Turnip and Seitan Sausage Pintxo
Part III of "The Plate That Never Was"
I'll admit the secret ingredient at Vegan Iron Chef surprised us -- we were thinking something more seasonal and turnips don't exactly scream "Spring!" ;)
Though we've never made this before, after making the patatas bravas in potato ball form recently, it seemed like a simple enough lateral move, and the recipe translated perfectly.
The turnip balls were scooped out using a melon baller and smoked for 15 minutes. The balls were placed in a small pan and covered with cold water. The water was brought to a boil, and the turnips cooked for exactly 2 minutes. We drained the water, removed the turnips and dried the pan off. Then we added 1 tbs. of olive oil over med-high heat and cooked the balls, rolling them constantly to get all of the surface browned -- about 4-5 minutes. Next, off heat, we deglazed the pan with 1 tbs. of red wine vinegar -- careful! -- you don't want to inhale any of the fumes. Finally, back on the heat, we seasoned it with salt, pepper and a pinch of smoked paprika and kept turning the pan to evenly coat the balls.
The turnip balls were placed on the spike ("Pintxo") with a piece of homemade seitan sausage (cannellini beans, sun-dried tomatoes, smoked paprika), which was hickory-smoked.
The turnips added a complexity to this savory one-bite dish that really made it "pop" in the mouth. I think we'll make something like this for the annual holiday party this year.