Vegan holiday recipes

Josh Ploeg’s fried vegan “duck breast” with orange-walnut sauce

• 2 lbs. vegan smoked duck or well-seasoned seitan, thinly sliced (or use the ever popular Portobello mushroom). Obviously, it must be in a sliceable shape, such as a block, log or blob.

• 1/4 cup tamari
• 1/4 cup brown sugar or Sucanat
• 2 minced garlic cloves
• 1 tbsp. olive oil
• hickory salt or smoke flavoring (only a very little)
• 1 cup dry garlic-herb breadcrumbs
• oil for frying

Mix together brown sugar, garlic, oil and tamari, and use to baste “duck” slices (save the rest for use in sauce). Sprinkle lightly with hickory salt, then dredge them through the herb-garlic breadcrumbs. Fry in light oil until browned on both sides.

Orange-walnut sauce

• 2 tbsp. margarine or oil
• 3 tbsp. flour
• salt and pepper to taste
• a little coriander and ginger to taste
• pinches of clove and allspice
• 3 tbsp. lemon juice
• 1/2 cup candied walnuts, chopped (use more and save some for a garnish)
• 1 tsp. paprika
• 1 tsp. sugar
• 1 cup broth
• 1 cup orange juice
• few pinches of parsley and tarragon, minced

Melt margarine in a saucepan (or heat oil), and add walnuts with salt and pepper, and paprika. Sauté for a few minutes, then whisk in flour. Stir in sugar and lemon juice to make a paste. Cook very briefly and then whisk in the broth, orange juice, herbs and the rest.

Cook for 10 minutes, adjusting seasonings, until thickened and done to your liking. Toward the end, stir in a few tablespoons of sugar-tamari marinade to make this gravy absolutely delicious. Serve with “duck” and medley. A dash of wine may be added to this (you should probably just do it).

This dinner goes well with a mixed greens salad with a berry vinaigrette and toasted almonds.