Mocking Bird / Imitación Ave

This year I was assigned the task of preparing the turkey for our Thanksgiving celebration. I don't feel confident to tackle the whole turkey so I've decided I'm going to make a turkey breast roulade. I have the perfect recipe that I think everyone will like, except my dear husband doesn't eat meat. What am I going to do?

I thought about all the delicious vegetarian dishes that I can prepare for him but the more I thought about it the more they seem like side dishes to me. I wanted to prepare something special that can be the main dish for Rich and he can still enjoy the rest of the side dishes that we will have. So, I reached out to my fellow blogger, Caro, an excellent vegetarian cook from Argentina. Caro gave me a couple of recipes for, what she calls, vegetarian meat. I decided to try one of her recipes.

Basically, you make a dough-like mixture with mushrooms or vegetables, beans and flour, and flavor it with herbs, spices and other aromatics. Form patties and boil, grill, fry or bake them. Smother with your favorite sauce and serve on top of mashed potatoes or eat in a sandwich form. You can call this vegetarian meat, hamburger, milanese, meatloaf, or whatever you want. It is tasty. I picked one of Caro's recipes and called it mock turkey.

This is the first time I would try my hands at mock meat so I did a trial run to see how we would like it. The results were well received by the vegetarian one and I liked it, too. I made very few adjustments to the original recipe - mostly I cut the recipe in half. I'm going to prepare this for Thanksgiving along with my real turkey breast roulade, plus the usual, but delicious, side dishes. 

Mock Turkey Roulade

For the stuffing:
1T. olive oil
1/2 C. each mushrooms, green onions, asparagus, dried cherries and walnuts.
1/2 t. poultry seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

Chop all ingredients. Heat the oil in a skillet and add chopped ingredients. Sauté for about 3 minutes, season with poultry seasoning, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

For the "meat":
(adapted from Caro's recipe)
2 T. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. smoked paprika
1 lb. mushrooms (any kind you like), chopped
2 t. flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1-2 T. lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 C. cooked beans (garbanzo, edamame, cannelloni or pinto beans (I used pinto bean))
1/2 C. rye flour
1/2 C. all purpose flour
1/2 C. gluten flour
1 C. vegetable broth, divided

In a large skillet saute onion with spices. When translucent, add mushrooms and parsley. Saute for a few more minutes until the mushrooms become soft, then add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Slightly cool and place in a food processor together with the beans. Process to a smooth puree. 

Transfer the mixture to a big bowl and add the flours. Stir to incorporate all ingredients adding about 3/4 cup of vegetable broth a little at a time as needed. Correct the seasoning and form into a soft and somewhat elastic dough. This can now be formed into individual patties or in any shape you like to be boiled, grilled, fried or baked (see one of Caro's recipes here). I treat it like a piece of meat - turkey breast to be specific. 

Roll out the dough between two pieces of plastic and fill with the stuffing. With the help of the plastic, roll the dough forming a cylinder. Wrap with plastic and place in the freezer until firm and easy to handle (about 10 minutes). When ready to cook heat  a little bit of olive oil in a skillet and sear the mock meat on all sides. Add about 1/4 C. of vegetable broth and then transfer to a 350°F oven to cook for 40 minutes (It can also be fried on top of the stove but use more oil.)

I sliced the roulade and served it accompanied with mashed potatoes and a gravy I made in the same skillet I cooked the mock turkey by adding butter, flour and vegetable broth. 

When you love your husband you go outside the box to ensure he enjoys a Thanksgiving meal as much as turkey lovers.