Saturday, January 16, 2010

Pantry Challenge Day 9 - Sauerkraut and Spicy Vegan Sausages

I forgot all about the jar of German sauerkraut in the pantry. I was kind of excited when I remembered, cause that meant just one thing - sausages! So tonight it was sauerkraut, spicy vegan sausages, and mashed potatoes with gravy. I have made these sausages many times. The recipe I use most is a combination of Julie Hasson's and vegandad's.

These sausages have it all. The texture is perfect. You can grill 'em, slice 'em up and fry 'em, put 'em on a pizza, or put 'em in a bun and pile on the toppings. The flavors can be whatever you love - fennel, garlic, crushed red pepper. Using white beans leaves little pieces in the sausage which are reminiscent of the little white pockets of fat in meat sausages. Makes 'em almost too realistic to eat, but they sure don't last long in my house!

If this is your first time trying steamed vegan sausages, don't be afraid of this recipe - it can stand up to a lot of variation and experimentation!

Vegan Sausages - makes 6 large or 8 small sausages

2 ¼ cups vital wheat gluten
½ cup nutritional yeast flakes
¼ cup chickpea flour
½ cup white beans
2 tsp granulated onion
1 to 2 tbsp fennel seed, optional
2 tsp coarsely ground pepper, preferably freshly ground
2 tsp ground paprika
1 tsp dried chili flakes, optional
1 tsp ground smoked paprika (or extra plain paprika or ½ tsp liquid smoke)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground allspice
2 1/4 cups cool no-chicken broth (I used 2 Rapunzel bullion cubes for this)
6 to 8 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp soy sauce

In a large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients.

Whisk together the water, garlic, olive oil and soy sauce and using a fork, gently stir into the dry ingredients. Stir just until ingredients are mixed. If dough mixture is too dry, you can add another tablespoon or so of water.

Using your hands, knead the dough gently until strands of gluten begin to form.

Divide dough in half, then divide each half again into fourths. Divide each fourth in half yet again, so you end up with 8 pieces.

Shape each piece into a log. Place each log on a piece of aluminum foil and roll up, twisting ends (think tootsie roll).

Place sausages in steamer and steam for 30-40 minutes.

Slice and serve immediately or place in the fridge until ready to eat.

Brown Onion Gravy

3 tbs olive oil or Earth Balance
3 tbs flour
2-3 tbs nutritional yeast
1 tsp marmite (optional)
1 tbs onion flakes
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 cups water
2 rapunzel bullion cubes
1 tsp Kitchen Bouquet

Heat oil/Earth Balance in a medium pot over medium heat.

Stir in flour.

Cook until a smooth paste forms and begins to brown a bit.

Add nutritional yeast, onion flakes, and marmite. Stir to combine. Add water and bullion cubes and Kitchen Bouquet. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.

Taste for seasoning. Add more water if it gets too thick. You can slice some crimini mushrooms and add to this for a savory mushroom gravy.

A Note on Marmite
Marmite is a yeast extract with flavoring quite similar to that of beef broth. It really adds the "beefy" flavor to seitan and brown gravies. In Britain it is spread on toast or crumpets. You can find Marmite at Whole Foods and Meijer.

To serve the sauerkraut and sausages, slice up the sausages and brown them in some olive oil. Be generous with the oil. I used about 3-4 tablespoons. Let them get all crunchy and caramelized on all sides. Add about a tablespoon of caraway seeds - gotta have caraway with cabbage! Dump in the sauerkraut and combine well. Cook until sauerkraut is heated through.

Oh! If only there was some corn meal in the pantry........ I really wanted cornbread with this!

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