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 Post subject: Seitan sausage presentation tips?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 11:23 am 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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I wondered if anyone has any tips for getting seitan to look good, apart from chopping it up and using it in a dish?

I'm going to a potluck that'll be full of newbie vegans, many of them clamouring for fake meat recommendations on the facebook page, so I was thinking of whipping up some steamy beany sausages and one or two other recipes so people can get an idea of what they can make themselves. Unfortunately, my attempts at most seitan recipes literally look like shiitake or some kind of withered decayed arm, and even though they taste good I want them to look like smooth commercial sausages/fake meat if I can.

I usually use fairly cheap kitchen foil, could that be the culprit? Has anyone had any luck cooking seitan in something like a loaf pan?

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 Post subject: Re: Seitan sausage presentation tips?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:12 pm 
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I make Isa's Steamy Beany Sausages from IDI using foil (following her directions to wrap them up like a tootsie roll) and they come out looking a lot like Field Roast sausages.


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 Post subject: Re: Seitan sausage presentation tips?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:43 pm 
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I have no tips for making the seitan come out looking better, because mine always looks... uh... lumpy? My sausages have come out better than anything meant to be loafy but still don't look like professionally made vegan sausage. But would it be possible to present them cut into rounds, maybe with toothpicks? At one of our Benelux PPK picnic/potlucks, Cornelie brought seitan sausages sliced up that way and it made them look fancy, and we absolutely devoured them.

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 Post subject: Re: Seitan sausage presentation tips?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:52 pm 
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Yes, I might have to go with pre-slicing. Good call on the toothpicks!

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 Post subject: Re: Seitan sausage presentation tips?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:53 pm 
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If it the form or the texture? If its the form, I wonder if you could steam them in something to hold the form besides foil (or maybe use a lot more foil and pressure?). I have a cake ball tin and I imagine that if I steamed them in that, I'd end up with more uniform balls (heh!).

If its the texture, maybe blend the mix to make it more uniform?

Mine are generally lumpy because I am crepe at wrapping and I don't mush the beans very well. I made a batch with brown lentils and the color was really nice, fwiw.

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 Post subject: Re: Seitan sausage presentation tips?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 1:05 pm 
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The foil wrap is the main factor in appearance, I think. If your foil is too thin, you could try doubling it, and try to keep it as wrinkle-free as possible. I usually use heavy duty foil and wrap them pretty firmly. I leave some room for expansion at the ends because I'd rather have any blobby bits there, where I can cut them off. When you close the long edges, fold them over in a series of narrow flat folds instead of crinkling it. That way, you end up with one seam indentation rather than a bunch of wrinkles. My only other advice is to use more oil than usual when you brown them.

The only baked seitan I've tried is the chicken-y one from the Real Food Daily cookbook. It's been a while, but I remember it being pretty good.

Good luck!

ETA: If, despite your best efforts, they still come out ugly, slice them into circles and after browning them, remove the oil from the pan and cook them in a mustard and brown sugar glaze. That fixes everything!


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 Post subject: Re: Seitan sausage presentation tips?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 1:34 pm 
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Xocolatl wrote:
... I leave some room for expansion at the ends because I'd rather have any blobby bits there, where I can cut them off...


I think that's where I have been going wrong!

Good tips, thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Seitan sausage presentation tips?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 3:40 pm 
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lepelaar wrote:
But would it be possible to present them cut into rounds, maybe with toothpicks? At one of our Benelux PPK picnic/potlucks, Cornelie brought seitan sausages sliced up that way and it made them look fancy, and we absolutely devoured them.

That is what I usually do (thanks lepelaar!). You could also make the dough into one big log, like the Seitan 'O Greatness and cut it into cubes for serving. That way, nobody will we able to tell if the log looked a bit wobbly. For the best looking sausages I like to use the pepperoni recipe from Vegan on the Cheap. It uses tapioca flour (cornstarch works too) to cut the gluten and that results in a much smoother texture than if you use beans.

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 Post subject: Re: Seitan sausage presentation tips?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 4:08 pm 
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I have no tips... the last seitan i made looked like a loaf of bread.

i would love some sort of reuseable seitan sausage mould utensil. i can just see it in my head! a little metal tubular case that snaps shut and opens to perfect little sausages!


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 Post subject: Re: Seitan sausage presentation tips?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 4:12 pm 
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I like to let them cool in the fridge overnight and then cut them on a diagonal and fry the pieces to firm them up and get some colour. Then you can do the toothpick thing, but they are so scrumptious that even the most skeptical people tend to gobble them up.

I wrap them pretty tight in foil, and I do use the more intense thick stuff. Little flecks of chile or sun-dried tomato are always a bonus.


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 Post subject: Re: Seitan sausage presentation tips?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 4:15 pm 
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postnothing wrote:
I have no tips... the last seitan i made looked like a loaf of bread.

i would love some sort of reuseable seitan sausage mould utensil. i can just see it in my head! a little metal tubular case that snaps shut and opens to perfect little sausages!


I wonder if baking in a Twinkie pan could work.

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 Post subject: Re: Seitan sausage presentation tips?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 4:23 pm 
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is a twinkie pan a thing? i would try that!


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 Post subject: Re: Seitan sausage presentation tips?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 5:03 pm 
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try blending the beans in a food processor to get them super smooth. that'll get rid of some of the lumps. i wrap them pretty tightly, too and they always come out looking pretty much like store bought sausages. I tend to use julie hasson's recipe for steamed italian sausages over isa's because i think they taste pretty much the same, but they are easier to make because you don't have to deal with beans.

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 Post subject: Re: Seitan sausage presentation tips?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:13 pm 
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I prefer Julie Hasson's recipe too, couldn't find a way to make the beany ones not look like turds. I use garlic powder in place of fresh too, so no chopping, just measure - mix - wrap - steam!

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 Post subject: Re: Seitan sausage presentation tips?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:16 pm 
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The one time I made seitan sausages for a potluck, I made minis, like cocktail wiener sized ones. It was tedious wrapping them all up, but I ended up with a bunch of tiny, cute sausages. People ate them up.

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