Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Braised and Coffeed Seitan with Pine Nuts & Punky Mashed Taters

Oh glorious anger when my blog entry somehow doesn't get saved.

*Pitiful sniffle*

Anyways, as I mentioned yesterday, I was in the mood to do a bit of fall-cooking this weekend. So, inspired by the coffee-marinated tofu and seitan that What the Hell Does a Vegan Eat Anyways blogged about recently (yet one more reason I love you, Coffee!), I decided to track down some sort of coffee marinade of my own and do a bit of experimentation.

And there are a BUTTLOAD of coffee marinades on the internet, folks--who'da thunk it!

But after much roaming around, I decided to fiddle with THIS RECIPE. I had most of the ingredients, and it sounded like the kind of recipe that would make you feel all warm and cozy from the inside out.

I was not far off. If there's only one thing you take away from reading this little ramble about the seitan recipe I made this weekend, it's this:


I kid you not.

As I'm sure you can figure out, it's totally all about the cinnamon and cloves--they make you wanna sing carols and string popcorn around a Christmas tree.

I cannot wait 'til the holidays roll around, because I am *so* whipping this recipe out and wowing my friends and family with it. It is damn fricking good, ladies and gents. Damn fricking good. *AND* it's damn simple, to boot.

I was a bit leery at first, because it's a strange variety of ingredients. And after it marinated overnight, there was a weird film of scum along the top of the marinade (kinda like when Lake Erie is not looking so clean), and it had a strange kinda boogery slimey consistency (I can tell I'm *REALLY* getting your tastebuds going with *this* description). But lo and behold, this stuff knocked our socks off.

The seitan holds the marinade wonderfully, and it cooks up really delicately and tenderly. The final result is a rich and roasty, ridiculously tender seitan that will melt on your tongue with a wonderful Christmasy bouquet of flavors and put any fatty, gristly hunk of animal flesh to shame. Good stuff.


  • 1 cup strong coffee

  • 1/2 medium onion, diced

  • 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar

  • 3 T. packed brown sugar (I used light)

  • 1 T. soy sauce

  • 1 T. teriyaki sauce

  • 2 cloves peeled garlic

  • 1/2 t. ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 t. ground ginger

  • 1/4 t. ground cloves

  • 1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes or to taste

  • Two 8/12 oz. packs of seitan (or you can make your own)

  • 1/4-1/2 C. toasted pine nuts

Toss all the ingredients except for the seitan and pine nuts into a food processor. Process until pretty well-blended. Remove marinade and place in large, sealable container. Drain seitan. Place seitan in marinade. Refrigerate overnight (or at least a few hours).
To prepare: Heat up a large pan. Scoop out the chunks of seitan and toss into pan. Add enough marinade to the pan that it covers the bottom and the seitan is sitting a tiny bit deep in it. Cover and heat at medium heat for about 15 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. (This is considered stovetop braising, apparently--alternately, you could braise the seitan similarly in the oven.) Serve topped with the toasted pine nuts.

Serves 2-4 (depending on how hungry you are)


  • About 4-5 blue potatoes

  • About 4-6 little white potatoes

  • Soy milk

  • 1-2 T. vegan margarine

  • 1 clove garlic, diced real tiny or pressed

  • Dried rosemary

  • Pine nuts

DIRECTIONS: Cube all your potatoes (but don't peel the skins off!). Toss into a pot of water. Boil potatoes until tender (about 15 minutes or so). Drain potatoes. Mash them up with a fork (but not completely--chunky mashed taters are da best!). Toss in about 1-2 T. of vegan margarine and your soy milk (how much you add of the latter will depend on how whippy you like your mashed potatoes, so I've not included measurements). Add garlic and dried rosemary. Top with toasted pine nuts.

I don't really know that the blue potatoes taste any differently or better than normal potatoes, but they SURE IS PRETTY!

(I didn't originally intend this dish to have pine nuts since the seitan already did, but since there were leftovers of the pine nuts, I just thought I'd toss some on top when I went back for seconds. Holy mother of god--I never would've guessed that some simple pine nuts could add so much to a potato recipe!)

(Blue taters are the COOLEST--even if
they DO look more purple than blue!)

Serves 2-4 (also depending on how hungry you are)

Really and truly, this is a damn good cold-weather meal. So store it away in the back of your brain (or in the back of your recipe box), and when you get in the mood to get yourself excited about winter and Christmas, pull this baby out.

Merry seitan to all, and to all a good night!

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