Friday, November 26, 2010

Bonus MoFo: Gravy-Baked Polenta Seitan, Revealed!

This recipe has nothing to do with this month's retro theme, but it follows on many Facebook requests:

Some years ago, Susie - everyone's favorite vegan food scientist - sent me a recipe for polenta seitan. We love it in its original Italian-ish version, and in Thanksgiving and Breakfast Sausage & Gravy variations which we have concocted over the years. With Susie's blessing, I give you this amazing recipe. You will love it.


3 heaping T tomato paste
3 T olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
3 T soy sauce
2 t basil
2 t oregano
1/4 t red pepper flakes
1/2 t white pepper
3/4 c polenta-grind cornmeal (regular works, too, but changes the texture)
1/2 c water
1 c vital wheat gluten

Mix everything but the vwg until well combined. Gradually add the gluten. You may need a little more or a little less. You want it to pull together into a cohesive dough. Tear off chunks the size of a large marble and flatten them into little medallions. Steam these for 30 minutes.

Place the steamed seitan into a casserole pan, more or less in one layer. Cover with a mixture of half tomato sauce, half water. Place chunks of Teese on top, and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes until Teese has melted and it looks done. (If using another vegan cheese, it may be necessary to wait until the end to add it, and then raise the temperature and/or cover the pan to get it to melt. It is good without cheese, too.)


Replace spices with a mix of sage, fennel, marjoram, thyme, rosemary, and black pepper. (Once, in desperation, I used poultry seasoning and it worked fine.)

Instead of tomato sauce, make a batch of the Punk Rock Chickpea Gravy from Vegan with a Vengeance. Replace the gravy spices with the same mixture as above. One year, I added finely chopped celery to the gravy. Dilute the gravy with about 2 c water. Pile the steamed seitan medallions in a casserole. (For some reason, this version works better piled up instead of in one layer.) Cover with diluted gravy, and bake at 400 for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until it looks done.


Make whichever version of the polenta seitan you prefer. (I like the Thanksgiving spices for this, as sage and fennel belong in sausage.)

Make a milk gravy like the Almond Milk Gravy in Yellow Rose Recipes, and dilute with a couple of cups of water. Pile seitan in a casserole, cover with diluted gravy, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until it looks done. Serve over hot biscuits.


Jackie Smith (the other one) said...

Thanks, I love a new (to me) seitan recipe!

Susie said...

It is so nice that even though I have no kitchen or time to cook, my cooking lives! Polenta seitan was my ultimate "I'm so broke, what can I make with what I have left in my pantry that can prevent a protein deficiency?" food. Created out of desperation, it was a happy surprise that it was delicious. I have a very low tolerance for rubberiness in seitan, but the texture created by the addition of the corn bits makes this something I like a lot.
- Susie

Anonymous said...

Ooooh, I've been dying to get my mitts on this. Thanks both Susie and John! That goes right to the top of My Christmas dinner list considerations!

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Thanks for posting this, John! And thanks for allowing it, Susie! I can't wait to try this.

Veg-In-Training said...

Holy mama that looks amazing. I would never have thought to use cornmeal in seitan. I need to remember this one.