Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pantry Raid Day 9 - Vegan Scrapple!

OK, this is version 2. Lessons learned from version 1: too much liquid makes it fall apart, too much spices is better.

What I'm trying to replicate is RAPA scrapple from Sussex county Delaware. I know scrapple is supposed to be a Pennsylvania thing, but believe you me, slower Delawareans love their scrapple. This is as hometown local as local flavor gets.

Scrapple sounds gross. Omnis who didn't grow up with it are generally grossed out as well, and don't always like it when convinced to try it. Scrapple is made from meat parts leftover from making sausage, but the meat part isn't what gives it the flavor or even the texture, so what the heck, why not make it vegan!

It seems some people already did. I found a recipe in Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes, that was adapted from Instead of Chicken, Instead of Turkey. So mine is further adapted from that.

Cornmeal and spices are the true stars of this dish, so if you're freaked out by the idea of scrapple, just think if it as a savory polenta cake.

Vegan Scrapple
1 1/2 cups crumbled extra firm tofu (previously frozen, thawed, and water squeezed out)
1/2 cup TVP
1 Onion finely chopped
4 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 cup polenta
1 tsp each, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, marjoram (optional), salt
Big pinch or a few grinds fresh black pepper
3 cups of vegetable stock (mine was previously made roasted vegetable broth with bouquet garni of above spices)
Flour for coating and a little oil for sauteing and frying.

Mix the tofu and TVP together, and break the tofu into tiny crumbles. The dry TVP will soak up the extra liquid from the tofu while you're preparing the polenta.

In a 3 qt pot, saute the onion and garlic in a little oil. Add the polenta and all the spices, and add the broth a cup at a time. Cook on medium high and stir until bubbly, then turn down to low.
Cook polenta until it is the consistency of thick mashed potatoes. When it's done, you should be able to pull it off all sides and pile it in the middle of the pan. Basically if you channel some Close Encounters of the Third Kind and can make a Devil's Tower sculpture in the pan, then it's done.

Remove from heat and mix in the tofu/TVP mixture. Grease a loaf pan and spread in mixture. Let chill for at least a few hours, or even better overnight so the flavors meld.

Slice off about 1/2 inch pieces and fry in a little oil on medium heat for 8-10 min and the flip and cook another 8-10 min. It should be crispy on the outside and mushy on the inside.
Yum I ate 3 pieces already.


Ginger said...

i used to watch the food network a lot. i don't know if you know who chef duff is or have seen his show, ace of cakes, but it's a great show and i highly recommend it.

one of his bakers is a vegan and they had and iron chef scrapple battle on one show because it was chef duff's birthday and his favorite dish is...well, scrapple.
one guy made traditional scrapple and the vegan guy made scrapple out of tempeh.
if i remember correctly, duff actually liked the vegan version better...or at least as well as the other.

i've never had it myself, the polenta cake things sounds good though. :)

Joanna said...

jenn, this is such a cool dish. i've never heard of scrapple and i'm from pennsylvania! haha-born and raised. it reminds me of breaded baked tofu (which is so good).

Sal said...

never heard of scrapple but it sounds really really good!

Jeni Treehugger said...

I'd never heard of Scrapple before either but I LOVE the look and sound of your version!!

Lisa said...

I'm late to the party but really loving your site. :) As a Philly exile now living in the 'burbs I have an inherent weakness for scrapple. However, we've been scaling back our carnivorous ways and this is something I simply must try. It looks and sounds gorgeous and I'm already imagining it squished between two slices of bread and slathered with ketchup. Genius!