Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Viva Chorizo Sausages (and some Paella)

The best thing to come out of Viva Vegan for our household so far is the Chorizo Sausage recipe. All three of us were blown away by how tasty and spicy these snags are, they are without a doubt the best vegan sausages we have eaten. After initially trialling the recipe late last year, I made sure that we always had a supply in the fridge until my gluten flour supply ran out and the local health food store was out of of stock for several weeks...

It was a joyous Saturday morning at the health food store when my eyes zoomed in on the spot that had been empty and saw that gluten flour was back in stock. I greedily snatched up more bags than I would normally purchase as I wanted to make damn sure that I didn't run out again! Although there was a busy day of house painting ahead, I still managed to squeeze in some time to a cook up a batch of chorizo. There were no if or buts about this, I simply had to make them as they taste best when prepared a day in advance and it was essential that they were a part of our Sunday brunch.

I was torn between using them in muffins as I had done last month or a tofu scramble and decided to go with the latter. The scramble was a fry-up of red onion, garlic, mushrooms, kidney beans, spinach, chorizo, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, cumin, soy sauce, pepper and of course tofu. This turned out to be a very tasty scramble, with lovely smoky flavours and subtle spiciness from the chorizo.

Only last week I sent the chorizo recipe to my sister and gave her a few suggestions on different ways to use it - one of which was paella. I'm not sure how I came up with this suggestion as I haven't tried using it in paella before, in fact I have only ever cooked and eaten paella on one other occasion. My son surprised me when I last made paella with arborio rice as he enjoyed it however he doesn't like risotto and his reason is that he doesn't like that kind of rice. Go figure that one out!

So paella was to be on the menu and I decided to wing it with my own ingredients and method. I consulted a few varying recipes on the web and my cookbooks, none of which had the complete combination that already seemed to have been formulated in my mind. There were some handy tips around and interesting information about paella combinations that originate from differing regions in Spain.

The paella was quite successful, however next time I might add a little more chorizo. The roasted eggplant and capsicum worked really well with the smoked paprika and chorizo, and the squeeze of lemon was the perfect finishing touch. The chickpeas were a last minute thought and addition and I would use them again too. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it and there are plenty of left-overs for lunch today!

Chorizo Seitan Sausages (From Terry Hope Romero's Viva Vegan, modified slightly)

1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
4 tablespoon tomato paste
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 2/3 cups gluten flour
1/4 cup chickpea flour
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
4 teaspoons smoked paprika
4 teaspoons chipotle chilli powder
3 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 180C.

In a small bowl, whisk together the stock, tomato paste, olive oil, vinegar and garlic.

In a large bowl, combine the gluten flour, besan, nutritional yeast flakes, smoked paprika, chilli powder, oregano, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper and form a well in the centre.

Pour the liquid ingredients into the well and stir with a spatula until mixed thoroughly. Knead the dough for 3 minutes to develop the gluten, let it rest for 10 minutes then knead again for another 2 minutes.

Divide the dough into equal pieces. If you want to make large sausages for slicing up and adding to meals divide into 6 pieces or for modest sized snags that fit nicely into a piece of bread divide into 10-12 pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a sausage shape and wrap in aluminium foil, fairly securely but with enough room for the sausage to expand a little whilst cooking. Twist the foil at each end. Repeat for each sausage.

Place the foil covered sausages directly onto the middle rack of the oven and bake for 35 minutes. Allow the sausages to cool for at least 40 minutes before using. For best texture and flavour, chill overnight. They keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge or can be frozen for longer periods.

Cook whole sausages on a BBQ or in a frying pan with a little bit of oil or slice sausages into rounds and cook in a frying pan with some oil until lightly browned.

Vegie Paella with Chorizo

1 medium eggplant
2 small red capsicums, seeded, membrane removed and each one cut in quarters
Olive oil spray
10 saffron threads
Boiling water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves crushed garlic
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
150g mushrooms, sliced
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon fresh lemon thyme leaves
750mls (3 cups) vegetable stock
1/4 quantity chorizo recipe above, sliced
1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen peas
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh chopped parsley, to serve
lemon wedges, to serve

Preheat oven to 200C. Dice the eggplant into 2cm cubes, place into a large dish in a single layer, sprinkle with salt and allow to sit for 20-30 minutes. Pat the eggplant dry with paper towels, then place on a roasting tray lined with baking paper. Spray the eggplant with olive oil spray,  add the capsicum to the tray and bake for about 20-30 minutes or until softened. When the capsicum has cooled, peel off the skin and chop into bite sized pieces.

With a mortar and pestle, grind the saffron threads to a powder then add a small amount of boiling water and mix well.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large bottomed saucepan (or paella pan if you have one), fry the onion until softened then add the garlic and cook for a minute longer. Add the rice and saffron/water mixture and stir until the rice is evenly coated. Mix through the tomatoes, mushrooms, smoked paprika, lemon thyme and vegetable stock, bring to the boil then reduce the heat slightly. After 10 minutes of rapid cooking, reduce the heat again. Do not stir during this time.

In a medium frying pan, add some olive oil or olive oil spray and fry the chorizo slices on each side until browned.

After 20 minutes of cooking the rice, test a little to see if it is cooked. When the rice is ready, stir through the eggplant, capsicum, chorizo, chickpeas and peas and cook for a minute until the peas have thawed. A crust should have developed on the bottom of the pan.

Serve with parsley and a squeeze of lemon.


  1. omg, that picture looks amazing, I'll have to make this some day.

  2. Thanks Joanne, hope you do try it! I would like to get a better camera one day so the photos can do my food justice.