Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What Rhymes With Slumgullion?

Warning - the following recipe is most likely not low in fat or calories. It's lower in fat than the traditional slumgullion (that's Irish Gaelic for "watery meat stew"), but I think it packs a wallop of flavor that the old "dump and eat" casserole provides. Since it's been chillier here this week, I needed something with some staying power. I remembered having slumgullion, which is a tomato-based casserole, when I was a kid. But I'm tired of tomatoes, so I decided to create a savory version.

Gourmet Veggie Slumgullion
1 12-oz. package of Smart Ground veggie crumbles
1 8-oz. package Monterey Jack shredded cheese (or your favorite vegan cheese)
1 small red pepper, chopped fine
1 head broccoli, chopped small
1/2 to 2/3 cup merlot
1 cup vegetable broth
1 sprig fresh tarragon
12 oz. egg noodles (or eggless if you're going vegan)
2 slices bread, buttered on both sides and cut into cubes
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In skillet fry pepper and broccoli in a little oil for about 3 minutes. Add wine and cook two more minutes, until veggies are soft but not limp. Add broth, cheese, veggie crumbles, salt and pepper to taste, and tarragon and simmer a few more minutes.

Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a separate pot. Cook egg noodles per package directions. Drain and set aside.

In a 2-quart casserole dish, layer noodles, then mixture, etc. End with noodles. On top, place buttered bread cubes. Bake 30 minute until the bread crumbs are browned on top.

This makes a thicker stew than the typical slumgullion, so no need for serving over anything.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Seitan-ic Versus Tempeh

Couldn't resist the play on words. :)

I wanted cheese un-steaks last night. Badly. Alas, no seitan in the house and I wasn't tempted to drive 6 miles to get it. I had tempeh, but since I hate it, I refused to use it. So I hauled out the recipe books and pulled together a pretty decent substitute that was both tasty and easy to make. The fine ladies who have published Veganomicon, probably the best vegan cookbook imaginable, are to be thanked for the basis of the recipe. I tweaked to suit.

1 cup plus up to 1/4 cup more wheat gluten (I buy Bob's Red Mill, available at my local supermarket)
3 Tbls. nutritional yeast
1 Tbl. dried sage
1 tsp. dried thyme (the fresher the better)
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup tamari
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 Tbl. olive oil

Mix dry ingredients (including spices) together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients. Pour wet into dry, mixing until it's absorbed. Pick this up and knead it in your hands until it becomes like bread dough. If you need more flour, add a bit more wheat gluten. Break apart into pieces.

Prepare a large saucepan with about 6 cups of water and 2 Tbls. Better Than Bullion (or use 2 bullion cubes or half water, half vegetable broth). Bring it to just about a boil, then reduce heat and partially cover for about an hour, turning the seitan hunks. After an hour, turn off heat and use a slotted spoon to remove seitan from the liquid. Drain until cool, then cut as you need it. I freeze some for later use. For a more meatlike flavor and texture, flash fry seitan in a skillet sprayed with cooking spray for 4 minutes on each side. You can freeze this, too.