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Daring Cooks’ Challenge: Poaching December 15, 2010

Filed under: Main Courses,The Daring Cooks',Vegan — pastrybrush @ 9:38 pm
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Jenn and Jill have challenged The Daring Cooks to learn to perfect the technique of poaching an egg. They chose Eggs Benedict recipe from Alton Brown, Oeufs en Meurette from Cooking with Wine by Anne Willan, and Homemade Sundried Tomato & Pine Nut Seitan Sausages (poached) courtesy of Trudy of Veggie num num.

As soon as I saw this challenge, my heart went YAY!!!!, and then I realized that I currently can’t eat my eggs poached or over-easy.  Which is my preferred method of making and eating them.  Then my heart went, sads :(   But I was happy that Jenn and Jill also provided another poaching recipe that involved no eggs.  I have actually made Seitan before, but I have been wanting to make Seitan Sausages for awhile now and I have never gotten the time to do it.

Well today, I had the time because a co-worker so graciously offered to take one of my shifts off my hands because I was in desperate need of another day off and I needed to start making all of my Holiday Cookies (for the family).  This sausage actually worked out pretty nicely because while it was poaching, I was able to eat some breakfast and make cookie dough.

I ended up making a basic Polenta recipe and adding some cheese.  So my Polenta wasn’t vegan, but the sausage was and they were poached so that is all the really counts :)  I ended up making half a recipe for the sausage, I fried the sausage up, sliced it, served it atop Polenta with a few scoops of homemade tomato sauce (the tomatoes were from my garden this summer).

Everything turned out great.  The sausage needed a little bit of salt added to it, but I was kinda afraid to because of what happened the last time I made Seitan.  I forgot how salted the vegetable bouillon that I use is and put more salt in the Seitan, which was a bad idea.  So this time since I was using the same bouillon I didn’t add any salt.  Next time, add just a pinch :)

Homemade Sundried Tomato & Pine Nut Seitan Sausages
Source:  Trudy of Veggie num num

Makes 8 sausages

Ingredients
¼ cup (60ml/150 g/5.3 oz.) pine nuts, toasted
½ a red onion (I used a full onion)
1 red chili (I used a ripe jalapeño from my garden)
1 cup (240 ml/75 g/2-2/3 oz.) whole sundried tomatoes
¼ cup (60 ml/2 fl. oz.) olive oil
1¼ cups (300 ml/10 fl. oz.) vegetable stock
2 Tbl. (30 ml/30 g) tomato paste
2½ cups (600 ml/250 g/½ lb.) vital wheat gluten (gluten flour)
1 tsp. (5ml/4 g) dried thyme
1 tsp. (5ml/4 g) paprika

For the poaching liquid:
6+ cups (1.5+ L/51+ fl. oz.) vegetable stock
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 bay leaves

Additional notes:
• Cheesecloth can be found at most major grocery stores, hardware stores, and home stores. If you don’t have and can’t find cheesecloth, you could use any thin, clean (undyed and untreated) permeable cloth, gauze, cotton flour sack towel, coffee filters (for smaller sausages), or maybe even clean socks you don’t care about staining.
• Vital wheat gluten can be purchased online from Amazon, or you can try making it yourself from whole wheat flour (see additional information).

Directions:

1. Place 6 cups of stock, the crushed garlic cloves, and the bay leaves in a deep sauté pan or stock pot (you may need to add additional stock to cover the sausages). Heat on medium.

2. Toast the pine nuts.

3. Finely mince the pine nuts, red onion, chili, and sundried tomatoes (a food processor works well here).

4. Whisk the 1¼ cups of stock with the tomato paste and olive oil in a small bowl.

5. Combine the vital wheat gluten with the dried thyme (I left this out because I didn’t have any!), paprika, and pine nut/onion/chili/sundried tomato mixture.

6. Slowly add the stock/olive oil/tomato paste to the vital wheat gluten. Mix until you have a smooth dough. You will probably not need to add all the liquid. I added maybe ¾ of the liquid and the result was a rather wet dough. Whatever liquid you have left can be added to the poaching liquid.

7. Divide the dough into four portions. Each quarter will make a sausage about 10 inches (25 cm) long. You have a couple of shaping options here. You can make four 10 inch (25 cm) sausages, or 8 smaller ones. I made 10 inch sausages, tied off both ends, then twisted the middle to form two sausage links. This made each side a little tighter, and made it easier to fit them in my pot. Any way you choose, make sure you wrap each section tightly in the cheesecloth and tie off the ends with twine. Keep in mind, also, that the seitan will swell a little as it cooks, so the sausages will become fatter.

8. If the poaching liquid is not yet boiling, turn up the heat until it does. Add the sausages and turn the heat down to a simmer. Simmer gently for 45–50 minutes, or until the sausages are firm.

9. Remove the sausages from the poaching liquid (reserve the liquid if you don’t plan on eating all the sausages immediately). Allow the sausages to cool a little and gently unwrap. These may be refrigerated in their poaching liquid for a week.

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3 Responses to “Daring Cooks’ Challenge: Poaching”

  1. Jenn Says:

    Your seitan sausages look fantastic!! So glad you enjoyed this challenge. The polenta looks like a great accompaniment too.

    • outoftheoven Says:

      Your seitan looks great! I’m going to give it a try, but do half the recipe as well. Did you also halve the poaching liquid or do you leave that the same? Thanks!

      • pastrybrush Says:

        I think I left the poaching liquid the same because I was afraid there wouldn’t be enough liquid in the pot to poach the sausages.


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