Aug 27, 2010

seitan schnitzel

European Night

My parents were restaurateurs their entire lives and they operated Hungarian restaurants exclusively. Wiener Schnitzel was on the menu at every place we had that I can remember. Not that Schnitzel is Hungarian originally, but let's face it, Europe is not a huge continent and its countries are not expansive; food travels over borders without much exception.

I haven't checked, so I hope it has been a month since the last time I made fried food. Schnitzel is a breaded and deep fried dish. I made the Tender Seitan and cut it as thin as I could and in a way that got me the biggest slices that I could get. I dredged them in flour, then in diluted yogurt and in a seasoned bread crumb mixture. I deep fried the slices at 390 degrees for 3 minutes. This was a throwback to my childhood - my Dad would serve these huge slices of Schnitzel, almost as big as the plate it was placed on.
I did good.

I served these with parsley potatoes, something my Mom used to make, and with a Hungarian Tomato and Cucumber Salad. The tomatoes are from our garden; they are Hungarian Heart heirlooms. Just thought I'd brag a little.

Cost Breakdown:
potatoes: $3
parsley, Earth Balance: $2
tomato: $2 (from store)
cucumber: $1
onion: $.50
seitan: $3
bread crumbs, yogurt, flour: $3
coconut oil: $3
Total to feed 8 people:


  1. Yummm, there's a reason I come here first to make out my weeks grocery list. ;-)
    If I remember correctly, seiten is made from whole wheat, correct? I take it, it is fairly thick/dense if you can use it as a meat substitute in this dish??

  2. yikes, I watched Food Inc last week and was mortified. I thought I knew how bad animal "farms" were but was sickened by the abuse and filth I saw. I can't believe this is allowed to continue. Your right, consumers are the ones who control this by purchasing meat and eggs from these farms. I'll have to look more into Organic & free range but I'm not very optimistic.

  3. Gwen, certainly not gluten-free, but worth a try if you'd like to experiement with meat substitues. I like seitan the most because it isn't a processed meat-sub; Vital wheat gluten (which you can make at home by washing a very dense ball of wheat flour dough) is the protein that is left after the bran and starch have been washed away from the whole wheat flour. I make seitan using this stuff since it is easier to flavor and quicker to make.

    I've made gluten by washing the dough and it works well and is fun to do the first few times, but as a practical twice-a-week activity, it can get tedious.

    I hadn't realized I did not post my Tender Seitan recipe on the page, but I will make sure to do so in the next few days.

    My seitan recipes have different textures and flavors to be used in the differnt recipes that call for a certain type of seitan.

    I used the Tender Seitan in this recipe since Schnitzel is pounded thin and this seitan is tender already, no pounding needed.

    The only thing Pollan stays away from saying is "Go Veg." It seems to me to be a logic conclusion. Sort of like with the egg scare: instead of working really hard to make sure you aren't going to eat a bad egg and get sick, isn't it easier to simply avoid it?

  4. I'll have to look for seiten at the store today. I've only used tempeh (sp?) in the past.
    I agree, avoiding eggs, meat ect would save you from getting a bad one. It's so frusterating but even veggies-spinach most recently, peanut butter, apples ect can be contaminated. I am itching to move somewhere I can live completley sustainably... Phoenix isn't very hospitable to gardening! ;-)

  5. Besides for the cost (store bought seitan costs a lot considering how much you get) the seitan in the packages are too-seitany in flavor for me. They have this gluten-aftertaste.

    Homemade seitan (using vital wheat gluten flour) is more economical, yields more, you wind up with a big 'loaf' so you can cut it to your liking, and, if cooked properly, will not have an after taste.

  6. Oh, as for the produce being contaminated as well, it is because the ag industry (factory farming) using contaminated 'fertilizer (feces)' on the plants. It is all part of the same old merry-go-nightmare.


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