Originally, I had planned to make Punjabi Peppers and Tofu for dinner tonight, but on my bitterly cold sprint home, I stopped into Superfresh as though it was an oasis, drinking in the warmth like it was water in a frozen desert. I had 3 nice-sized red potatoes in my hands when I remembered Mister's and my mega-craving for fries the other night. Back into their little basket the potatoes went and over to the other side of the store I went in search of frozen fries (I am absolutely not willing to try my hand at home-made shoestring fries just yet).
Once I got the fries home (with no chance of them defrosting) and into the freezer (where I discovered Mister had also visited Superfresh to take advantage of the frozen pizza aisle), I realized that I actually wanted to eat them tonight. No matter how fun fusion can be, it will take a lot more than some curry powder to convince me french fries go with indian-spiced tofu and peppers. Instead, I made Chickpea Cutlets from Veganomicon.
From that angle, it kind of looks like meatloaf...which doesn't say much for meatloaf. I've known about these little chickpea-seitan hybrid patties for years, but I've steered relatively clear of them because they seemed difficult. Isa insists that they are super-easy to make and that she frequently whips them up, but I just couldn't imagine how that could be possible when they involved Vital Wheat Gluten and kneading.
Honestly, what gave me the "courage" to try these guys was the success I met not once, but twice, when I made my own seitan. In the intro to the recipe, Isa suggests that these cutlets are easier to make than seitan, so I figured if I could make seitan without something going horribly wrong, I could probably pull off their half-sibling without losing a finger.
I didn't follow the recipe exactly, so I think they will come out a little chewier/meatier the next time around, but they were awfully good even if I messed them up a little. The reason I think they aren't perfect are:
1. the recipe said to use 1 cup of chickpeas, but I didn't feel like having a bunch of unused chickpeas hanging out in my fridge, so I just used the whole can, but I didn't adjust the other quantities accordingly - I think I should have used more VWG.
2. In the intro to the recipe, Isa quips about making vegan food you can eat with a steak knife. Full of expectation, I set the table with forks and our very under-utilized steak knives. They remain under-utilized...and clean.
3. They were very good and the gluten did a great job holding everything together and providing a toothsome texture, but they still kind of tasted like I should have served them on hamburger buns.
Nevertheless, Mister thoroughly enjoyed his cutlet and we both very much enjoyed our fries for dinner. Next time, especially if I make these for a dinner that involves raising the other leaf of our gate-leg table, I will follow the recipe more closely, serve with mashed potatoes and peas, and make a smoky gravy to ladle over them for added flavor.
In other news, we're moving in 5 days. Please pardon me if I get super-boring or skip a night. You may or may not care about my take-out adventures, but there are only two more meals left on our menu before I have to start packing the kitchen. Boxes, boxes everywhere, but nowhere for the kitty to hide! In a moment of compassion, Mister made a little house for Angst, since he stole the box that used to be Angst's house:
We never put all the shelves into our TV stand, so Mister put one of his shirts into the stand so Angst would feel comfortable there (he loves Mister's shirts and sits on them whether Mister wants him to or not).