With its spicy, complex flavor and multicultural history, Louisiana creole and cajun cuisine is one of my favorite kinds of food to eat. Because traditional Cajun/creole restaurant dishes inevitably involve seafood and meat, this was one of the first cuisines I learned to veganize. The backbone of many Cajun dishes is andouille, a smoked pork sausage seasoned with cayenne and other Louisiana spices. Unfortunately, at that time (and maybe even still today) there were literally no commercial vegan andouille sausages on the shelves of any of my local grocery stores. Not a single one. So, I took matters into my own hands and decided to make my own. Flavor packed and toothsome, with just the right amount of heat, these little guys are delicious on their own, or in a big steaming pot of étouffée.
Vegan Andouille Sausage
(Makes 2 large sausages, about 1lb)
1 batch simple seitan, all ingredients combined in a large bowl but not mixed
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp tomato paste
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Add all spices to unmixed simple seitan recipe and stir to combine until the ingredients form a dough. Knead for a few minutes.
- Divide dough in two, and knead each piece separately, beginning to squeeze, twist, and stretch to elongate the dough into a sausage-like shape.(Stop smirking…It’s impossible to describe what you have to do without sounding dirty…) You’ll find that the dough is very elastic and tends to shrink back as soon as you let go, but don’t worry about this too much as the tin foil (see next step) will help it hold its shape.
- Tear off a large piece of tinfoil (I find 12in by 6in works well, but it’s not an exact science. You want the piece to be a couple inches longer than the sausage and wide enough to roll the dough up a couple times over.) Place one piece of dough on the edge of the foil and use your fingers to stretch it out a bit, leaving about an inch of extra foil on both sides. Roll the sausage up relatively tightly, leaving about a millimeter of extra space. Twist up the ends, leaving a little air on both sides.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes on a baking sheet. If you want the sausage to be more moist and soft, remove from oven on the early side. I like mine a little chewy, like a dried sausage, so keep them in for closer to the full 45.
Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator or freezer in their wrappers.