Monday, July 14, 2008

Seitan and Shallots Marsala, and More

People have been cooking for me a lot lately, and it makes me feel all warm and squishy inside. I enjoy it in so many ways--I appreciate the care it takes to cook for someone, I like to watch people I heart move around their kitchens domestically, and, well, it's fucking good food that I didn't have to make myself. So yeah: I'm digging it.

A couple weeks ago, P whipped me up a seitan and shallots marsala dish from The Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes Cookbook that was seriously MMM *making the smacky lip noise accompanied by the french-like hand-poof by mouth*. Seriously. And even awesomer is the fact that the recipe is actually on-line, so I am happy to share it with you all, as it is RIDICULOUSLY decadent and tasty. (And for the record: P gives this cookbook two generous thumb's up and says it has a lot of vegan recipes in it.)


                                    from The Vegetarian Meat
                                    and Potatoes Cookbook

  • 3 T. olive oil

  • 4 shallots, quartered

  • 1 c. vegetable stock

  • 1/2 c. dry Marsala wine (I think P just used a red wine instead)

  • 1 T. tamari or other soy sauce

  • 1 t. minced fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 t. dried

  • 1/2 t. tomato paste

  • 1-1/2 T. cornstarch dissolved in 2 T. water

  • 1 pound store-bought or homemade seitan, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until soft and slightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add the stock, Marsala, tamari, thyme and tomato paste to the skillet and heat almost to a boil. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture and boil, whisking for 1 minute, or until the sauce is thickened. Set aside.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the seitan and season with salt and pepper. Cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, 3 to 5 minutes total. Add the shallots, and sauce and simmer for 6 to 7 minutes. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

(Recipe from The Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes Cookbook posted at The Food

Then Thursday night, N-A coerced me into coming over and letting him cook for me before he headed off to spin records. I don't know if it's just me, but I always get slightly nervous having a non-vegan want to cook for me, not in an assholey-type way, but because oftentimes they don't realize the extent of non-vegan infiltration into common foods that you'd THINK would be vegan. Like bread, for example. I mean, the average person doesn't know to keep an eye out for mono- and diglycerides, you know what I'm saying? So I get nervous that I'll get there and they'll have spent all this time whipping up something that I can't technically eat. So I was biting my nails a bit. But I apparently I should'n'tve worried because although I took some piss-poor pics of the dinner, it was nonetheless delish, and very much vegan. Also: the dishes were from scratch and his own recipes, which made them even MORE bad-ass. The menu: navy bean soup, thick with hearty chunks of veggies; a finger-food side of roasty asparagus and mushrooms; and plump, juicy, garam-masala-ed portabella mushroom sandwiches, all of which we chowed down while listening to records. Exquisite:

Other randomness: I ate some feta cheese on Saturday. By accident of course. I was more than a bit salty about it. Mo and I went to our local sandwich shop to nab sandwiches to eat back at her place. Right as we got there, the sky opened up with a RIDICULOUS amount of rain, and I realized I had left all my windows at home, in particular a skylight window that sits right above my coffee table which was laden with books. So Mo let me blow over there in her car, after getting completely soaked through all the way to my fricking underwear. When I arrived home, the gutter was pouring rain directly into my window and on my stereo-speaker. And the skylight had unleashed its wrath all over everything sitting on my table. Amidst a flurry of cuss-words, I got everything closed up and managed to mop up the water. When Ms. Mo and I returned to her house, we busted out the sandwiches and dug in, at which point, I recognized that the tart accompaniment to my hummus was, in fact, feta cheese that, for reasons unclear to me, had been added to my sandwich. I motherfucked and sonofabitched for a few minutes, and then I decided to just pick it out to the best of my ability. As I've surely complained before on this blog, I hate these situations, because there is no good resolve: Return the sandwich which will be tossed in the garbage anyways to get a non-cheesy one (wasteful!), or keep the sandwich and feel vegan-angst for the next 24-hours at having eaten cheese (non-vegan!). I picked the in-between, which was picking out the cheese as much as possible, feeling guilty nonetheless, but not wasting the sandwich. So yeah. Fucking motherfuck.

Oh, and if someone could tell the ants to STAY OFF MY COUNTER already, I'd be much obliged. They are making me ANGRY.

Thank you and good day.

1 comment:

David Talaga said...

OH MY GOSH!!! I know what you mean about non-vegan people cooking. My sister was making me dinner one night and made some sort of chicken flavored rice.
I said to her that I could not eat that and she was so baffled!!!
She had no clue that I could not eat stuff that did not have real "chunks of meat" in it.
It was worth a great laugh though.