15 September 2008

We All Die...

"We all die.  The goal isn't to live forever, but to create something that will." -Chuck Palahniuk

02 September 2008

Meat and Potatoes

For those of you who are unaware, I am from Dallas, Texas. A place where a meal is not considered a meal without meat. So what's a vegan to eat when her sister wants to make steak and potatoes for dinner on day two (of five) of playing "House?" She makes her own steak (Seitan cutlets to be exact), and here's how:

You will need:
1 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 tbl soy milk
3/4 cup cold water
3 cup vegetable broth

This recipe is inspired by my current go-to vegan cookbook Vegan with a Vengeance. I found the recipe to be too salty (which is rare because I happen to be a big fan of salt) so I just took the basic idea and seasoned with what we had in our pantry. First, I made my own broth using hot water and vegetable bouillon cubes. So if you're opting to make your own, I would just put the cubes in the water and turn on the heat and prepare the seitan while you wait for the cubes to melt. To make the cutlets, combine all of the dry ingredients and mix well. Then add in the cold water and it will turn into this weird dough. Kneed it (I just stretch it out and fold it in half over and over again) for a minute or so. Be careful of overworking it because it will get tough. Then I rolled it into a log and cut it into six even pieces before I shaped them into "steaks."

Hopefully, your broth will be simmering by this time. Drop the cutlets into the broth and cover for 20 minutes. You will need to flip the seitan once halfway (at 10 minutes). During this time, you can make the wet mix in one bowl and the dry mix in another bowl for the dredging and the frying.

Wet Mix:
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup soymilk
2 tbl flour
1 tbl ketchup
1 tbl mustard
1 tbl nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Dry Mix:
1 cup flour
3 tbl nutritional yeast
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

In a large frying pan, heat about 2 cups of oil (I used canola). To test if the heat is high enough, I took a wooden chopstick and dipped it into the dry mix and then into the hot pan. If it sizzles, it's ready. If it doesn't, then wait some more. Pat the cutlets dry with a paper towel before dredging. Once everything is ready, dip the cutlets into the wet mix and make sure it is completely drenched. Then dip it into the dry mix and make sure it is completely covered. Now you can fry your cutlet! Flip them over when they look "ready" to be turned and/or are golden brown.

I served them on a bed of spinach sautéed with garlic with a sprinkling of sautéed mushrooms on top, "streen" beans, fresh corn and vegan garlic and chives mashed potatoes (recipe in a later post) to my favorite vegan: ME!