Sunday, October 3, 2010

Food Network (Friday) Challenge - Anne Burrell's Braciole

Well we are at it again. Food Network Friday is morphing. I am going to call it Food Network Challenge, so that I can post on any day! I don't think I have ever attempted anything of Anne Burrell's before. This week the crew took on her Braciole recipe.  Check out Vegan Appetite for every one else's creations. This reminds me of an Italian version of Roulade. Admittedly, I didn't want to head to the grocery store today, so I took some liberties with this recipe.

I made AVK seitan. I separated the seitan in two equal portions and tried two different methods. I will get into that later.

For the stuffing, I did an empty out the fridge version.

1 3/4 cup stale bread cubes
1 2/3 cup unsweetened soy milk

1/2 cup rehydrated soy curls (in veg stock), corsely chopped
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 cup Mushroom and Walnut pate (leftover from a test recipe)
6 oz. fresh organic spinach, chiffonade
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup Daiya Italian blend cheese
1/4 cup vegan parmesan
Salt to taste

1 recipe AVK seitan dough, uncooked, divided in half. One half was portioned out to 4 equal portions. The other was left whole.

To make stuffing:

In medium sized bowl pour soy milk over bread cubes. Let milk soak in. In 10" iron skillet over medium heat saute soy curls in olive oil until just starting to brown. Add soy sauce, maple syrup, and liquid smoke. Saute until dark golden brown. Add pate and heat through. Add spinach. Stir in then turn off heat. Once it cools slightly add to bread mixture. Stir in pine nuts, Daiya and vegan parmesan. Set aside until ready to stuff seitan.

For the first version, which may be the only version that works, I took each of the four portions of the dough and flattened them into rectangles. I spread 1/8 of the stuffing on to each rectangle and rolled each one jelly roll style. The ends were sealed to keep the stuffing in. Each roulade/log was wrapped in aluminum foil, leaving enough room for expansion. The roulades were then placed in a steamer pan for 1 1/2 hours. The roulades were cooled unwrapped and placed in the freezer to cool and firm up. In the mean time I started the sauce.

I followed Anne's recipe pretty closely. Because I didn't have to braise beef for 2 1/2 hours, I reduced the amount of water to only 1 cup. I found the sauce to be pretty boring, so I added a parmesan-ish cheese mix from some other testing I am doing. It still didn't have as much flavor as I would like. But I left it as is. The stuffing had lots of flavor to make up for it. In the mean time the roulades had chilled. I placed them in the sauce pot and let them simmer for about 20 minutes. The roulades were removed from the pan, sliced and plated over penne pasta. The sauce was ladled over the roulades. I sauteed up some fresh carrots, zucchini, broccoli, and mushrooms with garlic, italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Simple but perfect for this dish.

Here is a little bit better shot of the Braciole roulades.

It was tasty, but for the time involved, I'm not sure I'd do it again. The stuffing with the mushroom pate was absolutely amazing. I need to find another use for it! If I did make this again, I'd make sure to jazz up the rather boring tomato sauce by adding more Italian style spices and more crushed red pepper.

My other version was a dream of using my solar oven to bake up a large stuffed roast. I was not able to get the oven over 275 today and it just wasn't enough to get it done, sadly. I did roll the larger roast like I did the smaller ones. It is still in the oven. We'll have to see if it can be saved after the epic fail in the solar be continued.


  1. I liked the sauce but then I was very liberal with the pepper flakes! Good job on the rolling up though!

  2. That was a good idea. It needed a little more "oomph".

  3. I dropped the water from my sauce and upped the red pepper, too. It was pretty darn good.

    Your filling sounds so good!

  4. The giant loaf didn't turn out near as well I'm afraid.