Cook Vegan Cevapi With Impossible Meat

Grilled vegetables are hard to beat, but vegans and vegetarians deserve something more substantial than portobello mushrooms from time to time. If you’re looking for an easy, vegan-friendly meal for barbecue season, look no further than cevapi made with an alternative meat of your choice.

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Chevapi are uncased Balkan sausages, and like many recipes that have been slowly perfected over the millennia, their magic lies in their simplicity. Some recipes literally consist of minced meat – beef, pork, lamb, or some combination of these, depending on the origin – and salt, but the cevapis I personally know and love also include a large dose of raw garlic and some baking soda for elastic, juicy texture. There are no shells to mess around with; you simply mix the ingredients and form them into sausages, which takes only 5 minutes. Place them in the refrigerator, let stand overnight, and they are ready to be grilled.

To make about 6 medium sized chevapies (or up to 12 cute little ones), you will need:

  • 1 pack of 12 oz alternative meat (I like Impossible)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (optional)
  • 1-2 tablespoons cold water

To prepare cevapi, combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands or with a flexible spatula. Roll out the mixture into 6-12 plump logs (the ones I made are definitely on the larger end), transferring them to a parchment-lined baking sheet as you go. Refrigerate the sausages, uncovered, for at least 3-4 hours, or overnight if you can. If you’re short on time, put them in the freezer for an hour – you just want to fix the shape and dry the surface a bit so the chevapies don’t melt on the grill.

When you’re ready to cook, heat a grill (preferably a charcoal grill) or skillet to very hot. Cook until the sausages are browned on all sides, or about 1-3 minutes per side, depending on the size of the cevapi and your heat source.

Serve immediately with anything that sounds good. I picked up some lepiƱa (a soft, soft, round flatbread), ajvar (fried red peppers), onions, and sour cream from a local Balkan restaurant to keep them traditional, but they would be just as delicious in a hot dog bun. with mustard and sauerkraut. However you choose to decorate your Chevapies, they are sure to be a hit at any outdoor party this summer.

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