Tuesday, September 1, 2009
What Happened To Summer? Some Faves.
(Above: Bell Pepper, Mushroom and Faux Chicken 'Stir-fry')
For all kinds of reasons (don't ask!) this has been a lost summer, more or less. As a result, I've been shockingly lazy when it comes to developing new recipes or even trying other people's recipes (but see the seitan dishes below). Mostly, it has been comfort food of the kind you have seen on this blog time and again, or it has been something fast made with the help of faux meats from the local supermarket (I know, I know!). Between that and being away (see my other Blogspot blog at http://river-rambles.blogspot.com, which is where I ramble on about trips away from home, mostly, and post photos for family and friends. You're welcome to look!) . . . So you see above one of the many stir-fry (read 'stir-steamed') dishes which came in handy.
Then there were the inevitable curry-style dishes, because they are easy to make if you cheat a little and add some commercial curry paste to the array of spices to the whole and because we love all these hot and spicy dishes. Yes, even in summer.
The Thai Coconut Curry with Root Vegetables, Zucchini and Eggplant above used coconut milk in the original, but I cheated and used non-dairy milk and a little coconut extract in order to cut back on the fat calories a bit. It tasted fine - handy to remember if you run out of coconut milk.
There were the usual salads, soups (both hot and chilled), and quick pasta dishes - as I say, it was a lost kind of summer. I did however work on something else.
EXPERIMENTS WITH SEITAN
I did a little experimenting with my seitan fish recipe (see previous post) and I think I nearly have it right. I shall try again soon and give you the measurements. What I did in effect was to halve the recipe but to keep the seasonings etc. as is (or even to add a little extra, except for salt). I also put the cooking liquid (you know, seaweed, dried mushrooms, etc.) in a pan and let it simmer ahead of time and then cooled a little of it off to replace the water to be added to the gluten flour to make the seitan. (I replaced the 'stolen' cooking liquid with the same amount of water so that there's be plenty to cover the seitan on the stovetop.) That addition of cooking liquid got flavour into the seitan from the start. You might have to experiment a bit yourself, and much depends on how strong you like this kind of dish to be in 'taste of the sea'.
Having made this dish a few times, I have tried in in three or more ways:
(Above: Home-made Seitan Fish in Panko Crumbs)
I lightly sprayed the pan with canola oil and then browned the seitan on both sides. In this case I simply served with a squeeze of lemon and served with vegetables in the western manner. Lovely.
Not to be boring the next time I served it, I cut it in small pieces and made a Southeast Asian-style sauce with peanuts, soysauce, ketjap manis and sambal oelek.
(Above: Stir-'fried'Home-made Seitan Fish with Indonesian-style Peanut-Chilie Sauce.)
This was stronger in flavour and went superbly with rice and other appropriate accompaniments - your choice.
And finally, the inevitable 'finishing up what's in the fridge' dish - Rice with Vegetables, Home-made Seitan Fish and Commercial Faux Chicken Pieces. . .
. . . seasoned Asian Style with chilies thrown in for good measure. This kind of thing is one of our favourite kinds of meals ;-)
And no, we didn't eat all these in the same week! Although my dh assured me that he wouldn't mind a bit. It was good seitan.
Fortunately now that September is here I have no further excuse, and I shall be posting on a regular basis both on this blog and on my blog.
I am also starting another blog elsewhere - another food blog indeed, but that story for another time.
I hope everyone enjoyed their summer. My best to you all!