In thinking up my favorite family dish to veganize I found myself torn between two old favorites; my mother's very basic clam dip or my Nana's linguine and clam sauce. To that end I created something versatile enough to be used for both and much much more!
1/2 cup Vital Wheat Gluten
1/4 cup Garbanzo Flour
2 tsp Seaweed - I crumbled half a sheet of toasted nori
1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast Flakes
1 tsp Garlic powder
1 tsp Onion powder
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Celery Seed
1/4 tsp ground Mustard
1/2 tsp Lemon Pepper - no salt variety is best
2 tsp Malt Vinegar (can use Brown Rice Vinegar as well), separated
1 tsp HP Sauce or vegan Worchestiershire Sauce
2 tsp Lemon Juice
1/8 tsp Maramite
3 cups and 6 Tbsp Water, separated
1 Vegetable Bullion Cube or Watered down stock at a 2:1 ration water to stock
Bring the 3 cups of water, 1 tsp vinegar and the bullion to a low simmer in a 2 quart pot. Combine the dry ingredients and whisk together. Combine the rest of the wet ingredients and whisk to blend it thoroughly. Mix the small wet mixture into the dry to incorporate well. Kneed for 2-4 minutes. Drop by flattened and pinched pieces into the slowly simmering broth. These should be about the size of your thumbnail and flat. Simmer in the broth for five minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the broth for 15-30 minutes.
At this point you have a chewy small mouthful vaguely resembling the sea flavor of clams. You can utilize them in a multitude of recipes as noted below!
Mom's Clam Dip
Half a batch of Seitan Clams, minced if desired
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 tsp Garlic Salt
8 oz Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese, softened
Blend all the ingredients together well, stirring the cream cheese well first then incorporating everything else. Serve with Wheat Thins or Fritos.
Nana's Linguine and Clam Sauce
1 batch Seitan Clams, minced if desired
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 cup Onion, minced
1/4 cup Garlic, fresh minced
1/4 cup Earth Balance Margarine
1/2 cup Seitan Clams broth liquid
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
2 tsp Lemon Juice
8 oz linguine or other pasta of choice
1 -2 cups water
Make the clams and removed them with a slotted spoon to reserve for later. Ladel out half a cup of the broth and reserve this for later as well. Bring the cool broth up to a boil, adding 1-2 cups of water if needed. Cook the pasta in this watered down broth. Saute the onion in the oil until translucent. Add the garlic and saute a minute more but do not brown! Add the butter, clams and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the broth a bit at a time to make enough sauce to coat the pasta. Once the pasta is cooked move it with a slotted spoon or tongs into the clam pan. Shake and flip to combine the two well. Season with salt, pepper and lemon. Serve hot and garnish with lemon slices.
The best thing about these clams are that they do not have that rubbery or gritty tooth feel. They are lightly chewy with a hint of ocean from the seaweed but mostly just a rich flavor from the broth. You can also fry these rather than simmer them, making them a great appeziter to pop right in your mouth or dunk into tartar sauce. I also envision the ability to make clam chowder, adding these at the very end to make a realistic addition.
Labels: classic recipes