Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Seitan-is it for you?

No, no. Not Satan. Seitan. What the heck is it? Wickipedia says this:

Wheat gluten, also called seitan (pronounced /ˈseɪtæn/), wheat meat, Mock Duck, gluten meat, or simply gluten, is a food made from the gluten of wheat. It is made by washing wheat flourdough with water until all the starch dissolves, leaving insoluble gluten as an elastic mass which is then cooked before being eaten.

Wheat gluten is an alternative to soybean-based meat substitutes such as tofu. Some types of wheat gluten have a chewy and/or stringy texture more like that of meat than most other substitutes.

Interested? As much as I love tofu, and seriously...I LOVE tofu, Eric and I wanted to try some new recipes using seitan. We can buy it in the stores here, but it's expensive and after looking in our new cookbooks we realized how easy it was to make. Of course we waited to make it till the day we needed it, which means I had to make it alone. But seeing as how I am currently unemployed...I have nothing else to do but play in the kitchen. Side note, can I tell you how many dishes I do a day?? Never appreciated a dishwasher until now. Heck, never appreciated a full size sink until now.

But that's beside the point. I decided to make two batches of seitan because we needed one for the bbq we were having for dinner, and another for leftover lunches this week. I am not going to put down the actual recipes since they are not mine.

Honestly though, I think everyone needs to own a couple vegan cookbooks. Even if your not vegan, they have so many wonderful veggie recipes. It will open your mind to meal planning. And who doesn't need more veggies in their life??

Side tracked again. Back to the seitan making. For the cutlets that I was making to have later in the week, I decided to go with the Chickpea recipe. (btw, cutlet is a weird word. I might be grossed out by it.)

This recipe is from Veganomicon btw. (you can get it on amazon for $12.50...I'm just saying...)

And here is what makes these recipes possible.
Eric and I first discovered wheat gluten flour when we were making our amazing lentil burgers. It has changed my life. And no, I'm not being dramatic. (ok, maybe a little.)
Oil goes into some chickpeas.
And you mash. If your lucky, you have a potato masher which I am quickly discovering is not just for potatoes. Why did I give everything of mine away when we moved? A fork will work just fine...but at this point I was wondering why I even pay for a gym? I should just mash chickpeas for an hour and be all set.
In goes the flour, bread crumbs, paprika, thyme, water and braggs liquid amino acids. (soy sauce)
Mix mix mix. Bonus points if your hand looks like a claw. That's hot.
So this is what happens. See the thick strands forming? It starts to become 'tough'.

Then because my camera crapped out, you get a iphone photo of the final thing. Please don't judge them based on the photo. It makes them look worse than they are in real life.

You separate into as many cutlets (yup, gross word) as you want and you can fry them or bake them. I am baking ours.

Here are some ideas that I have that I am going to use these in:
  • Sandwiches. A lil vegan mayo, avocado, tomato and spinach. Yum.
  • Stir fry. Slice these up and throw them in with a veggie stir fry.
  • Salad. These would be a great way to boost up a salad. Give it a little more 'staying' power.
  • Breakfast. If I made these with a little liquid smoke mixed in, I could totally see these being a bacon substitute. Served on an english muffin with some daiya cheese and a veggie scramble on top.
Last thing. These do not taste like meat. They will never taste like meat. I don't want them to taste that way. So don't set yourself up for something and then get disappointed. I know there are companies out there that make a seitan product taste pretty darn close to chicken or beef. However as that is not my intention...mine do not taste like it.

In fact, these are really delicious. Definitely something that will be on the rotating menu list!

1 comment:

  1. haha, i totally used your old potato masher on some chickpeas for a stew the other day. it's pretty great...too bad you gave it away to me!