Sunday, January 30, 2011

Terry Hope Romano, "Viva Vegan" Shredded Seitan and Mushroom Empanadas with Raisins and Olives

I've read this book, skimmed recipes, thought about meals, dreamed about a restaurant that has a menu comprised of this book's index but for one reason or another have only found time to steam a batch of seitan in the few months since the book arrived.

I love the steamed seitan.  It's so nice not to have to watch a pot of boiling broth.  OH NO, it's boiling, turn down the flame.  OH no, it's just sitting in warm water.  I just don't usually have an hour to watch boiling seitan.  I mean simmering seitan.

So with 4 loaves of freshly steamed seitan I circle the empanada recipe.  I had made empanadas a few years ago, loved them and of course can't find the book the recipe is in.  I have about 35 cookbooks, some vegan, some veg, and some I have to veganize, (hello Julia Child), but it's lost somewhere on the shelf.

I've made the dough for Sarah Kramer's vegan pot pie and it's come out very nicely.  So with my brand new food processor I thought I'd tackle Terry Hope Romano's, "Viva Vegan" empanadas.  I made the dough and got called out for a flight.  Now I wondered, every day, how long that dough would keep in the fridge.  Apparently about a week because it turned out light and fluffy and flakey.

Here are the production and finished product pics.

Garlic, onions and mushrooms.  I didn't have any porcini so I added a bunch of shitake and button instead.

Steamed Red Seitan from the book.

First one shredded, second one on the block.  Note time is 5:48.  I'd probably been cooking for oh, 20 mins as a guess.

All the shredded seitan in the pan.

Mixture before letting it cool.

Raisins and olives added.

This dough board from Zabars has been a life saver in a small Manhattan apartment with virtually no clear flat space. This is the first time I tried laying it over the sink and it worked perfectly. That is one of the blocks of dough that had been in the fridge for a few days.

Ready to roll.

The recipe says use a 6 inch round, that bowl measured 5 1/2.  Worked out just fine.

The soy milk wash didn't give a very shiny finish but to me that's no sacrifice to veganize a dish.  That odd piece of dough was a bunch of remnants shmooshed together.  I filled it and rolled it up which you'll see later.

First batch out of the oven. 

Second batch.  See the roll?

Finished product.
The finished empanada was great.  The crust seemed to suffer no ill effect from living in the fridge for days.  The filling was savory and sweet and hearty.  The consistency was a bit mushier than I would have liked so next time I probably wont make the mushrooms and seitan so fine or have to make the seitan a little tougher.  I just have to figure out how not to do that because as instructed, I used the big holes on the box grater and the seitan was made line for line.  The seitan was used in other dishes and it was just perfect, I'd just like more "meatiness" in the filling so need to think about another option to more closely mimic a Crumbler or Yves texture.  These were done about 7:00 so about 1 1/2 hours from start to finish.  Not bad for a first time recipe.  I bet next time I can cut that down to an hour.  

It's a lot of work for one dish but they're in the fridge now and even my Chilean carnivore friend enjoyed a microwaved one the other day.  Nice to be able to pull something like this out and in a minute have a nice lunch.


Jodi said...

Oh, you're making my mouth water with this and I haven't even had breakfast yet. Love the look of this! I make something similar, but with vegetables and garbanzo beans. Love seitan, I'm going to have to try this out.

JL goes Vegan said...

I am SO impressed! I made seitan for the first time yesterday. What you've done goes beyond that by far! It's looks delicious!

Marty said...

Thanks guys. I have made seitan from scratch, starting with washing the flour and this recipe is one of the easiest. I want to try to bake the seitan after the steam to see if that gives it a firmer texture.