Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Adam's date?!? NEW YEAR'S EVE!

2011 fell away from me. It happened so fast I can hardly believe that it is already (gasp) early-mid January! In 5 days it will officially be the middle of the month, and do you know what that means? It means that I failed to update you on Thanksgiving,Christmas and New Year's Eve in a timely fashion. I guess I am just fashionably late!

Thanksgiving and Christmas shared a common theme: eating and lazing about. Also, I made the same main dish for each! I had stumbled upon this recipe a few months prior and decided it would be the perfect Thanksgiving entree. I had almost everything on hand, too which always makes things easier.

For whatever reason, I thought that this Roulade would be time-consuming and difficult. It was, in fact, the opposite. The homemade seitan was 10 million times easier to make than the boiling method that I am so accustomed to, and it was so flavorful. Also, the crispy, dark skin that forms (that sounds so gross, but there is no other way to describe it) is one of the best things I have ever eaten.

Okay, let me break it down before everyone leaves because I can't stop raving about seitan skin - which is now going to be the name of my new death metal band.

I only strayed from the recipe briefly and only with ingredients. I'll list what I used, but if you want to follow the recipe exactly use the link! Also, I doubled everything listed below to make 2 rolls.

Ingredients (for one delicious, flavorful roll of crispy seitan skin et. al.):

For the Seitan:

1 Cup vital wheat gluten
3/4 cup vegetable stock

For the Roulade (def. Noun: A dish cooked or served in the form of a roll, typically made from a flat piece of meat, fish or sponge cake, spread with a soft filling and rolled up into a spiral.):

1 lb of uncooked Seitan (recipe below)
1/2 cup soy sauce (I used Tamari and a little bit of Bragg's)
3 TBS olive oil
1 small onion or 2 large shallots - diced
3 cloves of garlic - minced
1 cup Chantarelle Mushrooms - coarsely chopped
1 cup Apple Sage Field Roast, cooked and crumbled
1 tsp fresh thyme
black pepper
4 cups finely diced bread (I had half a loaf of focaccia, stale and sad, sitting on the counter that I combined with some French bread)
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup Cranberries
1/2 - 1 Cup vegetable broth


1. Make your seitan! In a large bowl combine gluten flour and vegetable stock. Stir until a soft dough forms. Knead for 3 minutes and let rest for 5.

2. Place seitan in a shallow baking dish. Pour soy sauce over the top and let marinate for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.

3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet, or wok if you're me and that's all you use, heat olive oil.
Add onion and cook until soft. Add garlic and cook 1 or 2 minutes more.

4. Add sausage and cook until browned. Add pine nuts and cook until just toasted. If you pre-cooked your sausage, add it along with the mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper and cranberries.  Remove from heat and stir in the bread crumbs. Add vegetable broth bit by bit - maybe 3 TBS at a time - until the stuffing is soft.

5. Remove your seitan from the bowl and SAVE THE MARINADE. Now, the recipe says to place it between two sheets of plastic wrap and roll it out with a rolling pin. This was not an easy task and was the only part of the recipe that was somewhat difficult. It was easily fixed, however, by removing the plastic wrap and rolling the seitan directly on the counter top. It takes some arm strength, but it will flatten. It should be roughly 1/4 inch thick and about the 8 1/2 x 11 inches. Seitan paper!

6. Using your hands, spread the stuffing over the seitan to within 1/2 inch of the edges, then roll it up. In a lightly oiled, shallow baking dish, place the rolled seitan seam-side down. Pierce in several places with a fork.

7. Pour the reserved marinade over the roulade and bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Baste once with the hot marinade from the baking dish and bask in the beauty of the partially cooked roulade before closing the oven door. Bake for 25 more minutes, still uncovered. Remove from the oven when the surface of the roast is firm and golden brown (the skin!!). Let rest for 10 minutes.

8. Slice with a serrated knife and serve with gravy and cranberry sauce or on it's own.

I garnished the platter with some kale because I thought it looked festive.

So, the Seitan Roulade was a huge Thanksgiving hit and I thought about it every day until Christmas, when I made it again, alongside a gigantic roasting pan of vegetables and potatoes! It was the perfect accompaniment to presents and friends!

There is no actual photographic evidence of New Year's Eve, but it was as close to a cinematic New Year's Eve as I have ever gotten. 

I am ready for 2012 and everything it's got up it's sleeve. Although, the New Year's baby is topless and I am most definitely not ready for what he has in his diaper. Sorry, I am digressing (and regressing apparently), but 2012! Yay! 

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