Lazy Monday

Most of my days are lazy lately. But this is recipe is becoming a bit of a staple for me. to be honest. It’s a little complicated, but the result is just so much fun and tasty. Besides… who doesn’t like hot dogs??

This is a recipe from a new favorite of mine for vegetarian and vegan cooking, written by a couple of native Angelinos called Lust for Leaf. What’s really neat about vegan cooking, I’m discovering, is that you can make your own meat and dairy products. Personally, I find that very empowering. (I think I already talked about this in another post when I got excited about the idea of flax eggs.)

HK Dogs

Makes 8 dogs

By Alex Brown and Evan George in Lust for Leaf

  • 1/4 c. almond meal
  • 1 c. silken tofu
  • 1 tbsp Better Than Bouillon mushroom stock
  • 2/3 c. water
  • 3 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 c. wheat gluten (I used 1 c. flour + xanthan gum… they didn’t firm up quite enough, so 2 tbsp rather than 2 tsp gum might do the trick)
  • 1 tsp arrowroot (used cornstarch)
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground mace
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • wax paper
  • aluminum foil (optional)
  • non-stick spray

1. Put the almond meal, liquid smoke, sugar, spices, oil, and tofu in a blender. Process.

2. Combine water and bouillon in a cup, then whisk in arrowroot (or cornstarch).

3. Add the broth to the mixture in the blender and process. “Stop and smell; it should smell like a processed hot dog. If it doesn’t, you’ve done something wrong.”

4. Dump mixture into a bowl and stir in wheat gluten (or flour + xanthan gum) until it’s good and mushy.

5. Get a pot with a steamer and add 4 cups of water. Set that on high with the lid on and leave alone for now.

6. Cut out 8 rolls of wax paper and lightly coat with the non-stick spray. Roughly divide the mush into 8 equal parts, and proceed to roll ’em up. You should aim for them to be about 6″ long when rolled out into an even log shape. Twist the ends of the wax paper tightly, set aside, and repeat.

7. Set them into the steamer basket, supporting them with pieces of foil to help keep their shape if necessary. Steam for about 50 minutes and let them sit in the wax paper to firm up when finished cooking. Remove from casing before storing so they don’t stick.

8. To prepare, grill or saute in a pan over high heat.

I’ve only made this twice so far, but it seems so versatile (and so handy to just have a stack of wieners in the fridge to pick at during the week). Like, take out the paprika, cardamom and mace, replace with diced garlic, nutritional yeast, and triple the bouillon for a cheesy garlic sausage. Or add a little more liquid smoke, some cayenne, thyme, a dash of cumino, and you might have more of an andouille. The possibilities seem to be endless!

I’m currently looking up alternatives to kitchen staples such as foil and wax paper, and I think parchment (made from renewably-sourced, unbleached material) may be the way to go as it’s compostable.