in hot water to reconstitute. The best thing is that the soaking liquid gains a deep colour and umami flavour from the mushrooms – do not throw it out!
Dried shitakes are also my key ingredient in homemade vegetable stock. These can also be found in Asian speciality food stores.
Ground turmeric adds a deep yellow colour and slightly pungent flavour to foods. It is highly regarded in Ayurvedic medicine and has shown anti-inflammatory properties, amongst other benefits.
In other words, feel really good about eating this poutine!
2 lb red-skinned potatoes, diced in 1” cubes
1½ tbsp canola oil
pinch of salt
10 dried shitake mushrooms
1½ cups hot water
¼ cup nutritional yeast
¼ cup red wine
1 tbsp tamari or soya sauce
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp corn starch
1 tbsp yellow miso paste
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cheese curds or diced Oka cheese
Pour hot water over shitake mushrooms, make sure they are completely covered. Let soak for at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 400° F. Toss diced potato with canola oil and salt. Spread in an even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in oven for 30 – 40 minutes, until brown and crisp. Shake pan part-way through.
While potatoes are cooking, remove mushrooms and reserve soaking liquid. Thinly slice mushrooms.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix mushroom soaking liquid, nutritional yeast, red wine, tamari, and turmeric until simmering. Whisk in corn starch and boil gently until thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in miso paste. Stir in chopped mushrooms and freshly group black pepper to taste.
Fill an oven-safe bowl with hot-out-of-the-oven potatoes, sprinkle with cheese curds. I like to put this back in the oven for a few minutes to help the cheese start to melt, since we want our gravy to not be boiling hot to preserve the miso goodness. Top with miso-mushroom gravy.
Wine Pairing: Oyster Bay Pinot Noir 2012
This is a vegetarian dish with a rich “meaty” flavour. It pairs well with a light to medium-bodied wine. Heck, you could also do a full-bodied red if that is what you like and that is what you have on hand.
My favourite would be a cool-climate Pinot Noir, which tends to have an aroma of mushrooms and a bright acidity that would cut through the richness of the dish. I would also love a nice warm-climate Côtes du Rhône that stands up nicely to a hearty dish. Whichever wine you use, make sure you can crack it open early to add some to the gravy!
Courtney Flood is a wine and beer connoisseur, home cook, fitness lover, and number cruncher.
She spends her days as an accountant, but also does wine and beer marketing in her spare time. Courtney likes to unwind each night by making a healthy, home-cooked meal.