One of Dan's favorite pre-veg meals was chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes. The mashed potatoes are easy, replace the butter with Earth Balance, and the milk with Almond Milk. But making a Dan approved chicken fried steak was a bit more challenging.
I have a few versions floating around in a couple of different books, like this one form 500 Vegan Recipes, but the gravy always had mushrooms (Dan is a staunch mushroom hater) or beans, or sour cream, or something else that prevented it from being the flavor he was after. He wanted plain white gravy. The kind they usually make with sausage or bacon grease and pour over biscuits, or, of course, chicken fried steak.
Okay. So, I need to stop over thinking it. Come up with a simple gravy. Easy enough. And that was that.
Super simple and easy to throw together in just a few minutes. You can change it up to suit your needs by switching out the liquid with different types of broth. Better than Bouillon No-Beef base for brown gravy, for example.
1/4 cup canola oil (or vegan bacon grease, or vegan butter)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups water (or broth)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, optional (I like it better with the nooch, Dan likes it okay, but prefers it noochless)
lots of black pepper, to taste
salt, to taste
In a small pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add in the flour and stir to combine to make a roux. Continue to cook until golden. Add in the water (or broth) and stir to mix completely. Add in nooch, if using, pepper and salt to taste. Continue to stir until thickened. It should only take a few minutes. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Yield: about 3 cups
The chicken fried steak was a little trickier, because Dan doesn't really like seitan all that much. He'll eat it, but it's not his favorite. He thinks it's too wheat-y. Ha. Well, yes. It is. So I knew I had to do it differently. So I added TVP to the mixture, and pressed it really flat, using the foil lined pan to help it hold it's shape while it baked. By golly, it worked!
Country Fried Seitan Steaks
The recipe below makes 8 dinner sized pieces of country fried seitan. They reheat well (I have had leftovers twice now!) so don't worry.
For the steaks:
1/2 cup TVP granules
1 cup boiling vegan beef flavored broth
1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup vegan beef flavored broth
1/4 cup vegan worcestershire
2 tablespoons canola oil
For the breading:
1 cup (125 g) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teasoon dried mustard
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup soy, coconut, or almond milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Reconstitute the TVP in the boiling broth. Pour the broth over the TVP in a heat safe bowl, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes.
Line two baking sheets with foil.
In a medium mixing bowl, add the flours, onion and garlic powder, parsley, and pepper.
Add the broth, worcestershire, and oil to the reconstituted TVP, and mix together.
Add the wet to the dry and knead together until a uniform dough is formed.
Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and set aside to rest for 20 minutes. While dough is resting you can preheat your oven to 350 F, and prepare your fry station.
In a shallow dish, mix together all of the breading ingredients, except for the milk and lemon juice.
In a separate shallow dish mix together the milk and lemon juice and let it curdle.
After twenty minutes has passed, press the dough pieces flat into uneven patties that are no thicker than 1/4-inch thick. Use the foil on the pan to help them keep shape. You should be able to get 4 patties on each pan.
Cover the whole pan loosely with foil and place in the oven to bake for twent minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to tough.
Add enough oil into the bottom of a frying pan to equal 1/4-inch deep.
Carefully take one patty and dipp it in the milk mixture, then into the flour mixture, then carefully into the hot oil. Fry until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes, per side.
Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
Yield: 8 pieces