Monday, April 23, 2007

Kids For Sale, Summer Coolers & More Seitan

On our way to take Simon to the dog park, we passed this sign. I couldn't pass it up.
We had such a spectacular weekend. The weather was gorgeous! Friday, Saturday and Sunday were around 24C (approx. 75F), the sun was shining, blue skies, a gentle breeze - perfect! I did have to work Friday & Saturday nights and I had a lot of pink customers. Remember your sunscreen people! We've been covered up for months and our skin isn't used to getting any sun exposure.

Since it was summer-like weather, I decided to try 2 coolers that I've never had before. I thought they sounded very yummy.

I wasn't really impressed. Much too sweet. I wouldn't buy them again.

Now Black Fly Coolers on the other hand are delicious & refreshing, not icky sweet. And they're really nice people. We met them at the Toronto Wine & Cheese show. It's a husband and wife team and they had their parents there helping them out. Very friendly and just nice. (And they're Canadian!)

My seitan adventure continues. I found this recipe on Beverly Lynn Bennett's website and decided to give it a try. It sounded very neutral so I figured I could use it in pretty much anything. When I mixed it up, it seemed a little weird, but I continued on.

I kneaded it for a bit and cut it into two chunks. It looked OK at this point.

After it simmered, I let it cool off in the pot still in the liquid. Once it was cool enough to handle, I transferred it to a plate. I thought it felt kind of odd, so I sliced one of the pieces open.

It was very fluffy and spongey. I don't know what went wrong. I think I measured correctly, but I could have made a boo-boo. I didn't need this right away, so I put the pieces in plastic containers, covered with the simmering liquid and put them in the freezer. I don't think seitan changes it's texture when frozen like tofu does, but I was hoping something would happen with this.

Once thawed, it was the same. It seemed to have absorbed extra liquid because it was really spongey. I squeezed as much out as I could, sliced this up into strips and seasoned with some garlic powder & cumin which was called for in the recipe I was using. I spread the strips out on a baking sheet and put it in the oven hoping it would help them to firm up a bit. It didn't work. I wasn't going to waste this and throw it out. It tasted fine, it just had a weird texture.

This was what I ended up making. I found the recipe here and substituted seitan for the chicken and used vegetarian chicken-flavoured broth. You can see in the picture how the seitan looks spongey.

It wasn't as bad as I'd feared. The dish ended up being very good and Jim & I both cleaned our plates. I even had enough left over for my lunch.
I am going to try the seitan recipe again because it would make an excellent sub for chicken. I must have must have measured wrong or something. The Vegan Chef wouldn't post a wonky recipe like that.


laura jesser said...

Kids for sale--what???

That is strange that the seitan turned out that way. I'm staying tuned for the second attempt...

Michelle Ann said...

I love that sign. Is the seminar being held to show you how to sell the kids? Too funny!

KleoPatra said...

i've had spongey tofu like that!!! Weird. i'm sure one of the other great veggie chefs in blogland will be able to explain what happened here, i sure couldn't... sorry about that for ya. Looks like you made the best of the sitch. YAY!

The first pic of 'em kinda looks like a brain on the right... i dunno, maybe i'm just loopy - it's been a long night at work for me!!

Funny church sign! HA!! i won't be attending that seminar...

So glad you had San Diego-like weather! YAHOO!!!

Candi said...

Lol! Poor you and your seitan troubles! Oooh, I've been there... many a time! Yes, it looks spongey but I like how you disguised that in the dish! Nice recovery!

Kids for Sale? lol! :P

Oh, I laughed so much at your comment about the Enquirer. LOL! I wouldn't be surprised to see myself on there with some ridiculous made-up story!

Vincent Guihan said...

HA! You know, there are actual rules for selling female children into slavery in Leviticus.

Candi said...

PS> I just voted for your blog in the blogger awards! Your blog is doing great! :P

aTxVegn said...

I think we're all still in search of the perfect seitan recipe! It looks great on your plate.

How was the seminar?

Tracy said...

Selling the kids? Hmmmm...I wonder what I could get for my two? They not that neat but they can work hard when they want to. I'll have to investigate that...
That IS a strange textured seitan...isn't seitan a weird and wonderful thing? Teehee

bazu said...

Oh no, you don't think they're selling... goats, do you?? It's a funny sign, though!

Anonymous said...

I've had seitan turn out like that and I think it happens when you cook it at too high of a temperature. As far as I understand it, when you simmer seitan, you're supposed to do it very slowly on a super low heat so that the liquid never actually gets bubbly.