Saturday, October 20, 2012

And the winner is...

Today was Iron Chef at Animal Rights Coalition. I worked really hard all week, spent an outrageous amount of money, and ended up making The Beast. Some of you may remember that I've made it before, and it has always been a hit at Thanksgiving dinner. It turned out to be even more delicious with the addition of a vanilla-cardamom cranberries layer. Those who have experienced the Beast had plenty of helpings, which (almost) made up for the fact that none of my friends showed up. I'm not too worried about being all sour grapes about it on here, because none of them read my blog either. I need new friends.

So, I forgot my camera, but got a few shots with my shitty phone.

A blown circuit made the crockpot pointless, but despite being lukewarm, I ran out of extra gravy pretty fast. Well, and people were doing shots of it.

So, who won? My girl Kaylyn!!! I became her vegan mentor a ways back, and have watched her grow into a beautiful vegan flower. So proud of you!

Now, since you're all dying for the recipe...

The Beast
makes one deep dish 9x9" casserole, or one 9x13" (single layer)

1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp margarine
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rubbed sage
couple dashes white pepper
1/2 tsp granulated onion, or toasted dried onion
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1 can pumpkin puree
2 or more cups vegetable broth
salt, to taste

Whisk the oil, margarine, and cornstarch into a roux over low heat. Add everything else, and slowly pour in the broth, stirring, until thickened and the consistency you want. Remove from heat. Salt to taste.

3 or 4 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tbsp margarine
unsweetened plain non-dairy milk
roasted garlic, if desired
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp dried rosemary

Boil the potatoes until fork-tender. Pass through a ricer or use a masher like this one so you don't get gummy potatoes (I also like it a little chunky). Stir in margarine until melted. Slowly add milk, whipping the potatoes to a spreadable consistency. Add some garlic, and rosemary. Stir.

1/2 of a 12-oz bag bread cubes for stuffing (I mixed sage & onion with cornbread), or homemade 
2 tbsp margarine
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped celery
any additions you like in stuffing: hazelnuts, almonds, dried cranberries, apples, etc
1 tsp poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, or whatever you'd like to add if using plain bread cubes
1-1.5 cups hot vegetable broth 

Cook the onion, garlic, and celery over medium heat in the margarine until soft. Pour over the bread cubes. Slowly add hot broth and stir until it's moist but not wet. Fold in any add-ins you like.

Soy Curls (if using them; you can also use Tofurky or seitan for this layer):
1 bag Butler's Soy Curls
2 cups hot not-chicken broth (I use Edward & Sons)
1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rubbed sage
1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Hydrate the curls in a bowl with all the other ingredients for about ten minutes. Drain, and sear in a pan for a couple minutes until brown. Set aside.

1 can whole berry cranberry sauce

1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch cardamom

Mix that up in a bowl.

1/2 package Pepperidge Farm puff pastry (or your own homemade puff pastry; one sheet)
non-dairy milk for brushing.

To assemble:

Preheat oven to 375°
Spray a deep 9x9" casserole or a 13x9" roasting pan with cooking spray. If using a deep dish, you'll want to repeat the layers, so divide everything accordingly. 
Spoon about 1/2 cup or so of the gravy in the bottom. Add your stuffing layer, packing it down to make a firm base. Next is the cranberries. You can either blop it all over, or spread it out in an even layer. Next, make a layer of soy curls. Spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the whole thing with a rubber spatula. Spoon about a cup of the gravy over this. If you're deep-dishing, you should have saved half of everything. Repeat your layers. 

Roll out the puff pastry to fit your dish. Lay it over the top, and crimp the edges, or tuck it in. Brush with non-dairy milk. Make two slits in the top with a knife. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Lest rest for ten minutes, and serve with extra gravy.


molly said...

Now I am sad we'll be out of town on Thanksgiving and I won't be in my kitchen.

GiGi said...

wow those are some kickass layers of goodnesss, I see why you cal it the Beast.
One of my friends used to read my blog all the time and then that was that. What's with these non-supportive friends? Ugh.

Candy Beans said...

That sounds incredible! Maybe I'll make one for myself one weekend and just eat it all day long. My boyfriend reads my blog, and I think my ex does as well, but none of my other friends do. I like it that way, but you should definitely get friends that do.