Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Homemade Seitan, Scalloped Potatoes, Seared Leeks & Morels

My picture does not do this meal justice! The scalloped potatoes were quick to put together and were creamy in the middle, crunchy on top and had an overall great flavor. I picked up some German Butterball potatoes at the farmer's market and they worked perfectly. Yukon golds would also be a great potato for this dish.
Making seitan from scratch is a labor of love but sometimes it is worth it. Once you get it down you can flavor it to suit your mood and keep big batches on hand for whenever you have a hankerin!

Fresh seitan, gently crisped with seared leeks and crispy morel mushrooms alongside creamy scalloped potatoes.

Homemade Seitan
1 cup vital wheat gluten
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
6 cup vegetable broth, divided
2 tbl soy sauce
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 bay leaf
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil

Combine the wheat gluten, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, rosemary and red pepper flakes in a bowl. In a smaller bowl combine 3/4 cup broth, soy sauce and liquid smoke. Slowly pour in the wet into the dry and knead together with your hands for 15 minutes until smooth and rubbery. Don't use an electric mixer! I set a timer to make sure I kneaded it just the right amount of time.
Let the seitan rest for 5 minutes then knead a few more times. Divide into 4 pieces and gently stretch out into cutlets as thin as 1/2".
Pour the remaining broth into a large stock pot with the bay leaf, add the seitan and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer (but do not boil!) for 90 minutes until the seitan has hardened.
Once this is done, you can prepare the seitan however you want. Slice each cutlet into 4 or 5 pieces and season with salt and pepper. Saute in olive oil until golden brown on both sides.

Scalloped Potatoes
4 tbl extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 large walla walla onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 large german butterball potatoes (or yukons)
8 oz vegan cream cheese, softened
2 tbl nutritional yeast
3 tbl unsweetened almond milk
2 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350.
In a large saute pan, sweat the onions and garlic in 2 tbl oil until soft and fragrant, 10 minutes.
While the onions are sweating, thinly slice the potatoes on a mandolin and keep in a large bowl of salted water to prevent browning.
Once the onions are done, transfer them to a plate and drain the potatoes.
Combine the cream cheese, nut yeast, almond milk and thyme and stir until smooth.
Place one layer of potatoes down in the bottom of the saute pan. Sprinkle with onions and 1/2 of the cream cheese mixture. Repeat 2 more times. Lastly, layer the top with remaining potatoes and drizzle with 2 tbl olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 1 hour.
Rest for 10 minutes before cutting to serve.

Seared Leeks and Morels
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 tbl earth balance vegan butter
1 large leek, cut into 1/2" discs
1 cup morels, sliced vertically
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper

Combine the oil and butter in a saute pan. Once hot, add the leeks and morels and sear until golden brown. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Turn the leeks over and sear the other side until soft.

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