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Shish-Kabob and Pastrami

Yields1 Serving

This one recipe yields both a middle-eastern beef shish-kabob seitan AND a pastrami seitan (see instructions on how to finalize).
It is completely up to you if you want to make it just be kabobs, just the pastrami, or both. The taste is there to serve both needs and depending on how you slice or finalize it, it will become two different and unique mock meats.
In the notes, I also included the recipe for the traditional crispy Serbian cornbread, because this goes with it like you won't believe.

Red "meat":
 1,6 kg King Arthur Bread Flour 12.7% protein
 900 ml water
 6-7 drops red food dye(mixed in the water)
 600 g King Arthur Bread Flour 12.7% protein
 350 ml water
Seitan seasoning / red parts:
 4 tbsp mushroom bullion
 3 tbsp onion powder
 1 tbsp garlic powder
 1 tsp coriander ground
 1 tsp thyme dry leaves
 2 tsp smoked paprika
 1 tbsp smoked salt
 2 tsp black pepper
 2 tbsp Methylcellulose high viscosity
 2 tsp brown sugar
 2 tbsp soy sauce(or 2 tsp dehydrated soy sauce, if available)
 1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
 2 tsp marmite
Seitan seasoning / white part:
 ½ tsp garlic powder
 ½ tsp salt
 ½ tsp white pepper
 2 tbsp vegan butter
Simmering liquid (fry & simmer):
 3-4 tbsp Olive/Canola oil (to cover the pan)
 200 ml vegan Cabernet
 1 tbsp oregano
 1 tbsp rosemary
 3 tbsp mushroom bullion powder
 2 tbsp soy sauce
 1 tsp dark soy sauce (optional, but gives a nice darker tone)
 1-2 tbsp dehydrated garlic(or 1-2 cloves of thinly sliced fresh one)
 1-2 tbsp dehydrated onion(or 1/4 med fresh yellow onion)
 enough water to cover 1/2 of the seitans
Make the dough.

Make two firm doughs, red and white ones, that bounce back when poked. 

Wash the flour.

Place the two doughs in separate bowls, and cover them with cool water for 1 hour.
Wash the doughs, with cold and lukewarm water, leaving very little starch still in (it’ll show as whitish thin streaks on the red/pink dough).
After washing, squeeze out as much water from your dough as possible, and let them rest, separately, in colanders, for 30 mins ~ an hour, to lose even more excess water. Occasionally flip them, so they don’t stick, and so you can feel out how much water is still left.

Incorporate the seasoning.

In a food processor, combine the red dough with its seasoning. The red dough might need to go in in 2-3 batches, depending on the strength of your food processor. The white dough can be quickly mixed by hand.
Cut the red/pink dough into 8-9 pieces, and shape each into a smooth ball. Same for the white one, but in 4 pieces.

Rest the seitan.

Cover the seitan balls with a towel, and rest for at least 2 hours, allowing the gluten to get rearranged. At this point, you can also put them in the fridge, and get back to them the next day, if you are out of time for the day.


Once ready to continue, slowly stretch each dough ball, as much as possible without breaking them, and knot them as many times they allow you. Play with combining red and white colors to imitate fat. I like tearing up the white parts, stretching them thin, and knotting them together with the red ones, tucking in the ends, so the final seitan looks creepily realistic.
If the dough feels breakable and not stretchy, rest some more, and then stretch and knot.
Once you get the final knotted shapes, flatten them a bit. Up to you how big they are. I tend to end up with 2 steak-size pastrami ones, and 3 thinner and longer shish-kabob ones. Coating the pastrami with a thin layer of the white seitan helps distinguish it better (at least in the beginning), and gives it that fat on the top look, once sliced up.

Fry & simmer:

Use a frying pan with a lid, but be sure to not overcrowd.
On med heat, sauté with oil, flipping sides, until lightly browned. Remove the pan from heat.
When the oil isn't sizzling anymore, add the rest of the simmering ingredients. Close the lid and bring it to a low simmer.
Do not boil!
Simmer with the lid closed (flipping sides often) until most of the liquid is cooked away, and the seitans have firmed up. This should take about an hour, hour 10-15 mins.  
You can also stop a bit earlier, as long as your seitans have firmed up, and preserve some of the simmering liquid. The garlic and onions will caramelize, and the alcohol will evaporate, leaving you with an amazing steak glaze, or gravy sauce.
Let the seitans rest in the fridge, overnight.


Three ways to finalize this:
1) Keep as is, and use as cold cuts. Slice super thinly, and enjoy some pastrami, so rich in flavor, that you’ll be stealing a slice, or two, every time you pass by your fridge. I have a sensitivity to gluten, so this is my preferred way to have it, because I can still enjoy the taste of it, but have much smaller portions, that do not upset my stomach as much. Also, it lasts a whole of a lot longer, so more bang for your buck and effort!
2) Unknot, and then chop up your seitan into shish kabob square shapes. Add whatever else you wish to add to the skewer, and quickly sauté or grill. You can marinade* it before hand, or just glaze* it while sautéing/grilling, and finish off with a few lemon squeezes. Methylcellulose will help keep the seitan firm when grilling/sautéing, and not allow it to loose bounce and texture when eaten hot. If you didn’t have this ingredient, I suggest refrigerating the seitan after it’s grilled as shish-kabab, to firm up again, as there will be a change in texture.
3) Do both cold cuts and shish-kabob. Go crazy! There is enough of this to swing it both ways.


* Most middle-eastern shish-kabob glazes or marinades are mixes of red wine, soy sauce and spices, and you’ve already cooked it in this for an hour… so use a different quick glaze to kick it up. For this, a decent balsamic vinaigrette dressing (I like Neman’s Own), plus some oregano, parsley (I’ve used dry for this, but fresh and dry both work), and black pepper do the job perfectly. And don’t forget the lemon squeeze, when finishing on the grill. It makes all the difference!

** If you want to go crazy, try this: roast/grill white cap mushrooms whole (stem removed), lightly oiled, and seasoned. When almost done, put vegan cheese of your choosing in the mushroom’s base, add some oil and salt/spice, and let it melt. Add this to the kabob skewers, in btw the seitans, and everyone will call you a mad scientist.

*** Cornbread:
⁃ 1 1/2 cup Indian Head Stone Ground Yellow Cornmeal
⁃ 1 tsp salt
⁃ 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
⁃ 200 ml sparkling water
⁃ 1/3 cup oil
⁃ 1/3 vegan feta box (Follow your heart)

Mix all together and pour into a baking pan, that’s no less than 12 inches in diameter. If your pan is smaller, the cornbread will be thicker, and not as crispy.
Pro tip: use non-stick parchment paper to line the pan, for super easy cleanup.

When you have distributed it evenly in the pan (use a fork, or a spoon to smooth it out), add 1/3 of Follow Your Heart feta crumbles package, and mix it in. Leave plenty of larger peices on the surface, because they will bubble and burn, and make the whole thing ridiculous.

Sprinkle coarse salt, pepper, parsley, and some fancy extra virgin olive oil if you got it on top, and you’re done.
Bake at 450*F.
You will know when it’s done when your toothpick comes out completely clean, after you stick it in the cornbread, and the cheese gets a brownish glaze in some parts. This is about 25 mins mark in my home.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 0

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