Sunday, February 10, 2008

Seitan Redux; or, Alien Life Forms and the People Who Eat Them

Well, after a hearty, meaty breakfast, there's nothing I like better than to relax and mix up some completely vegan seitan. I put away the breakfast leftovers of local bacon, eggs and then some non local hash browns and biscuits made with non local flour, and then decided to make some non-local wheat meat. If you have every tried to make seitan, your experience might be like mine, which I chronicled here. It was tasty but a complete mess, and not what I recognized as seitan. This time I decided not to play around and got a box of Arrowhead Mills Vital Wheat Gluten and mixed up the smaller batch listed on the box.

Wow! What a difference. As soon as I dropped the vital wheat gluten into the pre-measured water it went like, "whomp" and completely congealed into one sound lump of wheat meat. I realized that adding the poultry seasoning would be a good idea, since it was starting to seize up like silly putty, and began working the seasoning as best I could into the lump. Then I sliced it up and threw the slices into the broth (made as per Vegan Planet). It's now simmering for the specified hour.

One tip -- do not let the seitan slices rest on one another while getting the broth stirred or whatever. The slices completely coalesced while I was stirring the broth and then had to slice the lump again. The slices did not look as pretty this second time. It was eerie, almost like the seitan was some kind of alien life form that reconstitutes when you try to slice it up or blow it up with missles, or something like that. But now I'm making myself paranoid, so I'll stop that line of thinking, now. And I'm going to peek in the pot, just to be on the safe side...

Yow! I just looked in the pot and it is a good thing I did -- the seitan had doubled in size and the broth level was dangerously low! No one told me that would happen! I put more water and tamari into the pot and that seems to have turned the tide on the seitan crisis. Will update when seitan is done cooking and can taste its seitan-y goodness.

Update: Just finished cooking the seitan and it is a little tougher than I expected. It also didn't have as much flavor as I would have liked. I probably didn't put enough poultry seasoning into the mix and the broth might not have been strong enough. Oh well. I will try doing different stuff with it over the course of the week for lunches and see what happens.

02/25/08 Update: The seitan is long-gone, but I wanted to say that about a week ago I found some old croutons lying around so I ground 'em up, breaded one of the last seitan cutlets, and then browned it in a skillet. It was pretty good! I sliced it up like a steak or chicken breast and the breading and the browning gave it some good flavor.
Post a Comment