Category Archives: Barbecue

♥ Southwestern Pulled Soy Curl Sliders

I guess there was a game on today. Despite all the hype, I can’t even tell you which teams played today. What’s more, I just don’t care.

I’ve wanted to make a meatless version of the bar menu favorite–sliders–for a while now. And today seemed like the appropriate day to do it. Butler Soy Curls are the perfect stand-in for pulled pork or beef. After several hours in the slow cooker simmering in the traditional spices, the “meat” is melt-in-your-mouth tender. I think this recipe could easily fool any meat-eater in a blind taste test. Hey, wouldn’t that be fun?!

I served these sliders on our favorite homemade buns. J likes his sandwich with coleslaw; I like mine with a slice of Tofutti American cheese.

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Southwestern Pulled Brisket Soy Curl Sandwiches

Adapted from this recipe.

Ingredients:

1 package soy curls, re-hydrated (1-1/2 pounds)

2 Tablespoons canola or safflower oil

1 sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced

5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1 Tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1-1/2 cups filtered water

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with juices

2 whole canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce (that’s 2 chilies, not 2 cans), chopped

2 bay leaves

1/4 cup molasses

Hamburger or slider buns (try this wonderfully easy bread machine recipe)

Pickled jalapenos, optional

Tofutti American cheese slices, optional

Coleslaw, optional

Directions:

Place the soy curls in a large bowl and cover with filtered water; let sit about 15 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large deep-sided cast iron skillet. Add the onion, garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, sea salt and black pepper to the skillet and stir until fragrant, not more than a few minutes.

Add the vinegar and boil until it’s almost gone, scraping the bottom of the pan with a flat wooden spoon. Add the water, tomatoes with juices, chipotles, bay leaves, and molasses. Stir well and remove the skillet from the heat.

Add the soy curls to the slow cooker crock, tearing apart the longer curls. Pour the sauce over the soy curls and stir well. Cover the slow cooker and set the temperature to ‘low’. Cook 6 hours.

To serve, remove and discard bay leaves. Pile the meat on sandwich buns and serve with jalapenos, a slice of cheese or coleslaw.

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♥ Beer Can Chick’n

I’ve wanted to try beer can chicken for ages (except in our house it’s ‘beer can chick’n’ because we don’t eat food that had a face). As it turns out, it was a great way to celebrate Labor Day and (sniff) the end of summer. The inspiration for the seitan recipe came from Vegan Dad. The beer can chicken holder came from Walmart (of course).

The chick’n was tender and moist. And SO good. The next time I make this (and there most definitely will be a next time!) I may try doubling the seitan dough recipe so that the roast is thicker. That way, the roast will take longer to grill and will have longer to absorb more of the boiling beer marinade. Having said that, I’m posting the trial recipe that I followed, because it’s darn tasty just the way it is.

We kept the side dishes simple: grilled corn on the cob and watermelon slices. Grilling the watermelon makes it an extra special summertime treat. It enhances its sweetness and really makes the flavor ‘pop’. It’s simple and very satisfying, too.

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Beer Can Chick’n

What You’ll Need:

Beer can holder (if you don’t have a beer can holder–and don’t want to schlep to Walmart–you can use a clean 14-ounce can with the label and top removed. It should be sturdy enough to hold the chick’n upright)

Empty beer can (I used the beer can left over from making the barbecue sauce)

Pint Mason jar (or a clean 14-ounce can with the label and top removed)

A large stock pot with a steamer insert

Aluminum foil

Seitan recipe (below)

6 ounces of good beer (although, ‘good’ is a subjective term)

Beer And Molasses Barbecue Sauce

Seitan:

1-1/2 cups vital wheat gluten

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons poultry spice

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons garlic powder

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup soy milk

1/2 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

2 Tablespoons canola oil

Directions:

Fill a large stockpot (and steamer insert) with water and bring to a boil while you prepare the seitan. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl, then add the wet mix to the dry mix. Stir with a large spatula or a wooden spoon until well incorporated, then turn out on to the counter or a large cutting board. Shape the dough with your hands into a rectangle no wider than your steamer insert and long enough to roll up with the pint mason jar (or can) inside.

Place the jar or can on the dough, flush with one end (this will be the end that the beer can is inserted through), and roll the seitan with the jar inside of it. Seal the ends together so that the seitan roll, with the jar inside of it, is the shape of a cylinder with one end open (for the beer can) and the other end is loosely gathered together at the top. Don’t seal the top tightly; leave a small opening for the beer and steam to escape when grilling. I used my pinkie finger to make the hole.

Transfer the seitan roll to a piece of wide aluminum foil and tightly roll it up (like a Tootsie roll). Place the seitan roll in the steamer insert, seam side up. Place the lid on the pot, slightly askew.

