I was trying to think of something Halloween appropriate for today’s post, and yet I really wanted it to be about food. I’ve got it … How I made my own wheat meat or … trying to avoid a cauldron full of brains!
So back in January, I went vegetarian for a month because, well, just because. One of my favorite protein sources was seitan, which is made of wheat gluten. If you’ve ever had “mock” meat of any kind in an Asian restaurant, you have had seitan. Unfortunately, it is really expensive.
After my vegetarian challenge was over, I wanted to have seitan again, only not pay that much (I am frugal after all!). I discovered that you can make it yourself.
In reading the directions, everyone kept commenting that it was really easy to end up with the entire batch having the consistency of brains. Zombie Halloween tie in!!!!
Months ago when I first made it, no brains. Then I decided to make it again for this post. As I was looking to find my recipe, I found another one that actually cut nearly an hour of cooking time, so I decided to make them both. Fortunately the recipes were similar enough that the dough was the same, only the cooking methods varied.
Actually, that is a big fat lie. I messed up and added all the broth to the wheat gluten of the first recipe instead of only half, and I didn’t have enough to do a double batch of that and the other type … but I digress!
At this point, after a few minutes of resting, my new recipe called for me cutting half the dough into cutlets and sticking them into the oven. After a flipping half way through, they were done after 15 minutes.
Excellent texture, great taste.
The other method involves bringing a vat of broth up to a boil, reducing it to a simmer, and then poaching the dough in the broth.
Assuming the fluid doesn’t come to a boil, after the allotted cooking time, one should have a batch of nice firm seitan.
Well, my broth did not come to a boil, but I ended up with really spongy seitan, that did feel just like brains… and yes, I have felt brains before – human brains, as a matter of fact!
Well, not only was it spongy, it did really look like the subject of a previous blog post! Never fear, the same recipes that warned me about the possibility of a spongy consistency also advised how to fix it: bake it in cutlet sized pieces. Yup, I could have skipped the whole boiling phase and ended up with the same thing!
If you are adventurous, I highly recommend this seitan recipe – the smart, bake it to start with method!
What are some foods you’ve prepared that if you don’t follow the directions correctly, things can go horribly wrong? Am I the only one who has felt a human brain?