Friday, November 18, 2011

Thanksgiving Roast for Kourtney

Kourtney is a friend of my sons whom I've been very happy to come to know.  She asked for one of my Thanksgiving main dishes, so here goes: it's much less trouble than it looks! I'm pretty sure that I have a picture to scan somewhere in the archives, so hopefully I'll find that and post it soon.

I'll skip my usual format on this one, since it might get a bit long. The results are beautiful, and it can be made the day before and cooked a bit longer. This recipe is for a smaller version which feeds 4 to 6. Double everything and cook about 20 minutes longer if you're expecting more hungry people.

PART 1 : The Base

1 package Morningstar Farms or Boca Chik Patties, or four homemade seitan pieces of about the same size

Lay these on your greased baking sheet. Top with Gravy :

PART 2 : The Sauce

In a microwavable bowl, stir together 3 cups of cold water and 4 tablespoons of cornstarch until the lumps are gone. Add 3 tablespoons soy sauce and a few shakes each of garlic salt, pepper, and thyme. Microwave this for 2 minutes. Stir well, then microwave for a minute more; stir again, microwave another minute until the gravy is mostly clear and a bit bubbly.

Pour about 1 cup of the gravy over the chik patties. On to :

PART 3 : The Stuffing

You can use any stuffing here. To keep it simple, buy a bag of stuffing mix, moisten as directed and add your choice of sauteed onion, mushrooms, celery, water chestnuts, etc.  Or go all the way and make your own:

Dry 6 cups of  bread, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes more or less, on the counter overnight.  Use a mixture of breads if you have them around.

Saute 1 cup chopped celery, 1/2 cup chopped onion and 1 cup chopped mushrooms in a bit of oil or margarine. Add  a drained, chopped can of water chestnuts if you wish. 

Add the saute to the bread cubes along with 1 teaspoon sage and some dashes of salt and pepper. Mix 1 cup of hot water and a tablespoon of soy sauce and pour over the stuffing. Mix well and mound over the base.

Top with the rest of the gravy.

PART 4 : The Topper

This is what will set your Thanksgiving Roast apart and insure your place in the Pantheon of Vegetarian Cookery.

Choose Puff Pastry or Phyllo (Fillo) Dough. They're usually located near the frozen pies and desserts at the grocery.

For Puff Pastry: Let the pastry thaw in its' package for half an hour or so, while you make the rest of the stuff. When it's time, unwrap it and lay it on a clean counter that's been dusted with a bit of cornstarch. Roll it out to make a large rectangle (or two, if you need it to cover your roast entirely). Pick up your piece  and gently lay it over your roast. Shape it a bit to the form of the roast, then cut along the edges and remove the excess. If your want to make a grand entrance, cut the scraps into clever shapes and use a few drops of  milk to attach them to the roast.Cut a few decorative slits in the top to let out steam.

When it looks as you wish it to, place the roast into a 350 degree oven and bake for about 40 minutes, until nicely browned.

With Phyllo, it's pretty much the same as Puff Pastry, except that you must thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight, then on the counter for twenty minutes or so before using. Keep the sheets that you are not using covered while you work. Peel off a sheet or two to cover the roast, drape it over, then brush with melted butter or margarine. Add more sheets, alternating with butter, until you have seven or eight layers of soon-to-be-crunchy goodness. Top with a last layer of butter and bake as above.

It may seem like a lot of work, but it really isn't as much as it looks. You can make the stuffing and the sauce simultaneously a day or two before, and the topping really only takes about ten or fifteen minutes at the most. The slices look and taste delicious!

Be sure to take pictures!