Thursday, November 29, 2012

fun with homemade seitan

So, in my continuing quest to be frugal and use what I have resourcefully, I made seitan on Sunday and since I had everything I needed for this recipe, it didn't cost me a penny, much less the 459 of them I would have spent at Whole Foods.

Okay, that's kind of a lie.  Not the price - that's true - but the motivation for making seitan.

Going back a week.... Now that we're hosting Thanksgiving, my precious Mister gets to have his long-awaited Tofurky Roast.  We started that "tradition" last year and continued it this year.  The night before Thanksgiving, however, we celebrate with his father and that whole side of the family.  Throughout some conversations, I heard Mister answer someone inquiring about the taste of Tofurky this way: "Well, it's better than the worst turkey you've ever had, but not as good as good turkey."

Silly me, I took this, added it to the fact that Mister only had one slice the following night at our Thanksgiving, and came to the seemingly rational conclusion that Mister didn't like Tofurky so much as he felt like Thanksgiving required it and he just kind of muddled through it for that reason.  So, the day after Thanksgiving, as I was giving thanks for not having to work on Black Friday (see? unemployment is fun!), I decided to eat the leftover Tofurky, gravy, and potatoes.  Do you see where this is going?

So, later that night, Mister went rummaging through the fridge for way longer than usual.  Finally, I asked him what he was looking for.  He said "The leftover Tofurky," and I felt that little twinge of guilt and then said "Oh.  I ate it."  Crestfallen, poor Mister looked for something else to eat, even though he'd apparently "been looking forward to it alllllll day."

Bad wife.  Someday I'll learn.

Anyway, Mister has mentioned in the past that the homemade seitan [loaf] I make is seasoned in such a way that it tastes like lamb, the other thing my sweet Greek misses about eating animals.  To make up for being selfish and thick-headed, I spent Sunday making seitan, which I then sliced and served as filet with Broccoli Chickpea Casserole from Vegan with a Vengeance.

Last night, I wanted to use up what was left of the seitan, so I created a delightful little mediterranean ragout, based roughly on a new recipe in Vegetarian Times by Nava Atlas.

I should say the resulting dinner was "loosely inspired" by the recipe in this month's VT.  In the end I think the only similarity was the 2 Tbsp olive oil and 3 shallots (which were not small).

I don't really have a name for it... I guess you could call it

Broccoli and Seitan Stew (as in, the kind of stew you serve over rice or mashed potatoes)
4-6 servings

2 Tbsp olive oil
4-6 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
3 large shallots, sliced
1/2 to 3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 cups broccoli florets
15 oz petite diced tomatoes, undrained
about 2 cups cubed seitan

Heat the oil in a large saute pan (4-qts) over medium-low heat.  When oil begins to shimmer, add shallots and garlic and stir well to coat.  Reduce heat to low; Cover and stir occasionally for about 7-10 minutes.  About halfway through, you may find the garlic is sticking and/or browning more than you'd like.  If so, add a splash of broth to deglaze the pan and add some liquid.  By the time you add the broccoli, the shallots should be browning slightly and very soft.

Add broccoli, sprinkle salt and pepper over the broccoli, then pour in half of the remaining broth and cover.  Turn up heat slightly and allow the broccoli to steam for about 5 minutes undisturbed, then lift the lid and stir to combine broccoli and shallots.  Stir in tomatoes, then add the cubed seitan and the remaining broth.  Stir well and cook for about 10 more minutes, uncovered, until everything is tender and smells amazing.

Serve over an aromatic rice (I used Jasmine) or mashed potatoes if you're lucky (and your spouse didn't eat them all...).

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