I’m crushing on something new-to-me in the culinary world, seitan. Yup, I have entered the dark side. I might not return. I got a bag of vital wheat gluten last week and just jumped in. I made some char siu and shawama-style marinades and ate the whole batch in a day. Admittedly, the texture weirded me out at first. It was too real, and I felt like I was eating meat again. If you have ever had steak (or what they try to pawn off as such) at Taco Bell, that’s what it reminded of. That, or the meat in Lean Cuisines. It definitely was unnerving at first, but the flavors were so awesome that I found myself eating it first thing in the morning, cold. Then having it again for lunch. Then a second helping of both. Yeah, I have it bad for this flavorful powerhouse of protein.
So on Friday, I decided to keep my word on my promise to Andre about making vegan boudin. Now, I have never even made boudin, let alone whatever I was about to undertake. Guys, it was so freaking good! I made it into boudin balls stuffed with some mozzarella I had made. I wish I had written down a recipe, but I guess that just means I have to make it again soon. Darn.
So today I decided to have a cooking day. Made kielbasa-style seitan sausage, a huge chunk of seitan, soy milk, and potato wedges. These sausages fooled my dad, and I am pretty sure if they fooled him, they will win over just about anyone. Seitan is an interesting beast. You can knead it for a long time and end up with a chewy-texture end product. You can knead it less and get something more airy, like a chicken nugget. There are different ways to cook it too. These are baked and kneaded for a good while. The outside has that same snap that you would get from casing, and the inside is moist and delectable. You will want to mix all your dry ingredients in one container and mix all the wet in another. Once you dump the dry into the wet, move quickly and mix everything together. It’ll make a sponge looking blob pretty quickly.
Knead this for about two minutes or so, then let it rest for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, get two sheets of foil and two sheets of parchment paper. Place the parchment on top of the foil. This is what you will place the sausages on. You can omit the parchment paper, but I am not a fan of aluminum so I place it on there to create a barrier. After 10 minutes, knead the seitan some more, maybe two more minutes. Divide it in half, and roll it into a log shape. I doesn’t have to be perfect. The foil will help shape it while it bakes. Heat your oven to 350° F, and wrap your seitan in the foil. Roll it up like a Tootsie Roll and twist the ends. Don’t make it too tight! The seitan will expand while it cooks, and you don’t want any explosions. Place these on a cookie sheet and cook for one hour. After an hour, remove from the oven and let them rest for five minutes before serving. I sliced mine, covered in BBQ sauce, and ate it on a bun with pickled jalapenos and pickles. Yum Yum.
- 1 cup vital wheat gluten
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminos or soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
Mix the first four ingredients in a bowl. Mix the last three in a cup.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix with a fork until a spongelike ball forms.
Knead this for about two minutes.
Let the seitan rest and preheat the oven to 350°F.
Lay out two pieces of foil with parchment paper over them and set aside.
After 10 minutes, knead the seitan for two more minutes.
Divide into two pieces and roll them between your palms to make a log shape.
Place each piece inside the foil and roll it up but not too tight. The seitan will expand while baking. Twist the ends like a Tootsie Roll and bake on a cookie sheet for one hour.
After an hour, let the sausages rest for five minutes before enjoying.