12.05.2010

holidays

The holidays can either be wonderful or a setback. When first having gone veg, this is probably one of the more difficult times since the gatherings with families can place strain on the new diet. Your little Tofurkey looks more like an afterthought than a centerpiece, and a turkey or ham can dominate the table.

That is, unless you actually have a contending centerpiece.

The dish that this Holiday Seitan Roast is in is a normal-sized casserole dish - 9X13. This is not a small roast. It has a beautiful glaze and you can see the texture is moist and lovely. We enjoyed this roast on Thanksgiving, but it is an appropriate addition to any holiday table. It is made using a variation of Tofu-Seitan (which I will be posting) and requires the same amount of cooking time as a turkey would, although it needs no brine.

The Truffle Green Bean Casserole is an upscale version of a regular green bean casserole, but I couldn't stand another holiday with the same old green beans. This is one of those dishes that the holidays would not be the same without, yet needed a revamping. I made it with porcini mushrooms and truffle oil.

Lastly, is the Yule Log Cake. This is made with the same cake batter that I made for Olive Garden's Tiramisu, but baked the batter in a sheet pan and rolled it around a cocoa-cream cheese filling. The frosting is a chocolate ganache. This is tricky to roll and fill, but I love its looks.

The holiday recipes are coming; I am also trying to catch up with the MoFo recipes, so stay tuned.


Holiday Roast


Truffle Green Bean Casserole


Yule Log Cake


RECIPE UPDATE FOR HOLIDAY ROAST : this dish has been tested and revised and will be featured in the upcoming cookbook "Everyday Vegan Eats," by Zsu Dever.

28 comments:

  1. Excellent looking centerpieces. Don't think I've seen a vegan dish so big. Can't wait for the recipes!

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  2. Your roast is definitely centerpiece worthy! All those dishes are!

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  3. waiting, not so patiently lol, for the recipes. so beautiful!

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  4. Thank you, all! I think it is really nice to be able to do one of these roasts - and it makes great sandwiches after, too.

    I remember going to my in-laws for Thanksgiving and bringing this little Tofurkey. It was kind of a joke. I also don't want anything that looks like a turkey (although in the past I did). I just want something that will be taken seriously and respected. Sort of make an impression. Good for us and the birds.

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  5. Even for a non-vegan these dishes really make me hungry!

    Happy Holidays

    Jason

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  6. Beautiful presentation with all of them!

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  7. Oh my, this is one amazing spread. You are such a talent! I have been looking for a bouche de noel recipe, and I think this one will do the trick. I like your notes. They're very helpful. I was a bit concerned when I saw the towel =)

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  8. The seitan roast looks wonderful! I was thinking about buying a pre-made vegan roast for Christmas, but maybe I'll make one instead?! Thanks for the recipe.

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  9. Thanks, eatgreek, Jason and Evan :)

    Veggietestkitchen, the towel kind of scared me, too. But just accept that it needs to be done this way. Besides, since it is a rolled up cake, even if it breaks a bit, just roll that part first so the top layer winds up being the best looking part. The frosting helps cover mistakes, too. Let me know how it works for you.

    Tiffany, you can give this a pre-Xmas try and freeze it after tasting it to make sure the seitan works for you. Then you can defrost it in the fridge overnight, glaze and bake. Makes the experience easier and quicker since you don't have to worry about it. Just take a taste from the bottom of the roast so the ends stay whole.

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  10. I am DYING to see the roast recipe!!!!!

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  11. Hmmm...thinking about the Christmas Eve meal. This might fit the bill. How many people would you say the roast feeds?

    Thanks,
    Susan J

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  12. Hope you like it, TaffKey.

    Susan, it feeds a good 8-12 people, depending on the variety of sides you have. When the 5 of us had it over Thanksgiving, it fed us all well and we had at least half left over.

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  13. I made the roast and it was out of this world good! Did not have the ingredients for the glaze, so it was served "naked".
    One thing that I can't seem to master with any seitan dish is getting the dough to stay together after kneading it. After 10 min. in the mixer, I get 4-5 "balls" of dough that sort of stay together, but not in one "ball".
    The finished product does not fall apart, and it slices well, yet it's clear that it's made of 4-5 pieces, sort of like Monkey Bread...
    Any ideas what I am doing wrong?

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  14. One of two things could be happening:

    (1) I use a bread machine and the machine turns it slowly for the first 2 or 3 minutes and then speeds up. A mixer can go on medium and still be too fast because...

    (2) of the mixing appendage. A bread machine is only 1 1/2 inches long but the mixer is about 4 inches (?) or so. This is most likely the culprit - the mixer hand is breaks up the gluten. Try doing this at a lower speed for the entire kneading time. If the gluten still seems to be breaking up, see if you can slow it down even more. Or... do the whole thing by hand. A pain.

    A fix might be to mix by hand to incorporate everything in one big batch and then knead with the mixer on very low for 10 minutes or until you see that the gluten is shiny but not dividing. Let it rest for 30 minutes and knead it again on very low for 10 more minutes. Let it rest again for 30 and form it into one big mass and now let it rest again. This is where the gluten should relax enough to allow the mass to become incorporated, even if some parts are divided.

