For the turkey part, I modified a seitan turkey recipe from the queen of seitan, Bryanna Clark Grogan. I made half the recipe, used fresh onion & garlic instead of dried and added a few herbs. I used Bryanna’s technique of kneading the dough in a bread maker.
The stuffing was one I’ve been making for ages and is adapted from a recipe originally from a pamphlet put out by Rise ‘n’ Shine wild rice.
Bryanna’s recipe calls for cooking the faux turkey in the oven for 3-1/2 to 4 hours. I’ve tried cooking seitan in the oven before, and haven’t had a lot of luck. It always seems to take much longer than it’s supposed to, and at a higher temperature. And the cost of fuel being as extortionate as it is, I try not to cook things which need hours and hours in the oven. So I decided to wrap the turkey in cotton muslin and steam it instead. This worked great! I was inspired by Monique at The Happy Veganarian for the idea of using cloth instead of cheesecloth or foil; Monique came up with the technique of using handkerchiefs to steam her veggie sausages.
Because I wanted a “skin” on the turkey, after it was finished steaming, I wrapped it in bean curd skin and baked it in the oven for a nice crispy skin. Bean curd skin is available from Chinese stores, frozen or dried. The dried product is either pliable or brittle. I bought the dried but pliable type which also happened to be the only one labelled as GM-free.
The end result was a tender, moist vegan “turkey” roast with a tasty wild rice stuffing inside and a crispy “skin” outside. Yumm!
For sides, I made a potato and parsnip rosti using this recipe from BBC Good Food (substituting vegan margarine for the butter). My rostis never seem to stick together and this was no exception. It was very tasty, though. We also had a simple braised leek dish, also from the BBC Good Food site (again, with marg instead of butter). And also roasted Brussels sprouts, which don’t really need a recipe (just cut the little suckers in half, toss with a bit of olive oil, salt & pepper and roast in a hot oven until tender and browned on the outside).
For gravy, I used my basic chicken-style veggie gravy recipe, adding a couple tablespoons of Alpro vegan cream for richness. (I prefer the chilled Alpro to the long-life version.)
It was a perfect Christmas day dinner (which will be repeated long before the holiday season rolls around again).
Seitan turkey roast with wild rice stuffing
|1||vegan chicken-style bouillon cube||1|
|3 tablespoons||plain soya milk||3 tablespoons|
|3 tablespoons||mild vegetable oil||3 tablespoons|
|1 tablespoon||soy sauce||1 tablespoon|
|34g||finely chopped onion||1/4 cup|
|1 teaspoon||minced fresh garlic||1 teaspoon|
|130g||vital wheat gluten flour||1 cup|
|34g||besan (gram flour, chickpea flour)||1/4 cup|
|2 tablespoons||nutritional yeast||2 tablespoons|
|1 teaspoon||herbal salt||1 teaspoon|
|1/2 teaspoon||freshly ground black pepper||1/2 teaspoon|
|1/2 teaspoon||dried sage||1/2 teaspoon|
|1/4 teaspoon||minced fresh rosemary||1/4 teaspoon|
|1/8 teaspoon||dried thyme||1/8 teaspoon|
|40g||wild rice, rinsed||1/4 cup|
|2 tablespoons||vegan margarine||2 tablespoons|
|60g||finely chopped onion||1/2 cup|
|40g||finely chopped mushrooms||1/2 cup|
|1 stick||celery, finely chopped||1 stick|
|90g||fresh breadcrumbs||1-1/2 cups|
|60-120ml||veggie chicken-style broth||1/4-1/2 cup|
|2 tablespoons||dried cranberries, finely chopped||2 tablespoons|
|2 tablespoons||pecans, finely chopped||2 tablespoons|
|to taste||salt, pepper, sage, thyme & rosemary||to taste|
|40x50cm sheet||bean curd skin||16×20″ sheet|
|1 tablespoon||mild vegetable oil||1 tablespoon|
|1 teaspoon||soy sauce||1 teaspoon|
1. Crumble the tofu into a blender. Put the bouillon cube in a glass measuring cup and add a couple tablespoons of boiling water to dissolve. Add soya milk, vegetable oil, soy sauce, onion and garlic, then add enough cold water so the mixture equals 220ml (7/8 cup). Add this to the blender. Blenderise until completely smooth.
