(photo courtesy of Jess Judge – thanks Jess!)
For many Americans, Superbowl Sunday (and other football-ey type of social gatherings) is a tradition of food. Namely, chicken wings. For my Dad, it’s about blue cheese and sour cream dip for rippled potato chips. It’s a staple, and it just wouldn’t feel like the Superbowl without it. Going vegan has strained me in these types of situations. On the one hand, I really want to enjoy the fun social aspect as much as anyone, but on the other hand (and I freely admit this) I miss the traditions I’ve grown up with.
So once again, I took the bull by the horns and whipped up some vegan-friendly appetisers that not only have quelled my cravings for That Which I Choose Not To Eat Anymore, but as of a few weekends ago won the admiration and respect of some of my most meat-happy friends. They gobbled these up faster than I could say “Wait, that’s not meat!”. I quickly had a photo snapped before the entire dish was gone, so you’ll have to forgive the fact that it’s not as styled as I’d prefer. Next time I’m bringing out the camera before I present the meal.
I recommend these hot “wings”, or “Wings of
Satan Seitan”, or if you’re more vulgar than that, “ Satan’s Seitan’s Balls” for all those social food gatherings where you find yourself questioning your commitment to animal kindness, or if you’re just in the mood for spicy protein and blue cheese. And, it’s meat-eater tested and approved, so you can’t go wrong there. Unless you encounter my Catholic mother who is mortified that I’d cook with something that is a homophone for the Devil Himself.
Hail Seitan, y’all. And his tasty balls.
One batch of homemade seitan (I think it comes out to about 6 cups worth or something. We use “Vegan With a Vengeance“‘s seitan recipe)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup soy milk / almond milk (plain, unsweetened)
3 tbsp spicy brown mustard
1 + 1/2 tsp garlic powder
4 + 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp + 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper, freshly ground
1 tsp paprika
3 tsp baking powder
Peanut oil (about 1/2 – 3/4 cup)
Hot sauce (I recommend Louisiana-style hot sauces like Red Rooster. I do NOT recommend Tapatio or, heaven forbid, Tabasco. Blech.)
Ingredients (Blue “cheese” dressing):
6-8 oz plain soy yogurt. No substitutions.
1 cup veganaisse (other brands are OK to substitute)
1-2 tsp garlic powder (omit if you substituted Wildwood Aoili for veganaisse)
1/2 tsp agave nectar
1/4 tsp salt
8 oz blue “Sheese“, grated. This is not substitutable; there is no other brand I’ve tried that works like this one does.
1. Mix your blue “cheese” ingredients together in a bowl. Cover with tin foil (did you know this is recyclable, unlike plastic wrap? Now you do) and refrigerate for 1 – 2 hours. This allows the seasonings / flavors to meld together well.
2. Mix your “wet mix” together in a medium-sized bowl: water, non-dairy milk, mustard, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 2 tbsp flour, 1 tbsp nutritional yeast. Set aside.
3. Mix your “dry mix” together in another medium-sized bowl: 1 1/4 cups flour, salt, pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder, 4 tbsp nutritional yeast, paprika, baking powder.
4. Cut the seitan into wing-sized chunks. Or, rip them into ping-pong ball-sized lumps. Whatever suits your fancy.
5. Pour peanut oil into your cast-iron skillet (Did you know you can get more iron out of your food by cooking with a cast-iron skillet? Which is a vital mineral that many vegans don’t have enough of? Now you do) about 1/4 inch deep. Heat on high.
6. Coat each piece of seitan in the wet mix, then roll in the dry mix and add to the frying pan. Fry those puppies until lightly browned on each side, then let them cool on a folded cloth or paper towel.
7. Preheat your oven to 300. Place the cooled seitan wings into a large baking dish and smother in hot sauce. Toss gently so that the hot sauce coats the seitan evenly.
8. Bake those bad boys for 5 – 10 minutes. If they’re ball-sized, put a toothpick in each one and serve along side the blue “cheese” dressing. Get one quick before they’re served, or you may never get the chance to taste them.