Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Crimini Mushrooms and Seitan over Olive Oil Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Chipotle Crackers

I was shopping with my daughter at A Southern Season, a gourmet store, today, and found these interesting "Fieri" brand crackers by a company named La Panzanella. I purchased their Chipotle flavor, but would love to try the others, as well, such as Serrano Lime.
On the drive home, I came up with an idea for a main course with these crackers that appeared (and proved) to be quite sturdy and thick. I love the combination of mushrooms and seitan. Over medium-high heat, I started sauteeing a medium diced clove of garlic, as well as two medium shallots cut into half moons.
A minute or so into the saute, I added half of a box of seitan, cut into thin rectangles maybe 1/2" x 3/4", and another minute later added about 15-20 small crimini mushrooms, cut into halves or thirds, depending on mushroom size. I cooked, stirring occasionally, for a good length of time, perhaps 10-12 minutes, to let the seitan get nice and crispy. I then quickly increased the temperature to near high, added several tablespoons of port, and let the alcohol cook away with the port flavor being absorbed into the mushroom and seitan. I mixed in some salt and freshly ground black pepper.
On each of three of these crackers I spread a thin coat of some olive oil-garlic mashed potatoes that I had prepared. Starches are great to get things to stick, and that's just what I did - I served the seitan saute atop the potato, carefully gently pressing down. A sprig of rosemary, salad, and corn-off-the-cob with a bit of lime and salt as well as Earth Balance margarine filled out the meal.
My wife and I were very pleased with the meal. One thing I might change, however, is to marinate the seitan in a lime base to add an interesting citrus taste dimension. I had considered adding some tomato paste atop the cracker, before the potato, but am glad that I didn't do that. Our new local vegetarian restaurant, Butternut Squash, has asked me to submit one of my recipes for them to rotate into their menu, and I think I'll offer this, at least for now!


At Thu Oct 22, 08:48:00 PM EDT, Blogger Mary said...

I've just read about you in November OUR STATE magazine - nice article, In Praise of Vegan. I've been a non-meat eater since moving to Raleigh 31 years ago, but am not vegan. Scrolling through your recent recipes I must admit I love many of them and hope to give them a try!

I try to cook from scratch mostly and feel that we are what we eat. Having visited Italy and France I feel I know what fresh food is - grown close to home, harvested by hand at the perfect moment, and cooked and served with love. That's how they do it there. My brother grows ALL their vegetables in their garden in Southwestern France, as do most of the 1400 inhabitants of the village. I spent last October there and must admit the food was fabulous.

Growing up in England after WW2, we had a garden too, and what we didn't grow we bought from local farmers. Money was short then but my mother always made sure we had fresh, home cooked meals to ensure we'd be healthy. I cringe when I watch children and teens eating today - fast food should be banned!

Thanks for sharing your recipes.

At Fri Oct 23, 12:11:00 AM EDT, Blogger Dilip said...

Thanks, Mary, for your kind comments. I haven't seen the article yet but look forward to taking a look. Great thoughts - we love visiting particularly Italy for their food and care in "real food" preparation! Join us for Thanksgiving if you can - trianglevegsociety.org/thanksgiving09 - and consider joining the Triangle Vegetarian Society. Best wishes! --Dilip


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