Sorry, but no Burmese Tofu tonight. I was going through my refrigerator today and realized that I had a some left overs that needed to be eaten. So I thought I would introduce you to your other new friend, seitan.
For those of you that are not familiar with it, seitan is basically wheat gluten that is flavored then simmered/poached, steamed or baked. It was invented by the Zen monks of Japan as a meat replacement. Now some vegans/vegetarians will not eat seitan since the taste and feel can be quite similar to meat. However, if you are not eating tofu, then this will be your primary meat replacer. It is acutally fairly versatile and recipes for it abound both on the net and in vegan cookbooks. However, it does take a bit of practice to get good at making it, since the technique can be a bit tricky. I am far from a seitan expert (at least for now), so if you are having problems, may I suggest that you check out the both the forums at postpunkkitchen.com or over at VeggieBoards. Each of these places has recipes as well and at PPK you can get the original baked seitan (at least as far as I know) from Lacheis, the Seitan O'Greatness.
This was my dinner tonight. It is an adaption of a recipe from Rachel Ray for Cashew Chipotle Chicken. I'll put the recipe below, but here are my adaptations. I cheated and used a whole bag of pepper and onion stir fry, green beans replaced the peas, smoked paprika in place of the chipotle and I skipped the cashews since they don't seem to work with this variation as well. I also realized halfway through that I didn't have any water chestnuts, so those are missing as well. The last two replacements are light agave nectar for the honey and dark agave nectar for the maple syrup.
Chipotle Cashew Seitan with Brown Rice Recipe
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, 1/4 onion finely chopped, 3/4 thinly sliced
2 cups quick cooking brown rice
4 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds seitan meat: cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons grill seasoning blend (recommended: Montreal Steak Seasoning blend by McCormick)
2 to 3 tablespoons tamari dark soy sauce, eyeball it
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
10 to 12 water chestnuts, whole
1 cup frozen green peas
3 tablespoons chipotle in adobo (2 peppers and their sauce), available in cans on the international foods aisle or substitute 1 1/2 tablespoons ground chipotle powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin, a palm full
2 to 3 tablespoons light agave nectar, 2 healthy drizzles
1/4 to 1/3 cup real maple syrup, eyeball it
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley leaves, your preference
1 cup raw cashews
1 In a medium pot over medium heat combine 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan, and 1 tablespoon butter. When butter melts into oil, add in the chopped onion, cook 2 minutes, then add rice and cook 3 minutes more. Add stock and cover the pot. Raise heat to bring stock to a rapid boil. Once the stock boils, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender, 17-18 minutes.
2 While rice cooks, make the seitan. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add vegetable oil, 2 turns of the pan, then the seitan. Season the seitan with grill seasoning. Brown the seitan on both sides, season with soy sauce then move off to one side of the pan. Add the remaining onions, garlic and peppers. Cook 2 to 3 minutes then add water chest nuts and green peas and mix vegetables and meat together. Add the chipotles and cumin. Toss to coat. Glaze the mixture with agave and maple syrup and turn off the heat. Add in the chopped cilantro or parsley and the cashew nuts.
3 Top rice with cashew seitan and serve.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Author: Rachael Ray
Web page: Chicken Style Seitan Cutlets, from YRR, but feel free to use your favorite.
Tomorrow, promise, will show you the Burmese Tofu.
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