Time for a "staple" recipe: my obsessed-over, cobbled-together-from-multiple-sources-and-trial-and-error seitan sausage recipe. Started with the Millennium Cookbook's Spicy Fennel Sausage Recipe, which was a tad chewy to me, added some tapioca and soy flours, changed the flavors a bit, and ooh-la-la, it's vegan sausage heaven.
Pros: delicious, especially fresh outta the pot. High protein. Freezes perfectly. Cons: a little rough on the digestive system. Cranky to fry (but doable).
Got some gumbo planned? Seitan sausage. Ragu? Seitan sausage. Grillin' with the homies? Seitan sausage. All you need is a couple hours, a couple bucks worth of ingredients, and you're golden. Break it out at brunch to blow some minds.
Makes 8 servings, or 4 logs.
1 pkg (about 2 cups) vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/8 cup soy flour
4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
Fennel seeds to taste (I use a tablespoon or more, but hey, I love me some fennel)
1 tablespoon cumin
Ton of fresh cracked black pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp smoked habanero powder or chili powder - increase if you wanna spicy
1 tsp dried sage
1.5 tablespoons salt
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon smoke flavoring (optional)
1 cup water
Cheesecloth, 1 package
8 cloves garlic, peeled, set aside
Bay leaves, 4-6
Cloves, a few
Whole black peppercorns
4 cups stock, or 3 cups water + 1 cup soy sauce
Mix the dry mix and wet mix in separate bowls, the dry in a larger bowl. Slowly pour the wet mix in while kneading with your mitts (no spoons or whisks allowed!). Knead until you've got a relatively well-mixed wad of seitan. Cut into 4 pieces if you'll be stewing or slicing - 6-8 if grilling.
Preheat yer oven to 400.
They'll resist, but roll them into somewhat sausage-shaped hunks. Cut your cheesecloth so that it is as wide as your snausages, and about 2 feet long. Wrap those mothers up, keeping an inch or so on either side. Tie the ends with your twine, double knotting. You can leave a little room on the ends, but you want pretty neat little packages.
Lay your sausages out in a single layer in a large baking dish (alternately, you can braise them in a large pot - make sure to keep them covered and simmer in the above bath, covered, for about an hour). Place your flavorants around them snugly, tucking cloves and bay leaves betwixt and between. Pour your stock over it all, cover with a lid or foil, and bake for 1-1.25 hours, depending on how thick you rolled your sausages.
You'll end up with some tasty stock at the end, which will help keep your sausages fresh in the fridge. And don't you dare throw those braised garlic cloves away.