Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Glazed carrots, Bryanna's seitan "turkey" with a light maple dijon glaze, mushroom gravy, broccoli casserole, roasted brussel sprouts, bread dressing and mashed potatoes.

Thanksgiving 2009

Bryanna's seitan "turkey" with a light maple dijon glaze, broccoli casserole, bread dressing, roasted brussel sprouts, freshly baked bread, cornichons, dill cream "cheese", Tartex vegan pate. Not shown: Mushroom gravy, chickpea gravy, glazed carrots, mashed potatoes and brought by our guests, a salad, apple pie and ice cream.

I love cooking for people and back home I used to always have people over for Thanksgiving. In RVA however, I didn't have any friends there so there were no dinner guests. Not this year though! I was determined to feed some friends and I was delighted to be able to cook a big dinner for more people than just me and the Mr. In the food frenzy, I only took a few flash pics which didn't turn out great (second set of photos) so the next day I took a pic of my leftovers (top photo).

The full menu was:
  • Bryanna's seitan "turkey" with a light maple dijon glaze
  • roasted brussel sprouts
  • bread dressing/stuffing
  • mashed potatoes with scallions
  • mushroom gravy
  • chickpea gravy
  • glazed carrots
  • broccoli casserole (like green bean casserole but with broccoli)
  • fresh bread with some sides of Tartex brand pate, dill cream "cheese", cornichons
Now I know that a bunch of you are going to ask, "how was the seitan 'turkey'"? How did I know that? Well, that recipe has been floating around for some time and is fairly involved so a lot of people don't try it but it always sounds amazing. Before I made it, I read mixed reviews which some said the texture was too soft or too spongey. Those were the main gripes. I was a little worried but well, Bryanna is the seitan queen and everyone's favourite vegan grandmother, so I put my trust in her. Boy, am I ever glad I did. That was by far the best textured seitan I've ever made. Taste-wise it could have used more sodium (I like salt) but the addition of gravy took care of that.

Bryanna's description of the roast is spot on: "tender, not rubbery, and which slices easily". All I have to say for those folks that had sub-par texture results is to try it again and follow the recipe to a "T". When it says 12 oz of tofu, shave approximately 2 oz from your 14 oz block. Don't try and over compensate by adding in more gluten flour because you might mess up. The texture of this dough when you first mix it is very different than your usual seitan dough. Also when she says to knead it in a bread machine or mixer with dough hook for 10 minutes, rest for 1 hour and then knead for 10 minutes more, she means it. The dough will indeed be shiny and uniform in texture after the extensive kneading — something that is very difficult to do by hand. This step is really important for the proper texture. In addition, when she says to bake it until the liquid is absorbed, do it. If you follow all her instructions AND cook a day before, cool in fridge and reheat the next day (I glazed mine for the reheating), you will be rewarded with one of the best textured seitan "turkey" recipes you'll ever make. It takes some planning to make this but the results are worth it. Trust me. This is definitely going to be my "go to" holiday seitan recipe.

Let's see, what else. Well, everything else was my own concoction (I cook by taste so I generally don't have anything written down so no recipes). The broccoli casserole was like green bean casserole but I used porcini mushrooms and homemade french fried onions. Everything was made from scratch (even the bread for the stuffing/dressing) except for the pate and the cream "cheese". I wish I had better pictures of the sides but oh well, next time. I had several other dishes planned but after seeing the amount of food that I already made I had to scale down the menu.

All in all, I was really pleased with how things turned out. Good food and good friends. A perfect way to spend a holiday.


Kristin said...

That broccoli casserole looks amazing!

I made Bryanna's 'turkey' a few years ago and it made a ton. So I took the leftovers and made a great 'turkey' pot pie. If you have a bunch left over you might want to try it.

ms. veganorama said...

Thanks Kristin! Leftovers are all gone but I definitely think a more seasoned version of her "turkey" is going to be my go-to holiday roast. I was going to make a roulade but didn't want to fuss with that for the first time making her recipe.

I wish I had a better pic of the casserole. It turned out extremely well. Christmas is just around the corner so I'll have to make this again. :)

Kristin said...

Yep, my thanksgiving leftovers are all gone too. I almost want to make another just so I can make pot pie out of it. :)

ms. veganorama said...

Heh, I hear you on that! I want leftovers so I can make hot sandwiches with gravy! :p

I read your (short) review of the "turkey" in the pot pie post. I didn't find it tasted like flour at all but I did find that it needed extra sodium. Next time I am going to season it more like her soy & seitan cutlets, but texture-wise mine turned out awesome.

Ryan, said...

Hi - Rad vegan site! I'm planning to feature it on a browser bar for vegetarians. We are a group of vegan volunteers connecting people with veg resources like yours. Our goal is a world with greater compassion. It seems like we share that. If you can squeeze it into your schedule I'd love to chat. Ryan, president ( or 215-589-2437)

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