Danny Tanner, am I right? What a nerd. Like most of you, I grew up listening to him ramble on about cleaning, family values, more cleaning and how to be pasty in California. (Not hard if you are living in San Francisco, but still.) Boy, could he ramble. They even had voice-over Danny comment several times on his expert ability to ramble. I guess we have that in common.
Danny was kooky (but lovable, sometimes) enough on his own, but when paired with his BFFAEAE, Joey Gladstone, things got annoying. While I think Danny Tanner was the inspiration for the high-waisted pantalooned men of the future in Her, Joey Gladstone was apparently the inspiration for Goofus from those Highlights cartoons. (I know that they predate Joey’s existence but that’s how doofy he is. So doofy that time stands still and then goes backwards.) I’m pretty sure that Joey was everyone’s least favorite card in the Full House, and not just because he hurt Alanis Morissette’s feelings. What was a grown, unrelated male doing in a house full of small children? Was he a priest? I thought he was Danny’s not-so-secret lover for most of the series’ run, until Vicky came along. Didn’t you love Vicky? Watching the regular cast of Full House felt like being trapped in one of those fun houses full of mirrors that make you really wide and short and bulging at the middle. Things just felt weird and claustrophobic, and more than a little crazy – but we loved them. Vicky was like the nice teenage boy manning the fun house after school, who opens an emergency exit door just to give you some light. All that’s to say, Vicky seemed to bring some normalcy to the Full House.
On one of their early dates, Danny made Vicky just the most beautiful date meal anyone could ever think of: Turkey in a Boot. Leave it to Danny Tanner to present a wonderful lady with a boot-shaped bread basket full of meat and consider it romantic. And then leave it to Danny to ignore whether Vicky actually liked this meal (she didn’t; who would?), make it for her again saying “I know this is your favorite meal” (nope!), and then let Joey take it out of the oven, setting Joey up to inevitably let it slide off the baking sheet and onto the floor, to everyone’s (but not Vicky’s) dismay.
Let’s take a beat and join Danny as he wallows in pasty, high-waisted misery:
As you can see in this picture, Danny’s Turkey in a Boot looked like a hollow loaf of bread just shaped like a boot. Where is the turkey? Knowing Danny, I bet he just ripped up pieces of lunchmeat with his fingers and stuffed into the heel. No wonder Vicky hated it. For mine, I decided to make a really good seitan and knead it into boot-shaped parts, wrap it in homemade puff pastry, and then cobble the boot together. It’s much better than Danny’s. Let’s do it!
Danny Tanner’s Turkey in a Boot
Ingredients for the puff pastry:
- 2 Cups white flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 Cup vegan butter
- 1/2 cold water, plus up to another 1/4 if needed
Ingredients for the seitan:
- 2 Cups of Vital Wheat Gluten
- 1/2 Cup Nooch
- 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
- 1/2 Tablespoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon sage
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 Tablespoons (heaping) tomato paste
- 3/4 C water
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
First, make the puff pastry, because it has to refrigerate.
- In a large bowl, mix your flour and salt together.
- Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter, or your fingers, until it’s all crumbly and pebbly.
- Pour in the water, (1/2C to start) and swirl it around with your fingers or a fork until well mixed. Add more water if needed. Don’t let it get goopy, as you have to be able to knead this.
- Knead the dough about 20 times.
- Flatten into a disc, wrap in cling film, and refrigerate while you make the seitan (or longer; the longer the better).
Next, make the seitan.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the VWG, nooch, powders and spices together.
- In a different bowl or a large measuring cup, mix your tomato paste, water, soy sauce, and oil.
- Add the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix well. If you really need more water, add it. It’s ok. Just not too much.
- Knead this bitch.
- Knead some more. The more you knead seitan, the more you activate the gluten (yay gluten!) and achieve that chewy texture. Or some such science.
- Okay, now separate the dough into 2 sections, with one slightly bigger. Take the bigger section and roll it into a cylinder. This will be the leg part of the boot. Wrap it in tin foil.
- Now take the other section and flatten it into an ellipse. This will be the foot part of the boot. Wrap it in tin foil.
- Bake both parts in the oven at 350F for about an hour.
- When the seitan has cooked for an hour, let it cool on your countertop. Take the puff pastry out of the fridge and let it thaw. Let both items sit for about 45 minutes.
- Now, break the pastry dough into two sections. Roll them out, on a lightly floured surface, to about 1/2 inch thick or thinner if needed, and wrap them around the seitan pieces.
- Bake them for about 30 minutes at 350F. The dough should become golden, with flecks of brown, but don’t let it burn.
- Once everything has cooled, place the disc on a serving plate. Stick toothpicks in it, towards one end. If you don’t have strong toothpicks, use a metal rod, or a nail, or a small knife. Some kind of poking device. Take your cylindrical piece and stick it atop the toothpicks/etc. Wheee!!! Boot!
I bet if Danny made this version, Vicky would have stayed around longer. Or at least she would have enjoyed her time there more! I hope you enjoy!