Dec 23, 2012

biscuits + mongolian seitan

Continuing with Catt's Birthday Week choices, above is a Meat Pie made with broccoli and ground TVP and below that is Mongolian Seitan with green beans. 

The biscuit has had me thinking; whenever I see a commercial for those biscuits in a tube, the result from the oven is a flaky, layered biscuit, one which the happy consumer can effectively tear off layers of goodness. 
I wanted to recreate that effect.

 Over Thanksgiving I was messing with making my own puff pastry, which requires multiple folds of buttered dough. I brought this same technique to biscuit making, rolling the dough out and folding into fourths about a dozen times. This is the same way that puff pastry achieves its many layers, except puff pastry requires a ton more vegan butter and a cooling-off period between each folding occasion.  

This biscuit is a poor-man's puff pastry, in that it uses a lot less butter and there is no cooling period required between folding. If you look at the biscuit in the picture, you will note that indeed this works - the biscuit (with the help of baking powder) rises and you can even peel the individual layers off. 

Mongolian Seitan is deep fried seitan (or TVP) in a garlic-ginger sauce with green onions. I added the green beans because I didn't have enough green onions and I simply wanted to add some veggies to the dish.

Both were very successful and Catt enjoyed her week of meals.

Happy Solstice Everyone! 

Dec 19, 2012

seitan piccata

It is Catt's Birthday Week, so she gets to choose the meals all week long. Naturally, she chose tried and true dishes that she loves, and minimized the vegetables as much as possible. Have I mentioned I have vegetarians who hate vegetables? Vegan, really, but it sounds better with "vegetable" in the description.

Among her favorites, such as Lasagne Bolognese for her actual birthday meal, she has chosen Nachos, Hungarian Layered Potatoes, Reuben (and here is the corned seitan recipe) and Tami's Chicago Deep Dish Pizza from American Vegan Kitchen

 Seitan Piccata is near the top of her list.

It so happens that this is also one of our family's favorite meals, although I haven't blogged about it yet because I kept writing down the recipe incorrectly or not at all.

Piccata is an Italian dish of thinly sliced seitan, dredged and sauteed, then served with a lemon-butter sauce. Traditionally it is dredged in flour and in addition to the pan drippings and broth, the sauce contains capers and white wine. I've altered this from flour to bread crumbs and completely omitted the capers and the white wine. I wanted to make this as simple as possible for the cook (me) and tried to keep the flavors as clean as possible for the kids.

For us this continues to be a favorite, even though my husband dislikes any main meal containing citrus. Odd that he can put away his fair share of this seitan then, but he sure manages to. This is another one of those dishes that I double the original recipe for or risk a table full of grumbling folks.

Cost Breakdown

seitan: $3
Earth Balance, broth, lemon: $2
bread crumbs, spices: $1
potatoes: $4

Total for 4 servings: