Friday, April 23, 2010

Corned Seitan Reuben

I modified this recipe:

1/2 cup pinto beans, mashed well
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar (didn't have any apple cider vinegar)
1 cup water combined with 2 teaspoons miso to create broth
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp liquid smoke
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp molasses (optional)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten

Mix the wet ingredients and dry ingredients in separate bowls, then add the wet to the dry, mixing well with your hands.

I used my pressure cooker to cook the seitan. The cooker I purchased in India has a metal insert, essentially two small stacking pans that fit inside the cooker, used to cook dal and rice at the same time. I thought the steel cylinder would be a good stand-in for the foil wrapping called for in the original recipe.

I kneaded the seitan dough then shaped it into a rough ball and plopped it into the cooking container (the lower of the two sections). I added a bay leaf to the steaming water. Instead of steaming for 50 minutes as the original recipe calls for, I pressure cooked it for about 45 minutes.

The unusual, um, texture you see there is the fact that my home-cooked, fork-mashed beans were not quite as well mashed as they could have been.

After cooking the seitan had expanded some, but not a ton, but was nice and firm so I pulled it out and let it sit.

We made the standard dressing of 2 parts vegan mayo, 1 part ketchup (or if like us, you don't use ketchup often enough to have it in the house, use tomato sauce), 1 part mustard, 1 part capers or minced pickle and 1 part minced onion.

B. baked this rye bread from a recipe I found online -- we just happened to have all the ingredients. Pretty good for a first attempt at baking bread (though he's become an expert bagel-baker).

After letting the seitan sit for about 20 minutes, we toasted the bread (the loaves were small, per the recipe, so a sandwich was about the size of a half sandwich), warmed up the kraut on the stove, and assembled!

Over all, I thought the recipe was pretty solid, though not too much different from other steamed seitan recipes I've tried. I like that I now have a method of cooking seitan that doesn't involve using tin foil, and look forward to experimenting to see if I can get a denser, firmer 'meat' by cooking longer. B. thought the cloves were a bit strong, so I might leave those out in the future. I've made steamed seitan before, and can't believe this is the first time I've offered a recipe. It's no Chicago Diner, but not bad, and incredibly easy. We recommend the bread, too!

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