Ok. It’s blasphemous, but some people don’t eat turkey on Thanksgiving. Some people don’t eat meat at all and in a misguided effort to mimic the real thing, they prepare something called “tofurkey.” As its name suggests, tofurkey is a combination of tofu (soybean curd) and wheat gluten (a somewhat sodden mass you get when you wash wheat dough to remove the starch), also lovingly known as wheat meat.
Because every wine blog in the universe will suggest Thanksgiving wine pairings and we want to be fair to our non-carnivore friends, we decided to investigate what wine would compliment a tofurkey Thanksgiving dinner.
Mary Ellen Cole, Fairplex’s Wine Department Cellar Master, was frankly aghast at the thought of pairing any good wine with tofurkey, but she gamely suggests that a Riesling or Pinot Noir – a lot of it – might work.
Jason Hill, store manager and beer and wine buyer at Bloomingfoods Market and Deli in Indiana, suggests “Baronne Fini Pinot Grigio, crisp to the point of being ‘zippy.’ If you need a white to go with your Tofurkey feast, this is it.”
The Seattle wine blogger thinks you should try Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, or a light red such as Pinot Noir or Beaujolais Nouveau.
In the Wine Review Online, the blogger’s daughter-in-law, Kristin, likes to include tofurkey in the traditional Thanksgiving line-up from time to time. According to WRO, “Kristin recommends ‘a nice Oregon Pinot Noir or any wine you would serve with a turkey dinner.’”
If you want to try making your own homemade tofurkey, here’s a recipe from our friends at VeganFitness.net
Traditional Tasting Tofurkey
5 blocks firm/extra firm organic tofu
2 teaspoon vegan poultry seasoning (or more to taste)
1/4-1/2 cup fresh chopped herbs (I use savory, rosemary, sage and basil – but any herbs will work.)
1 1/2 tablespoon vegetable stock powder (or vegetarian chicken flavor if you can find it)
salt and pepper
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 – 1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (same as you used in tofu)
1 tablespoon vegetable stock powder dissolved in a couple tablespoons of hot water
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon of mustard (Dijon or seed works best)
add a sprinkle of hot pepper flakes if you like (I always do)
1. Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together (or blend in the blender if you prefer)
2. Taste it.
3. Adjust the spices if you feel the need.
1. Blend tofu in blender or food processor until lumps are gone. You can mash by hand, but I prefer to blend it for a better consistency.
2. Transfer to a large bowl, stir in herbs, poultry seasoning, stock powder and salt and pepper.
3. Line a medium, round bottomed colander with one layer of cheese cloth or a clean dish towel. Put the tofu mixture in colander and fold remaining cheese cloth over the top. Place the colander on a plate (to catch excess water being squeezed out) and put a heavy weight on top. Put in the fridge and press for approximately 2-3 hours or overnight if possible.
4. After pressing and with the tofu still in the colander, scoop out the center, leaving about an inch of tofu around the edges. Place your stuffing in the cavity. Put the tofu mixture you scooped out over the stuffing and press down firmly.
5. Flip the formed “turkey” on to an oiled cookie sheet. Use the excess tofu to form the legs and wings if you want a “turkey” look. Brush the whole turkey with the marinade.
6. Cook at 350° for about 1.5 hours brushing with marinade every 15 min or whenever you remember to.
The tofurkey can cook for as long as you need it to. Once, I let mine cook all day, basting it about every half hour or so and it turned out great. I usually put it in the oven as I’m starting the rest of the meal. By the time the potatoes and all the veggies are done, the turkey is ready to go.
Serves: 6 or so
Preparation time: 30 minutes?
Again, risking blasphemy, why not bring any wine you like to the Tofurkey or Turkey feast? With the diverse range of flavors and textures in the typical American Thanksgiving dinner, i.e. white and dark meat, gravy, acidic cranberry sauce, rich-tasting sweet potatoes, stuffing (with every conceivable ingredient from chestnuts to oysters), whatever wine you choose is sure to compliment one of them. Alternatively, just bring lots of any kind of wine so you won’t notice that you’re eating soybean curd patted into the shape of a turkey. Yum.
My tofurkey has a first name
My tofurkey has a second name
Oh, I tried to eat it up one day
And if you ask me why, I’ll saaaaay…
‘Cause Sucky Yucky Tofurkey was in
my Lunch From Hell that day!