Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"Turkey", Tarragon, and "Mascarpone" Lasagna

There's something about being "stuck" in the Valley that's opening my creative doors. True, I also feel like I should run out, bleach my hair, get a nice set of fake tits and some microdermabrasion, but that's just an urge I'll have to resist. Regardless of my newly reawakened creative streak, Jane and I quickly realized this isn't the place we want to live. We've been here only a few weeks, and we already miss the city. I miss waking up to the smell of homeless man and burned french toast. I miss being able to walk to Whole Foods and 7-Eleven. I miss my Gayborhood. And I'm stuck here for a year. Just to placate our longing for city life, we broke into our old apartment last night and smoked some hash. It made me feel a little better. Oh well, I guess that just means I'll have to cook a shit load to take my mind off of it.

I'm trying to comprise my second book of recipes that are less complex than the first. Well, the recipes in the first book aren't really complex. Several of the recipes just have a lot of steps from start to finish. Making the seitan is what I fear will overwhelm readers the most, but it truly is so simple once you try it out. Yes, I use a lot of ingredients in the broths. Deal with it. It's what makes my fake meats taste authentic. Woops, I just got sassy there for a minute. Sincerest apologies.

What I like to much about this recipe in particular is that, aside from making the seitan, it's really simple to throw together. Especially if you do all the prep in advance. And one really great thing to know is that if you're too lazy to make the seitan, just go out and buy a pound of Gardein chicken breasts to use instead. The recipe will be (almost) just as good. You can also just use frozen broccoli (thawed, of course) to skip the whole blanching step. Definitely try to locate the Dr. Cow cheese for making the sauce, though. Just one package of it grated over a Microplane zester will yield way more than you need for the recipe.

Happy Tuesday :)

"Turkey", Tarragon, and "Mascarpone" Lasagna

For the Lasagna...
  • 2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 batch of Vegan Turkey, finely chopped
  • 1 batch of Vegan Mascarpone (recipe follows)
  • 3 TBSP Fresh Tarragon, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 lb Broccoli Florets, broken into bite size pieces
  • 1 lb No Bake Lasagna Noodles
  • 2 cups Vegan Mozzarella, finely grated

For the Sauce...
  • 1/4 cup Vegan Margarine
  • 2 TBSP Unbleached White Flour
  • 2 1/2 cups Soy Milk (or other Non Dairy Milk)
  • 2/3 cup Dr Cows Tree Nut Cheese, finely grated
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then saute the onion and garlic until softened but not browned. Add in the diced vegan turkey, raise the heat to high, and saute for about 5 minutes longer. Remove the pan from heat, then stir in the mascarpone and tarragon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then blanch the broccoli for 1 minute. Drain in a colander over the sink, then immediately rinse with cold water. Drain well and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt the vegan margarine over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from heat, then gradually whisk in the soy milk. Return the pan to heat and bring to a slow boil, stirring constantly. Simmer for 1 minute, then slowly whisk in the Dr Cow cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble the lasagna, first place a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish, then layer in the following order:

1) Layer of Noodles
2) Layer of "Turkey" Mixture
3) Layer of Broccoli
4) Layer of Mozzarella

Repeat the layers twice more, finishing with a sprinkle of fresh tarragon for garnish, if desired. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes.

Vegan Mascarpone

  • 1 package Mori-Nu® Silken Soft Tofu
  • 1/8 cup MimicCreme
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar

A stand mixer with a whisk attachment is ideal for this, but a strong arm and a whisk will do the job as well. Combine ingredients in a stand mixer, and whisk together on the highest setting possible (the setting that doesn't leave you covered in tofu chunks), and mix until light and creamy. Chill until ready to use.

Vegan Turkey Recipe

Vegan Turkey Dough
  • 1 cup Vital Wheat Gluten
  • 1/3 cup No Chicken Broth
  • 1/3 cup White Ale
  • 1/3 cup MimicCreme

For the Broth...
  • 4 cups prepared Better Than Bouillon's No Chicken Broth
  • 2 cups Low Sodium Vegetable Stock
  • 1 cup of Dry White Wine (I use Chardonnay)
  • 1/2 can of Light Ale
  • 1 1/4 cup MimicCreme
  • 1 TBSP Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 cup Mirin
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Yellow Mustard Powder
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Stalk of Celery, sliced
  • 1 TBSP Mellow White Miso Paste

Combine all of the broth ingredients EXCEPT the mellow white miso paste in a very large stock pot. Bring to a boil, then add the mellow white miso paste and stir until dissolved.

Whisk together the liquids for the dough (No Chicken Broth, White Ale and MimicCreme), then by mix with the vital wheat gluten and knead until it’s completely mixed. Squeeze out any excess liquid, then depending on the recipe you're using the vegan turkey for, either shape into one large rectangle or flatten the dough into a circle and and use a sharp knife or kitchen shears to cut into four pie wedge “Turkey Breast” shaped pieces.

Drop the dough into the pot of boiling broth, reduce heat to simmer, and cover the pot with a lid. Let the seitan simmer for about an hour, stirring every 10-15 minutes.

Once done cooking, drain the Turkey Seitan well. Place the pieces (or piece) of seitan on top of a drying rack, then allow it to drain for a few hours to achieve that "dry" element that real turkey has.

Use as directed in any of my vegan turkey recipes, or substitute for real turkey in one of your favorites!


Miss Rachel's Pantry said...

yumyumyum. i'm sorry you're stuck in a crappy place, but if it makes you create recipes like this... well, that might just be an okay tradeoff :)

Witch City Runner said...

Heeeey! I think this would make an awesome dinner for Thanksgiving...hmmm....Seriously, looks SO amazing, as does every single thing you make. *Sigh* I loves me some food porn! :-)

Bianca said...

Ha ha! I love that y'all broke into your old apartment to smoke some hash as a grounding mechanism. I wanna hang out with y'all. You two are fun.

The Health Sensei said...

pssst if you and bianca meet for a hash session, i'm IN

Unknown said...

It is tough to be stuck somewhere that is not you, although I will be glad that you post more. This looks fantastic

Jenni (aka Vegyogini) said...

Sassiness becomes you, even if the Valley is not your style. Oh, and natural hair color and, ahem, tits, are far better than their faux counterparts, if you ask me. :)

I'm thrilled to know that a second book is already in the works!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Damn, you've done it again! I didn't know you moved to the Valley. Hopefully it's cheaper rent, so you can come visit?

Lowen said...

1. I'm jealous of your hash.
2. I want this dish in my mouth right now.
3. Dude, where do you get your stash of Dr. Cow? I can't find it anywhere, and the only sites I've found that sell it want my arm and leg as well as all of my money. I mean, that seems unfair for one round of Dr. Cow.

Mihl said...

Your book. I forgot about it. Shame on me, when is it coming out? When will you bring over some of that lasagna?

Lowen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jes said...

Hahaha I **love** that you broke into your old place! I don't love that you don't love where you're living for this year. I'm sending peaceful vibes your way. It's hard, being somewhere for a year when you're unsettled with it. But at least your recipe goodness is still going strong! I could use a serving of that lasagna right now!

Lowen said...

Made this like two weeks ago, really, really delicious, fed to friends that also liked it. :)

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