Steam for 30 minutes total, flipping the roast after 15 minutes. At the end of 30 minutes, remove the pot from the burner and allow the roast to cool (I set the roast upright so that it wouldn’t cool with a flat side). At this point, you’ll want to start up the barbecue grill (or pre-heat the oven to 350F).

While the grill is heating, prepare the beer can holder. Carefully remove the top of an empty beer can with a can opener and then place it in the beer can holder. Fill the beer can half full of beer (a full beer can wastes beer, which is just plain wrong).

When the roast is cool enough to handle, unwrap it and carefully remove the Mason jar. Slide the roast on the beer can in the beer can holder. Place the roast on its holder on a small baking sheet covered with aluminum foil (I reused the foil that the roast was steamed in). Baste the roast generously with barbecue sauce.

Grill (or bake) for 30 minutes, keeping the grill temperature at 350F. Baste with barbecue sauce every 10 to 15 minutes. At the end of the grilling time, remove the roast from the grill and allow to stand for 5 to 10 minutes before removing it from the holder to a cutting board or serving plate. Slice as desired.

Baste with additional sauce when serving, or serve extra sauce on the side.

Serving the beer can chick’n with beer is optional, but if you’re heavy-handed with the hot sauce like I am when making the barbecue sauce, you’ll definitely want the beer!

♥ Beer And Molasses Barbecue Sauce

This sauce is our grilling staple, all year round. We like to try other barbecue sauce recipes, but we keep coming back to this one. We always have a Mason jar of this barbecue sauce in the back of our fridge, at the ready for quick meals.

We love this sauce on grilled or baked tofu and tempeh, as a dipping sauce for chick’n tenders, in baked beans and it makes a great condiment for burgers. And, of course, it’s the star ingredient in beer can chick’n.

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Beer And Molasses Barbecue Sauce

Ingredients:

2 12-ounce bottles of mild chili sauce

2 to 4 Tablespoons Sriracha hot chili sauce

1 Tablespoon Louisiana Hot Sauce

4 Tablespoons coarse ground Dijon mustard

3 Tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

Juice of one lemon (about 3 Tablespoons)

1 12-ounce jar of molasses

1 12-ounce can (or bottle) of beer

4 Tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons Liquid Smoke

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then simmer until reduced by 1/3 the original volume. Stir often.

Let cool and transfer to a clean jar with a tight-fitting lid. Store in the refrigerator.

♥ Grilled Vegetable Kebabs

Or Kebobs. Or Kabobs. I don’t know, apparently there are a few acceptable spellings for food skewered on a stick. No matter, with the Labor Day weekend fast approaching, I want to post another one of my favorite grilled meals.

I’ve made these vegetable kebabs for years, and they are always well received by meat and veggie eaters alike.

We like to grill slices of tofu or tempeh along with the kebabs, slathered with homemade barbecue sauce.

I usually serve the kebabs with steamed brown rice on the side to soak up the extra marinade. But since this weekend is the Labor Day holiday and it’s practically law to celebrate with outdoor grilling and picnic foods, I suggest serving with the appropriate side dishes:

Classic Potato Salad

Vegan “KFC” Copycat Coleslaw

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Grilled Vegetable Kebabs

Ingredients:

Marinade:

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 Tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

1 Tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 teaspoons dried oregano or 2 Tablespoons fresh, finely chopped

2 teaspoons dried savory or 2 Tablespoons fresh, finely chopped

1 teaspoon dried rosemary or 1 Tablespoon fresh

2 teaspoons dried basil or 2 Tablespoons fresh, finely chopped

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Vegetable Suggestions:

Red or sweet onion

Red and/or yellow bell pepper

Green bell pepper

Zucchini or summer squash

Whole mushrooms

Whole cherry or grape tomatoes

Baby (or fingerlings) potatoes, pre-steamed

Directions:

Mix the marinade ingredients. Place the cut vegetables in a large, shallow dish and add the marinade. Cover the dish and refrigerate for several hours.  Stir occasionally while marinating.

While the grill is heating, skewer the vegetables. If using wooden skewers, soak them first in water for about 10 minutes.

Grill the vegetable skewers, turning and basting frequently with the marinade.  Pour the remaining marinade over the vegetables on a serving platter or use as a sauce for dipping. It’s great over steamed brown rice, too.

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Some time ago, I posted pictures of Snacky-The-Bear in our yard. He (she?) still visits infrequently, although he usually doesn’t leave much evidence of his nocturnal trips across our property. Unless the neighbors happen to leave a garbage can outside; in which case he will carry his stolen loot to a dark corner in our yard and rifle through its contents (bears are surprisingly neat, I have learned). Mr. Snacky enjoys grazing through the compost bin, too:

Another surprise for me, bears like wheat grass (this new pot of wheat grass–set out for the dog and cats–was four to five inches long). Who knew?!

I also posted pictures of Fatty-The-Squirrel, having some trouble getting his big behind in the new feeders that J made for them.

Mr. Fatty has busied himself making some architectural adjustments to the squirrel feeders. Problem solved!