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Seitan Said Dance

seitan sausage clap your hands say yeah“Satan, Satan, Satan. Said dance!”

Theme song by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah “Satan Said Dance” from Some Loud Thunder
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This is one of those times where a recipe sends me looking for a song and I find a new cool band. Not that I had not encountered CYHSY before, and even this specific song, but while writing this article I decided to listen through their catalog. What I discovered was a wonderful blend of “You Kids Get Off My Lawn” nostalgia with a solid injection of post-postmodern lyrics. It would be easy to dismiss them as a kinda Millennial wannabe ersatz Talking Heads (and it’s clear the Heads are a major influence), but somehow they are able to dodge that comparison enough to create solid edgy angsty pop music for the current edgy angst pop world. This inspiration track had shown up in a number of my Spotify indie radio/recommended playlists though I never really explored it further. Were it not for the Music & Food research, I doubt I would have spent a day listening to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s catalog. Much like the end result of this recipe, I happily surprised by the result.

My Seitan Worship stems from research for potential promo pop-ups for I Wanna Be Your Hot Dog, I know if I ever actually get my shit together and do some events, I’m going to need some vegan dogs. Given most of the commercially available non-meat dogs suck (and are usually wicked expensive), I set out to develop my own. I ultimately settled on seitan for perhaps no other reason than its simplicity, and that was a solid decision.

Let me say this: if you are vegan or vegetarian or even an omnivore occasionally doing the seitan thang and you are not making your own, you’re a sucker. It’s dead fucking simple, infinitely versatile, and way cheaper than anything in the stores. Bob’s Red Mill is stocked in basically any decent grocery these days though my choice at BGC is Anthony’s Vital Wheat Gluten. Can’t find VWG locally? There’s always the internet. Beyond VWG and some nutritional yeast, you’ll need a good food processor and a large pot with a steamer basket. That’s pretty much it!

The great part of this sausage recipe is it’s simply a template. It’s a starting point for exploring flavor combos. If you end up putting too much liquid into the flavoring, add a bit more VWG until the dough firms up. Too dry? Add a bit more veg stock. Your imagination is the limit as to flavor combos. Add chickpeas or beans to soften the texture. In addition to the usual array of spices and liquid flavorings (soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, chipotle, etc.), adding sauteed vegetables like onion, garlic, peppers, or scallions are a great way to the texture and flavor of your sausage.

Oh, and as far as the seitan hot dog research went? Well, there’s always the Panic In Detroit (with a bonus seitan dogs recipe included).

An introduction to seitan sausages

For any style of sausage:

In a food processor, add all of your wet and dry ingredients except the vital wheat gluten. If you are including sauteed vegetables, add those at this point. Blend on low until it’s smooth and saucy occasionally stopping to scrape down the sides. Add the vital wheat gluten. Blend again until it comes together in a ball and let the processor knead the dough ball for a minute or so.

Turn the dough out onto a cutting board and knead with your hands for 3-5 minutes. Divide the seitan dough in half. Roll and press the seitan into a sausage shape. Roll each sausage tightly in aluminum foil. Twist the ends so that the seitan is completely closed off. Add the seitan sausages into the steamer basket and let them steam for about 50-55 minutes.

When done steaming, they should feel firm when lightly squeezed with tongs. Remove from the steamer basket, and let them cool in the foil on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. When cool enough to touch, unwrap the sausages and return them to the cool rack to cool completely. While they are ready to eat at this point, letting them rest in the fridge overnight will improve both the flavor and texture. Store them in an airtight container.

To get you started here are a few favorites at BGC HQ:

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 1/2  teaspoon red pepper flake
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon MSG
4 minced garlic cloves
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon ketchup
2 chipotle in adobo, minced
1/2 teaspoon chipotle adobo
1/2 cup of vegetable stock
1 cup vital wheat gluten

1/3 cup cooked red beans
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced fine
2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
3/4 teaspoon MSG or kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional for spice)
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup white miso paste
3/4 cup vegetable stock
2 cups vital wheat gluten

Saute the onion and garlic in the vegetable oil before adding them to the food processor.

1/3 cup cooked chickpeas
2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon coriander seed, fine ground
1 teaspoon fennel seed, fine ground
2 teaspoon ground mustard
2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon mace
1/4 teaspoon MSG
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon red miso
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/3 cup seltzer
1 cup vital wheat gluten

1/3 cup cooked black beans
3 scallions, whites & greens separated (mince the whites/slice the greens)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoon chunjang (Korean black bean paste)
1 tablespoon red miso
1 teaspoon black bean chili oil (Lao Gan Ma)
1/3 cup vegetable stock
1 cup vital wheat gluten

Saute the scallion whites in chili oil or garlic oil before adding to the wet mix. Add the scallion greens before blending.

1/3 cup cooked chickpeas
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoon gochujang
1 tablespoon gochugaru
1 tablespoon white miso
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 cup vegetable stock
1 cup vital wheat gluten

Posted in bushwick, cooking, food, foodmusic, music, musicfood, recipe, sandwich, seitan, vegetarian


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