My favorite thing about being a vegetarian is ruining meat for other people.
Now if you know me, you know that I’m actually pretty soft-spoken about not eating meat. (Other than my habit of calling non-veggies “flesh eaters”, a phrase I try not to say because it makes my meat-eating-boyfriend uncomfortable). So when I say ruining meat… I don’t mean by spreading scary PETA videos and scoffing at the horrific things that my meat-eating friends eat at bars. No, in reality, being a vegetarian ruins meat for people because of the amazing veg food we bring to parties!
Now, I think all the food I bring is amazing, but really it’s hit or miss. I maybe have a 50% success rate. But in my mind, 50% of party-goers leave the food table thinking “wow, who needs meat when vegetarian food is this tasty!” (the other 50% leave thinking “wow, if Kaila makes cabbage matzo ball soup for a potluck one more time, we’re not inviting her again!!”)
So today I am preparing a classic Super Bowl party dish – hot wings. Featuring the miracle of seitan in place of … I think, chicken.
NOTE: I’m nothing if not sensitive to the food restrictions of others. The main ingredient of this recipe is Vital Wheat Gluten and a minor ingredient is peanut butter. So stay away if you are allergic to either!
NOTE 2.0: This recipe is basically a modification of many different recipes I’ve used to make spicy seitan, most recently this vegan recipe by The Edgy Veg
Vegetarian Sportsball Hot Wings
– Vital Wheat Gluten* (2 cups) (approx. one and a half boxes of the brand shown)
– Nutritional Yeast (4 tbsp)
– Salt (2 tsp)
– Onion powder (2 tsp)
– Poultry seasoning (1 tsp: this ingredient is just a dry mixture of herbs that I guess tastes good on chicken. I have it on hand because it comes up in vegetarian recipes surprisingly often but if you don’t have it, skip it! Or replace with your favorite seasoning mix)
– Vegetable broth (4 cups: 2 cups for the seitan batter, 2 cups for the baking)
– Peanut butter (4 tbsp)
– Eggs (3, but: a. this recipe could EASILY be made vegan if you have an egg replacer and b. less than 3 is still okay if you’re someone like me who is an idiot who never has more than one egg on hand, argh, just mix with 2 tbsp oil and a sprinkle of flax seed to stretch it out)
– Hot sauce (1/3 cup)
– Butter ( only if you’re NOT stretching out your eggs, 2 tablespoons, melted. Again, use vegan butter to make vegan!)
– Pepper (2 tsp)
– Chili pepper powder (1 tbsp)
– Flour (2 cups)
-Vegetable oil (enough for pan frying)
First, mix the wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, salt, onion powder, poultry seasoning, 2 cups of the veggie broth and peanut butter all together in a big bowl. I use a potato masher to get it started, then I usually knead it with my hands to check the consistency. It should be the consistency of bread dough, and you can add more wheat gluten or veggie broth if it doesn’t feel right. (Making seitan batter is kind of a pain in the ass and the more you make it the easier it will get. The first time I made it, it was so sticky and wet that I couldn’t form it into shapes – I baked it anyway and it was fine but you know)
Next, form the seitan into adorable little hot wing shapes and place in a baking dish. I use a pyrex casserole dish… because that’s the only one I have. Then cover the seitan with the remaining vegetable broth (approx. 2 cups)**
Bake for 45 minutes at 350°F. Flip the seitan pieces. Bake for another 45 minutes.
While the seitan cools, mix the hot sauce, egg, pepper, and chili powder in a bowl. When the seitan is coolish, dunk it in the hot sauce mixture and then pad in flour (I normally spread the flour out on a plate with a raised rim for easy padding). Fry the seitan pieces in a large frying pan with about a half an inch of oil in it. Once the pieces are browned, place them on like one million paper towels cuz these wings are HELLA GREASY. Add more hot sauce to taste! Serve with ranch and celery sticks if you’re fancy.
Note on the recipe:
*The first time I made seitan I had the damnedest time finding Vital Wheat Gluten. I don’t want to blame the Gluten-Free movement BUT…! Anyhoo, after searching Shopper’s Food Warehouse, Giant, and Safeway, I finally found it at Harris Teeter. I don’t know if Harris Teeter is national, so if you know any other places you can find Vital Wheat Gluten, post it in the comments!
** This was the first time I baked seitan with broth (shout out again to The Edgy Veg!), but I’ve used this technique with tofu before and it’s worked nicely. However, I think I used too much broth, it really messed with the integrity of the pieces. Or my dough wasn’t dry enough? In any case I ended up with a long of little bitty crumbly pieces (that tasted pretty good if you ask me!)