there is the room and the events in this room (iamahome) wrote in vegancooking,
there is the room and the events in this room

salvaging failed clam chowder

Last night I spent way too long making vegan clam chowder

1 cup gluten flour (vital wheat gluten)
1 large onion
4 medium potatoes scrubbed or peeled, cubed 1/2 inch
2 1/4 cups soy milk (not flavored or sweetened)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 3/4 cup water or mild veggie broth
1/4 teaspoon salt (or 1 t Bragg's liquid aminos)
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup dried hijiki (broken in very small pieces)
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (or to taste)

Mix garlic powder with gluten flour and then blend in 3/4 C water. Knead until elastic and form into a 12-inch disk. Cut into 10 pieces. Add to a large pot with hijiki and 3 C water, bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove cooked seitan but reserve liquid. Allow seitan to cool, press out excess liquid and dice into small cubes.

When seitan water is cooking, boil potatoes until tender. In water or veggie broth cook onions until transparent and slightly brown. Mix w/w flour and 1/4 C soy milk until smooth and slowly add to the onions, then add 1/2 C of the water used for cooking the potatoes and 1/2 C of the broth used in cooking the seitan (include the all hijiki bits). Optionally add salt or liquid aminos. When hot, add remainder of the soy milk, diced seitan, potato, parsley and black pepper. The result is a thick chowder, but it can be thinned as
desired with additional soy milk.

While the gluten is convincingly clam-y I felt it could've used some salt or soy sauce in the boiling liquid as the hijiki didn't depart any sea saltiness. My real issue is with the chowder - it is a bland, pasty mess! I used Wolfgang Puck's All Natural Vegetable Broth for the liquid which has worked reasonably well in other soup recipes. The 1/4 cup of soy milk and 1/4 cup of flour formed a thick batter, so I tried a thinner roux, let it heat, and added the remaining liquid. The chowder refused to thicken! I had to add three or four more tablespoons of flour/water mixture to get it to a semi-chowder-y consistency.

And, well, it basically tastes like a flavorless country gravy with a hint of seaweed. What can I add to salvage the broth? At this point I've given up on the delicious, creamy clam chowder I remember from my childhood. I just want something edible.

Thanks in advance!
Tags: -salvaging failed recipes, soups-chowder
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