Thanksgiving menu

{ Wednesday, December 01, 2010 }
I cooked thanksgiving dinner this year for our little family. The problem with a vegetarian thanksgiving is the matter of a main dish. We can (and do) enjoy the side dishes, but for our dinner at home I really wanted a main protein dish to replace the turkey. A few months ago, I got it in my head to somehow stuff seitan, roast it and serve it with gravy so we wouldn't miss out on those traditional flavors. Honestly, my first two practice versions of this dish left a lot to be desired. I originally made the mistake of using the seitan recipe on the back of the gluten container. My final version used the recipe from Veganomicon and it was excellent!

Seitan Stuffed with Mushrooms
Double batch of simple seitan recipe from Veganomicon
4 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
4 tbls high smoke point oil, such as canola, corn, or safflower
1/2 cup gruyere
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup packed spinach leaves
dash of white wine

Make the seitan according to the recipe, but when shaping dough, shape into two thin rectangles. (Seitan can be made up to one week ahead and stored in its cooking liquid.)

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil on high heat add about 1 1/2 cups mushrooms. Sprinkle with salt and saute until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove mushrooms from pan and add an additional tablespoon of oil. Continue cooking the rest of the mushrooms and oil in small batches. The trick to this step is to work with a hot pan and small batches of mushrooms so that the 'shroom juices are boiled off as they are released and you end up with nicely browned mushrooms. Getting the pan too hot, however, will cause your oil to burn, so watch the pan closely and adjust the temperature as needed.

Once all the mushrooms are cooked, remove the pan from the heat and adjust the temperature to low. Return all of the mushrooms to the pan and add the cream, cheese, and wine. Stir to combine and melt the cheese. Add the spinach leaves and cook until wilted. Adjust seasoning and remove from heat. (Don't clean that pan! Deglaze it with a bit of white wine and vegetable stock and and save that liquid to make gravy with.)

Lay seitan pieces flat and cover with a thin layer of the stuffing. Tightly roll each piece starting at one narrow end and tie with cooking twine in two or three places. Cook in a 350 degree oven until heated through, approximately 40 mins.

To serve: remove twine and slice. Top with mushroom gravy.

The rest of the menu? I'm glad you asked.

Parmesan pastry pinwheels

vegetables and hummus

Butternut squash gratin

Brussels sprouts hash

Mashed parsnips, russet and sweet potatoes

Homemade crescent rolls

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