Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Food Love: Slowcooker Seitan and Panko

I currently have two major food crushes.  When I think, "What should we have for dinner?" they both immediately leap to mind.  I can't stop thinking about new ways to incorporate them into my daily life.  They seem to improve so many of my already favorite dishes.  I am infatuated...with seitan and panko bread crumbs.
Seitan-and-Waffles
Panko
I can't remember what prompted us to buy some panko breadcrumbs this summer.  I suspect it was that America's Test Kitchen cookbook, but I'm not certain.  Well, now I'm ruined.  My finely ground homemade breadcrumbs pale in comparison to these airy, crispy delights.  I don't know that I can ever go back.

Just tossing a couple tablespoons with roast vegetables takes the dish to a whole new level.  It makes a magical crispy topping to a casserole and don't even get me started on using if for breading and frying!

There is nothing else to it, I guess.  We're going to have to figure out how to make our own now...  I'm deep in the research phase.
Panko dusted seitan nuggets with homegrown roast veg tossed with panko.
Seitan
I can vividly recall the moment I first fell in love with seitan (also known as "wheat meat").  It was a vegetarian take on chicken fried steak at Watercourse Foods in Denver.  It was humongous and so satisfying along with its mounds of mashed potatoes, gravy, and veg that Matt and I were both floored.  We went home and tried to make our own.  Even after playing around with different recipes the results were never fully satisfactory to us and it was a lot of time/work.  Store-bought seitan was either too expensive or we didn't care for it--or both.  So, we stopped eating seitan and began years' long culinary love affair with tofu.

That is until earlier this year  when I spotted a recipe for seitan from the slowcooker which looked ridiculously simple.  Mix ingredients, knead three minutes, plop in the slowcooker for several hours, boom--seitan.  After tweaking the recipe to my liking I finally have a seitan recipe that is everything we want it to be--an uncomplicated, fast and easy process which results in seitan with a very firm, chewy texture and deep savory flavor.
Shiitake mushroom and seitan stroganoff.
Slowcooker Seitan
2 cups vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup chickpea flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 t onion powder
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t salt
fresh pepper, to taste
1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce (divided)
1 T olive oil
1 3/4 cup vegetable broth
1 large onion, quartered
4 cups water

In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients.  Stir in 3 tablespoons of tamari, as well as the oil and broth.  Stir until well mixed.  Knead for three minutes.

Divide the seitan into four pieces and add it to the slowcooker along with the water, onion, and remaining tamari.

Cover and cook for about five hours on low.

Once cooked the seitan can be stored, submerged in some of the cooking liquid, for up to two weeks in the fridge.   The remaining cooking liquid can be used in place of vegetable broth in other recipes.

This makes about 2 1/2 pounds of seitan.
Homegrown breakfast potatoes with crumbled seitan.
Matt is a better cook than me so I must say it delights me how pleased he is with this seitan.  We basically have a batch in the fridge at all times now, in addition to a pot of cooked beans or pressed block of tofu.  We've baked it, deep-fried it, stir-fried it, and ground it into burger.  It is dang good every way you slice it.

Panko breaded seitan cutlets are basically my new favorite food.
Lightly breaded seitan with chili sauce.
I could really go for one right about now...  Or seven.

3 comments:

  1. I've managed to get close to panko by grating the bread. If you have a magimix or similar use the largest grate and push it through as fast and hard as you can and then dry in a cool oven. The other way I have done it is to cut medium slices and dry them and then crumble/grate by hand.

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    Replies
    1. Good to know, thanks, Gillie! We don't have anything like that, but have talked for some time now about getting a food processor. We've got one of those Ninja things, but we miss the slicing and grating options from our old processor. This might be the nudge to finally make it happen. I DO love panko so...and we're out at the moment. :(

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