Friday, March 9, 2012

Vegetarian Boudin Sausage (revised)

A vegetarian blood sausage sounds absurd, and I guess it is a little crazy. However, I'm only taking inspiration from the original, not attempting to recreate it in any way. Traditionally, boudin, a regional New Orleans ingredient, is more like a rice and sausage casserole stuffed into a casing than what you expect when you hear the word 'sausage.' So, it kind of makes perfect sense to me to take the spices and the texture of the rice and add another savory flavor altogether.  Here, smoked sun-dried tomatoes -- not pork -- provide the umami for this sausage.

Once I made this, I couldn't stop thinking about it. It's that good. And, unlike store-bought sausages of any sort, you know exactly what's in it. 

It's good to make a double batch of this and freeze it. It goes well with red beans, or just slice it and put on a sandwich. The best way to serve it is like a hot dog on a french roll with sautéed onions and green peppers. Add a bit of my N'awlins sauce and some celery leaves to garnish. Make it and you'll consider yourself one lucky dog!

Vegetarian Boudin Sausage
(Makes six large sausages.)

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon red pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano,
sea salt, and cracked black pepper (to taste)
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 cups (dry-packed) smoked sun dried tomatoes*
1 cups cooked rice
3/4 cup vital wheat gluten

Heat the canola oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the onion and celery to the pan. Cook until the onion is translucent and beginning to brown. Add the thyme, red pepper, paprika, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the wine and allow the mixture to reduce until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove pan from the heat and place the cooked vegetables into the work bowl of your food processor. Add the parsley and sun-dried tomatoes. Pulse the mixture eight to ten times or until everything is finely chopped yet still distinct. Place the mixture into a large bowl along with the cooked rice and vital wheat gluten. (The wheat gluten is the binder that will hold the sausages together.) Mix it all vigorously by hand for at least two minutes.

Pull out six pieces of foil in 
four-inch sections. Place a 1/2 cup portion (for smaller sausages, use 1/4 cup) on each foil and form it roughly into a log shape. (No need to be too precise.) Roll the foil into a tube and twist the ends like a Tootsie Roll; each sausage should be between four and five inches long. Repeat the process until all of the mixture has been used. Place foil-wrapped sausages into a steamer basket and steam them for 45 minutes. (My steamer is just a metal colander that fits nicely into my stockpot.) They will plump and take shape when steamed. Remove sausages and allow them to cool completely. 

When ready to serve, brush each sausage with canola oil before grilling. Grill on high for two to three minutes per side or until well-marked. Serve on a warm French roll with sautéed peppers and onions, plenty of N'awlins sauce, and celery leaves for garnish. 

*Smoke regular sun-dried tomatoes for four minutes using THIS method or buy them pre-smoked. (I also have found them pre-made at Fresh Market.)


And Live said...

I don't have a smoker and can't seem to find smoked sundried tomatoes anywhere. Do you think I would ruin the recipe if I just used regular sundried tomatoes and added a bit of liquid smoke to the mixture or just upped the smoked paprika?

The Chubby Vegetarian said...

I would add a teaspoon of the hickory liquid smoke. Will you do this and report back? I want to know what you think. I'll add your suggestion to the recipe if it works.

Bianca said...

These look soooo good. And I love the photo of the sausages on the grill!

Karen said...

regular (bagged) sundried tomatoes or jarred in oil?

Bianca said...

I'm a fan of any steamed sausage! These sound fantastic!

The Chubby Vegetarian said...

I always use the ons in the bag. The others just add too much oil to the recipe.

Karen Simon said...

OMG, those look amazing!

The Yogi Vegetarian said...

These look like the best veggie sausages I have ever seen! I wonder if minced/ pureed seitan would do if I can't get hold of the gluten? I've been thinking to experiment with blending home-made seitan in burgers/ sausages...

The Chubby Vegetarian said...

I don't think that would work. Bread flour would be the next best thing. or an egg.

tender b. said...

I usually do a Vegan Dad version. I think these may be better because they aren't so much gluten. Can't wait to try these out.

veganboyjosh said...

just made these exactly according to the recipe. unfortunately, they came out way more crumbly than i was expecting.

i even boiled them for an extra 20 minutes when i tested the first one.

we've made the PPK ones before, and those come out super meaty and tough. we liked the idea of less gluten to make it less tough, but i think this recipe could use a little more, along with a little moisture (water, tomato sauce, veggiebroth, something..) to hold it together a little better.

that said, the flavors are great and i'll likely try this one again.

thanks for posting this!

The Chubby Vegetarian said...

Yeah! I'm glad you like the flavor. The OG boudin is crumblier than this one. In fact, It doesn't stay together at all. It's rally more of a casserole. That doesn't seem to be playing well with people. Letting them rest and cool before trying them is a good idea too. I'll try them again. I got a tip to blend some of the rice. Maybe I'll try that.

The Chubby Vegetarian said...

Revised to be less crumbly which means more gluten, but I think will also mean more happy customers.

Shonda said...

Made these for dinner last night and they were AMAZING! We could not find the smoked items so I added 1 tsp. of Hickory Liquid Smoke. Delicious. Served on good buns and topped with sauteed green peppers, onions, mozzarella and mustard. A new family favorite, Thank You!!

MissSmith said...

I made these tonight following the recipe exactly. I absolutely loved the texture but I guess Im not a huge fan of sun dried tomato. The recipe itself is a wonderful one and I will be using it to play with flavors and come up with something more to my palette. Thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

If you really want to leave out the wheat, you might try chia seeds as a binder.

Mark Buckland said...

Hi, any alternative to the white wine?

Anonymous said...

I think the wheat gluten takes away too much flavor.

Anonymous said...

I tried making these today. They were easy to make and had a decent texture. But they were SO salty I couldn't really taste other flavours and I sadly couldn't finish eating it. I am not sure why, I did not add additional salt. I used regular sundried tomatoes with a Tsp of liquid smoke. I'm not sure if that was the problem. But for me this is not a repeat recipe. I was so disappointed because they looked so good! This was the first recipe I've tried from the site, so I will try other recipes and hopefully they turn out better.

The Chubby Vegetarian said...

We all must taste the ingredients we use to make recipes. Some sun-dried tomatoes can be saltier than others. I'm no brand loyalist, but these are really tasty and have a great texture: