Thursday, 4 November 2010

Warning: Does Not Turn Into A Pumpkin After Midnight

Okay, folks. I promised a week of pumpkin recipes, and I'm working on new & interesting ways to use roasted pumpkin flesh. So, open you're minds really wide... wider than that. And Behold!


Okay, so maybe I've gone a bit too far. Feh, if you can't get stupid on your own blog, where can you? This recipe is inspired by those Quorn roasts that you find in the supermarket freezers, but it's a lot tastier! It's been so long since I last ate turkey (and that was the Christmas roast - painfully dry and about as tasty as chewing on greasy cardboard) that I don't really remember the flavour. But this has a rich, savoury, slightly sweet flavour, you wouldn't know there was pumpkin in it without someone telling you. It's also vegan, woo!
It's a surprisingly simple recipe & mixes together in no time, the texture comes from both steaming & baking (much like with the Chorbeetzo recipe), which keeps it nice and tender while still being firm enough to slice. You can shape it into two Quorn roast style logs, or into one large one that can be used like vegetarian luncheon meat or deli slices.

1 cup of roasted pumpkin flesh
2 cups of water
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
2 1/2 cups wheat gluten
4 tbs nutritional yeast powder (if you can't get hold of any, don't fret. It just gives the roast a savoury taste)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp vegetable stock powder (marigold is really good, but any stock powder or cube you have will do)
2 tsp maple syrup (the secret ingredient! It sounds weird, but it works wonders!)
1 tsp Maggi sauce (again, this is to give it a savoury flavour. If you don't have Maggi sauce, Bragg liquid amino's, hendersons relish, vegetarian Worcester sauce or soy sauce will do)
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground

Put the pumpkin, onion, garlic, maple syrup, vegetable stock powder & Maggi sauce in a blender & whizz until smooth. Mix the gluten powder, nutritional yeast, spices & salt in a bowl. Add the wet to the dry & mix thoroughly. You're looking for a spongy mass, not dry & tough, but not sticky & wet either. Knead for a minute & shape into two logs (or one big 'un). Wrap in kitchen foil, twisting the ends firmly to make a log. Place in a steamer & leave steaming for 30 minutes (1 hour for the big 'un). Preheat the oven to 200C/G4.
Remove the foil parcels from the steamer & place in a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes (1 hour for the big 'un). The Not-Turkey (Turkain't?) will swell up but the foil will hold it in shape. Leave to cool wrapped in the foil (if you unwrap it while hot, it'll dry out and get a bit tough). You can unwrap it briefly to cut a bit off one end to try it, of course.
Once cool, it can be stored in the fridge. Then you can use it in sandwiches, salads, chilli, pasta, enchiladas, risottos, mole, jambalaya... anything really!

I'm going to play around with it a little & it will eventually become Christmas dinner. I'm mostly thinking along the lines of filling it with some sort of stuffing, maybe apricot & almond, or cranberry & pecans (my current favourite, I think they'd go well with the earthy sweetness of the maple syrup) and serving with roasted veg & cranberry relish. Sound good?

Om nom nom!

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