Saturday, June 14, 2008

Roast Seitan with Ginger Peach Stuffing and Glaze

The great thing about tonight's meal is that it helped me figure out what to serve for Christmas dinner (and who doesn't plan Christmas dinner in June?). Imagine the pic above with a chestnut and sage stuffing and a cranberry glaze. It's all going down in December. Today's recipe has a nice summery feel and makes use of sweet peaches and apricots in the stuffing and glaze, balanced by cinnamon and ginger. The seitan is both steamed and roasted, giving it a perfect texture. It was a big hit with my visiting in-laws.

- 2 tbsp margarine
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 1 celery stalk, finely diced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1-2 tbsp mined ginger (depends on how much you like ginger)
- 1 piece stale french bread, with crusts on, small dice
- 1 almost ripe peach, skinned and chopped
- 1 almost ripe apricot, skinned and chopped

1. Melt margarine in a small saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion, celery, and ginger for 5 mins, or until soft. Add spices, stir well, and remove from heat. Put bread and fruit in a bowl, pour onion mixture over top and mix well. Set aside to cool. Make the seitan.

Get your water on its way to boiling in your steamer
- 1 1/3 cup vital wheat gluten
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp poultry spice
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup soy milk
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar

1. Whisk together dry ingredients in a bowl. Whisk together wet ingredients in a separate bowl and add to dry. Mix with a wooden spoon into a wet dough. If it seems too wet, add a bit more gluten flour. It should be soft and pliable, but still hold together.
2. Transfer dough to counter top or board. With your hands, flatten into a rectangle, about 1/2" thick. The width will depend on how wide your steamer is. Make sure it will fit.
3. Put stuffing in a line the center of the dough. Compress the stuffing in your hands a bit so the center of the roast will be firm. Gently but firmly roll the seitan with the stuffing in the middle (i.e. make sure there is a cavity in the middle with the stuffing in it--don't roll it like a jelly roll). Seal the ends and seam as best you can.
4. Transfer the roll to a piece of extra wide, extra strength aluminum foil, and tightly roll up like a Tootsie Roll.
5. Steam for 30 mins, turning over after 15 mins. While seitan is steaming, make the glaze.

- 2 small ripe peaches, skinned and chopped
- 2 ripe apricots, skinned and chopped
- 1 -2 tbsp minced ginger
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch nutmeg
- pinch salt
- 1/2 tsp cornstarch

1. Blend peaches, apricots, ginger, and water in a food processor until very smooth. Transfer to a saucepan and bring to bubbling over med to med-hi heat.
2. Let bubble for about 5 mins, until fruit begins to darken and sauce reduces slightly. Add sugars and spices and mix well. Let bubble and reduce for 5 more mins.
3. Mix cornstarch in a bit of water and add to pan. Bring to bubbling, stirring constantly, and remove from heat. Set aside to cool while seitan finishes.

Roasting and Glazing
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9 x 13 glass baking dish.
1. When seitan is done steaming, remove from steamer and set aside to cool for a few mins. Unwrap, and place in prepared baking dish.
2. Spoon half the glaze over top, covering as much of the sides as you can. Bake for 15 mins.
3. Spoon remaining glaze over roast and bake another 15 mins.
4. Spoon any glaze that has slipped off the roast back over the roast and bake for another 10 mins.
5. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 mins to allow everything to firm up a bit. Transfer to a cutting board and thickly slice with a very sharp knife.

If you like the bite of ginger, don't process the ginger in with the fruit for the glaze. Instead, mince it and add it to the pan with the processed fruit. This will give you bursts of ginger flavour in with the sweet peaches.