It was a gorgeous Southern California day: blue skies, sun shining and temperature creeping into the high 90’s. T informed me of a farmers market in our neighborhood that is held every Thursday, and as fate would have it, it was Thursday and we needed food for the house. So off we went with Liam and Jack in tow (Stella wanted to stay home in the comfort of the air-conditioned house).
The produce was amazing. Beautiful heirloom tomatoes, green beans, asparagus, strawberries, peaches (I used these for the LN2 ice cream at the track) – you name it, they had it. Honey, soaps, fresh flowers, beef and seafood, the list goes on and on! We were nearing the end of the market when we came across these beautiful, lush, cremini mushrooms – of course, I had to have them. I wanted to make rich, creamy, roasted mushroom gravy! It’s so easy to make, and very versatile. You can use mushroom gravy on steaks, pork, pasta, polenta, rice and so many other dishes. I had been itching to make some mushroom gravy, and thought it would be great to have them on hand in the fridge for quick and easy meals.
I’ve made this at school several times, and it’s super easy and tasty. I start off by wiping the mushrooms clean with paper towel. Then I chop them up, put them on a baking sheet with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and put them in a 350F oven for about 30-45 minutes until they’re golden brown. When they’re done, I put them in a medium sized sauce pan and heat them up to a sizzle, then add 4 tablespoon of red wine to deglaze the pot. After adding ½ cup of vegetable stock, I reduce the heat to a simmer. Off the heat I added 1 cup of half and half, and 1 cup of milk. This particular time, I simmered this concoction for about 20 minutes.
The kitchen smelled wonderful. Patsy and Tori even popped their heads into the kitchen and asked what we were having for dinner. When I told them what it was – and that I was going to serve it over grilled polenta – I watched as their mouths watered and big smiles took over their faces.
But then it happened. As I went over to check my gravy and do some last minute seasoning adjustments and tasting, I was horrified at what I saw in the pot. My mushroom gravy had turned purple! I mean . . . Purple!! What bizarre chemical reaction had taken place when I turned my back?? Did the kids throw a purple crayon in my gravy?? I was truly stumped. It tasted great, but visually it was unappetizing. I tried to add a little more cream to it, but it just made it a lighter purple. Needles to say, the grilled polenta didn’t happen. T and Patsy said they didn’t mind, but I could see in their eyes they were off-put by the color.
To this day, I still can’t figure out what happened. I need your help. Does anyone out there have any ideas what happened to my mushroom gravy? Please submit your theories and try and fix my kitchen fail!
Why do you think my gravy turned purple? Have you ever had a kitchen fail like this?