Monday, November 8, 2010

The Betty Crocker Project : Thanksgiving Parade #1 - Cajun Deep Fried Tofurky with Okra Giblet Gravy

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Every year people all over the country burn down their homes, patios, sport themed gazebos trying to deep fry turkeys for Thanksgiving. Something so dangerous and reckless seemed like a great way to start our Thanksgiving Parade of Food! I wanted to call it an invasion but it just didn't seem "holiday-ish".

For the next few weeks we are going to be eating vegan versions of Classic Betty Crocker Thanksgiving Rock Stars and when I say we I mean us Shannons and you guys! So let's launch this mutha with one Southern Thanksgiving tradition that has been called more dangerous than a fist full of illegal firecrackers and more tasty than a house actually made of pie!

Here are some tips to remember when deep frying your Tofurky or other vegan holiday roasts:
  • You need to make sure your Roast is completely defrosted. This is key because it's the melting water from the frozen turkeys that make the oil freak out and jump out of the pot like that. Because as we all know - you never use water on a grease fire.
  • Tofurkys are small enough to fry in your kitchen but make sure you have the proper utensils - BBQ Tongs and Fork to pull your Holiday Roast out, a pot large enough the Oil won't spill over when the roast is dropped in, Baking Soda to put out any fires and really good oven mitts and long sleeves to protect yourself.
  • If you are using a vegan Roast that is not pre-formed you should bake the Roast first for 20 to 30 minutes at 300 to makes sure you get a nice skin on your roast so it won't fall apart in the pot. 
  • Don't ever leave anything frying unattended especially if it s a holiday roast. 
  • Please Please Please be careful. I have to add that although we'd feel terrible if anyone was hurt while attempting to deep fry their Tofurky this Thanksgiving - we aren't responsible for any damages or injuries that happen. We can't stress enough - be careful, make sure your roast is defrosted and your pot doesn't overflow. 
Now, that we got that drama out of the way... Today is Dan's Birthday! We try to really do birthdays right around here but sadly this year I am under the weather a bit and so his birthday has been a lot of video games and some vegan beignets. Poor Dan. At least he also got a Cajun Deep Fried Tofurky... Without further ado - I do declare! Let's eat some Fakesgiving!

Cajun Deep Fried Tofurky 
The Cajun Rub
The Cajun Marniade
Fill a large soup pot (ours is 6.5 quarts) with your oil and turn on high. Leave it uncovered. I know crazy right? But that's what we did.

In a small bowl mix the Cajun Marinade with a fork to make sure it is thoroughly mixed. Let it sit for a bit.

In a large bowl, mix all the Cajun ingredients except Oil and Braggs. Then put your thoroughly defrosted Roast in the bowl and pour the Oil and Braggs over the Roast. Then roll the Roast around in the Rub and use a brush to brush to give it a nice even coating. Let it sit for around 5 minutes - turning it every once in awhile.

Now it's time to grab your handy flavor injector that you may remember from such adventures as The Vegan Fried Egg and Eggs Benedict. Fill your injector with some Marinade and stick it into your Roast all the way to the hilt and then remove it half way before injecting in the Marinade. You're making a little tunnel to fill with your Marinade. When you inject your Marinade in stop when it starts to come out of the injection spot. Just keep doing this till you feel pretty good about how much you have injected in your Roast. We did it 13 times. A few things to watch out for : Your needle can get clogged by spices or pieces of Roast. Just use a safety pin or warm water to clean your needle and keep going.

Once you feel good about how much you have injected in there, check on your pot of Oil. If you see a few bubbles forming and rising - you're ready. Let's get to business - time to roll down your sleeves!

Grab your oven mitts and BBQ Tongs and slowly use them to lower your Roast into the hot Oil. This is when you need to have a reality check. That Roast will be in there for around 20 minutes but if it already is bubbling too high and showing signs that it might over flow - you have to abort. Remove your Roast and turn off your boiler. Let it cool and then remove the excess Oil and start all over. BUT if it looks like you are doing good with the Oil and the Pot... let the Roast hang out in the pot for around 20 minutes - 30 if you want it extra crispy.

When you remove it place it on a plate with some paper towels to suck up excess Oil and awesome.

Okra Giblets Gravy (Now maybe you love the gravy that comes with the Tofuky dinner set but around here we aren't crazy about it so we used it as a base for this spicy Southern inspired gravy featuring Okra as the "giblets")
  • 1 Tub Tofuky Gravy (it comes in the Dinner set or can be bought separately)
  • 1 Cup White Wine 
  • 3/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes 
  • 1/2 Cup Sliced Okra (we used canned Okra but there is also frozen or fresh)
  • 2 Teaspoon Tony Chachere Cajun Seasoning
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Poultry Seasoning (there are several vegan versions) 
  • Dash of Black Pepper
  • 2 Cloves Garlic (minced) 
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Celery Seed  
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley (diced)
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Braggs 
In a saucepan, mix all the Gravy ingredients and bring to a boil while stirring continually. 
 And for the last time... Let's be careful out there folks! Many Bothans died  to bring us this information.


  1. Happy birthday to Dan! I'm glad you guys are doing this project because I would be way too terrified to deep-fry a Tofurky. I would also be terrified to serve said Tofurky in a leopard-print bikini. Or would I?

  2. Fakesgiving! Love it!

  3. i am curious about this house made of pie...

  4. 1) This is awesome.
    2) I will have to do this for the next Larp...
    3) Ohmigosh deep frying is scary. But that's what volunteers are for, amirite?

  5. Annie, this looks awesome! I'm going to try to talk Janet into doing all this while I'm safely watching football in another room. Do you recommend I take out a life insurance policy on her first, or might that look suspicious