So I’m not going to claim to be back again. I seem to do so after every long absence, then after one or two posts I lapse into my lazy ways. In fact, a few weeks ago I decided I wasn’t going to do this blog anymore. I’m short on time, and while I’d love to be able to cook full time for a living, that just isn’t a reality right now.
However, it seems that while my interest in this blog is sporadic, when the inspiration hits, I just can’t help but share it with you all. So I have decided that I won’t pressure myself to post here, but that I will keep this site to post when I feel like it. And I’ve had more than enough inspiration in the last week to motivate me.
Last week, I went to the Herb and Chilli Festival in Wandin, Victoria. If you’ve never been, you really must go next year. I went expecting to find a few good chilli sauces, but found so many more than a few. I came home with enough to last me two years, and that was showing restraint. Among the highlights currently sitting in my pantry are jerk mustard (oh yes), smoky chilli-stout sauce, habanero-mango salt and a sensational peach and chilli chutney. And it was that peach and chilli chutney that inspired this post, because I just couldn’t bear the though of not spreading it on a sandwich of vegan roast beef. All those months of sticking to my gluten free diet, and I was undone by a chutney.
And so, with the excuse of an Easter feast, it was time to whip out the gluten flour, as I only do on special occasions. I had never planned on sharing my seitan recipes here, having always intended to sell the finished products, but what can I say, I feel like spreading the love today.
This seitan recipe is incredibly versatile. Once you steam it, you can cook it in a number of ways and use it in a number of recipes. You can roast it and use it for sandwiches, braise it for a melt in your mouth, tender and succulent dish, turn it into a ragout, put it on skewers on the BBQ, or fry it up as a ‘steak’ with your favourite sauce. It has a delicious flavour on its own, but is not so strong you can’t add any sauce you like.
The featured picture is from tonight’s preparation, which has been braised, and it was incredible. This is what it looks like after steaming only. Just look at that tender goodness.
4 cups sliced mushrooms (a flavoursome variety like Swiss Brown)
1 cup grated beetroot
1 cup cannellini beans
3 tbsp tamari
3tsp onion powder
2tsp garlic powder
1/2tsp dried parsley
1/2tsp celery seeds
1/4tsp dried sage
1/4tsp dried rosemary
2tbsp tomato paste
3tbsp olive oil, plus extra for cooking the mushrooms
2 cups porcini stock, cold
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups Bob’s Red Mill gluten flour (all brands are different, I can only vouch that this recipe works with this brand)
1. Heat a little olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt cook until soft and browned. Throw the mushrooms into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Add the beetroot to the pan and cook a few minutes until soft. Add this to the food processor. Process into a paste and scrape it into a large mixing bowl.
2. Put the cannellini beans into the food processor and blend until you have a paste. Add this to the mushroom and beetroot mixture. Add the tomato paste, herbs and spices, olive oil and tamari and mix well. Add the porcini stock, stir until smooth, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remember with seitan to ‘over season’, because the gluten flour has a strong flavour of its own.
3. Add the gluten and mix in. Once you’ve mixed with a spoon, get in there with your hands. Make sure it’s really well mixed in. You will have a very soft, moist dough. Form into two logs and roll each log up in foil, sealing the ends by twisting shut like a bon bon. Steam for one hour then leave to cool.
If using this recipe for sandwich meat, move the logs straight to an oven tray (still wrapped in foil) and bake at 180C for another hour. For all other recipes, allow the seitan to cool inside the foil and then use as desired.