2. In a breadmaker, layer gluten, besan, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper & herbs. Add tofu mixture and put the breadmaker on the “dough” cycle. Some breadmakers will knead the dough, let it rest for an hour or so, then knead it again. Mine didn’t knead the dough again after the rest, so I restarted it again on the dough cycle to knead it for a further 10 minutes or so.
3. Meanwhile, make stuffing. Rinse rice thoroughly with cold water. Bring a small pot of water to the boil, add rice and simmer for 40-45 minutes, until grains are beginning to pop.
4. Heat margarine in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat and saute onion, celery and mushroom until tender, about 5-10 minutes.
5. When rice is cooked, add to the sauteed vegetables along with the breadcrumbs, cranberries and pecans; mix thoroughly. Add enough broth to make the mixture moist but not soggy. Add salt, pepper and herbs to taste. Set dressing aside.
6. After dough has finished the knead/rest/knead cycle: Place a large piece of cling film (Saran wrap) onto the work surface. Turn dough out onto the cling film and press flat into a 25x38cm (10″x15″) rectangle.
7. Spread stuffing evenly over dough, leaving a 1″ border at the edges. Roll into a log (starting from the short end), then press the ends together to seal. Make sure the log is short enough to fit into your steamer. You can gently press the log into a shorter, fatter shape if it’s a bit too long.
Seitan turkey before rolling
Seitan turkey after rolling
8. Wrap the log in a piece of muslin and tie the ends with cotton string.
Seitan turkey wrapped in muslin
9. Bring water to boil in a pot that has a steamer insert. Steam turkey for two hours over gently simmering water. Check water level regularly to ensure the pot does not boil dry and add boiling water as necessary.
10. For “skin” on turkey: Preheat oven to 400F (200C). When finished steaming, let turkey cool for a few minutes until it can be handled. Unwrap from muslin. Take the sheet of beancurd skin and dip it into a bowl of warm water until it softens. Don’t oversoak it or it will start to fall apart. Fold beancurd skin in half and place on work surface. Place turkey on top of beancurd skin and fold in the sides.
11. Combine oil and soy sauce. Brush over surface of turkey.
12. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through, until “skin” is crispy. Slice and serve with gravy and all the trimmings.
Vegan turkey gravy
|2 tablespoons||soya creamer||2 tablespoons|
|3/4||vegan chicken-style bouillon cube (enough for 1-1/2 cups water)||3/4|
|1 tablespoon||nutritional yeast||1 tablespoon|
|1 teaspoon||soy sauce||1 teaspoon|
|generous 1/8 teaspoon||granulated onion||generous 1/8 teaspoon|
|1/8 teaspoon||granulated garlic||1/8 teaspoon|
|to taste||sage, thyme, salt and freshly ground pepper||to taste|
|2 tablespoons||cold water||2 tablespoons|
|2 tablespoons||cornflour (cornstarch)||2 tablespoons|
1. Bring 310ml (1-1/4 cups) water to a simmer with bouillon cube. Add soya cream, onion, garlic, sage, thyme, salt & pepper.
2. Mix 2 tablespoons cold water with cornflour (cornstarch) until blended.
3. When broth mixture is simmering, slowly whisk in cornflour (cornstarch) mixture, until gravy is as thick as you like it. Continue to gently simmer for another couple of minutes.
Serve with seitan turkey roast. We used this amount of gravy for about 2/3 of the roast (little Christmas piggies that we were), so if you’re serving the whole roast, you’ll probably want to increase the amount of gravy you make.