    I will make seitan with a mixer this week to see what the problem is (although I know exactly what you are talking about) and if this would fix it. The next seitan post will be about this.

    Thank you for highlighting this problem; I'm sure others are experiencing the same issue.

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  15. Your seitan roast looks delicious! I've spent way to much time and money hunting for a good roast--both store-bought and homemade, and they've all disappointed me. This one gives me hope!

    I've never used the bread machine to knead the seitan, but that could solve a lot of my texture issues. I have a Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso, which does 2 pound loaves. Would I be able to stick the whole batch of gluten into it? Or should I still break it into two batches?

    Thanks in advance for the info, and thanks for the yummy looking recipes!

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    1. I hope you have luck with this one! I recommend you split it into two. It winds up to be pretty big! You can also use the stand mixer with a dough hook, but the bread machine works really well. Make sure to only have it on the dough cycle.

      If you have any questions while you are making it, just comment. I'll get it right away and answer.

      Thanks for visiting, Nichole.

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  16. Thanks so much for the quick reply! And thanks for being willing to answer any other questions as I go through the process. I'm hoping to do a half batch trial run on Sunday, with my only change being a "butter" herb baste instead of the glaze.

    On a weird side note, have you ever tried injecting marinade into seitan to add extra flavor and moisture to the center of it? I've never tried it, but my mental gerbils got to running in their wheels this afternoon and I wondered if anybody else out there had experimented with the concept. ;)

    Thanks again! :)

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    1. The half batch sounds like a great idea. An herb baste sounds great, but if you don't have any sugar in it, you won't get the "glaze" part, which is delicious on its own.

      Not weird at all. I've thought of doing that injection thing as well, but since the object of it is to insert liquid to make the roast moist, you are already accomplishing that by making your gluten moist and cooking it in the broth.

      On the other hand, it might be interesting to get a different flavor running through it, like a marbling of sorts. That I hadn't thought of yet, so kudos to you!

      I'll be here if you need any advice.

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  17. Well, I managed to make a half batch today, but didn't have time to baste it. I did, however, sneak a little piece off the bottom of the roast after it had cooled. Oh. My. Word. DELICIOUS!!!! And the texture is PERFECT. This is, by far, the best seitan roast I've ever had--homemade or store bought.

    I think you nailed it with the bread machine kneading technique and baking it low and slow so that it steams gently. Every other seitan recipe I've tried has ended up either too tough and dense, too bready, or too spongy. And they've all been bland or overly salty. But your recipe is juuuuuust right. :)

    As much as I wanted to start carving slabs off it for immediate nomming, I practiced restraint and wrapped it in parchment paper, then put it in a Ziploc and put it in the freezer. I'm going to save it for my and my hubby's romantic Christmas dinner. ;) Then I'll baste it with my herb butter and see how that turns out.

    Thanks again for the recipe and the advice! If you don't mind, I'd love to post the link to it on my Facebook so that all my friends can enjoy it as well.

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    1. Alright, Nichole! Great to know it worked for you! I am so happy it turned out well. That dinner with your hubby sounds divine!

      Yes, please, post on your FB page. I am very happy to share and thank you for spreading the word. I think it is so important that veg/ans have a great alternative on holidays.

      Thanks again and for taking the time to post a follow-up.

      Happy holidays to you and yours.

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  18. Hey, Vegan Aide!

    I'm back...this time about the Yule Log cake. It's calling my name. Thing is, I'm not a very proficient baker, but this would be an awesome Christmas gift. Would you say this cake is something that takes a few practice rounds? Also, how big of a sheet pan did you use for the recipe? I'm thinking mine might be a little too small, although I can't recall their exact dimensions right this second.

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    1. Hi Nicole!

      If you are not a big baker, I'd say give it a trial run for sure to feel out how difficult it is.

      My pan was 11 X 16, but a 10 X 15 would work, too. Any smaller and you can cut the recipe in half and make a smaller log.

      The trick is to remember to roll it warm. I think I specify that in the recipe, but I'll double check.

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    2. Yes, Nicole. It does specify to roll it while it is hot. I also fixed the recipe in case you haven't printed it out. I used to not write out the measurements properly.

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  19. Thanks! I'll give it a trial run one of these days, and maybe give it as a gift next Christmas. In the meantime, maybe I'll decorate with flowers for a spring/summer log. ;)

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  20. Aloha, Zsu. Is there any way to get the full recipe for the Holiday Seitan Roast you posted in NOV 2012? It looks really wonderful and would love to be able to have something similar to turkey again. I'm a bit of a novice in cooking with seitan and would greatly appreciate the recipe.

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  21. Aloha, Zsu. Is there any way to get the full recipe for the Holiday Seitan Roast you posted in NOV 2012? It looks really wonderful and would love to be able to have something similar to turkey again. I'm a bit of a novice in cooking with seitan and would greatly appreciate the recipe.

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  22. This recipe is undergoing major testing and revision and will be featured in my upcoming cookbook "Everyday Vegan Eats" due out in May. Thank you for all your comments!

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