Well well well. This was certainly an experiment out of my comfort zone. I commented on Crystal's post a few days ago about how afraid I was of vital wheat gluten. It just sounds so foreign and I'd never seen or used it before.
But just like any time I finally admit one of my fears, I seem to instantly become determined to get over it. I found vital wheat gluten in the bulk bins at the co-op, it's a silky white powder that I think was about $2.50 per pound, and you can get it packaged from Bob's Red Mill also. With this bag of strangeness staring at my from my cupboard for a few days, I decided to tackle a crazy recipe for homemade vegetarian lunch meat.
The recipe is so incredibly simple and it makes a huge loaf of veggie meat that tastes fantastic sliced on bread with mustard and pickles! I still can't wrap my brain around the concept of making meat out of wheat, then serving it on more wheat...but it tastes so satisfying and delicious that I don't really care. Plus I have heard that vital wheat gluten is super high in protein so it's probably good for me to boot.
The cooking process involves both steaming and baking. I puzzled over how to steam my loaf for awhile and then I decided to elevate it on a few canning rings from pint jars in a half inch of water over medium heat. It worked like a charm.
This fake meat tastes just like seitan, or mock duck, if just a smidge drier for easy slicing. If sandwiches aren't your thing, you could use this loaf cut into cubes for stir fries, curries, or pot pies.
1 can or pint of white beans, drained
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 medium onion, grated on a box grater
2 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 chipotle pepper in adobo (from a can)
2 Tbsp poultry seasoning
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 cups boiling vegetable broth
2 3/4 cups vital wheat gluten
Add beans, oil, onion, garlic, soy sauce, chipotle, and spices (through pepper) to a food processor and blend until smooth and well mixed.
Remove to a large bowl and stir in broth. It will look like a red watery mixture. Add the vital wheat gluten and mix well. It will quickly become very thick, use your hands to knead for a few seconds to ensure it's very well mixed. Add to a foil-lined loaf pan (or just wrap in foil like a burrito).
Heat 1/2 inch water in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Place 2 metal canning rings in the pot. Put your loaf (in the pan or out, doesn't matter) on the rings, cover, and steam for 1 hour. You may need to add a bit more water after 30 minutes.
Then put your loaf (again, in the pan or out) in a 350 degree oven and bake for 40 minutes. Let cool.
Tastes great on bread with mustard and pickles.
ONE YEAR AGO: Kale and Chard Panade