Okay, I've gone off the vegan deep end. I made seitan from scratch today! It's in a few of my cookbooks, but it always seemed overboard to make not only a recipe for the dish (plus the sauce, plus the side dish, plus whatever else), so I've bought a delicious one by Westsoy. Some of my favorite recipes use seitan now (Ethiopian Seitan and Peppers, East Side Tacos, etc), and the stuff is rather expensive ($10 a meal). More importantly, when we went to Real Food Daily and ate their homemade seitan, it was noticeably faaaaar better.
The process of making it made me feel like a real cook. Combine wet into dry, blah blah, but then... you put parchment paper in an 8x8 pan, you lightly oil the paper, put the seitan dough in it, cover that with tin foil, and THEN put that in a 9x12 pan that's filled 1/2 way with water, and bake the whole shebang for two hours! Then, you take it out, and that gooey dough turned in to something that very strongly resembled seitan brownies! Once cooled, it can be cut however you please.
But here's the magic part. I made the Salsbury Seitan, which I made before and wasn't too fond of.The marinade never soaked in with storebought seitan, it just sat on top in a paste (see my comments HERE), so I almost wrote it off as a bunk recipe. After eating it at RFD, though, I knew it wasn't them, it was me. So, I tried it again with the homemade seitan and voila! Super magic! The marinade was entirely absorbed, it was beyond delicious, it was moist, flavorful, non-gritty, and awesome. In fact, we ate hours ago, and the only thing keeping me from going in for more is that I'm in bed and I've flossed already. Also, the golden gravy from the RFD book is an absolute must with this. I could do shots of that stuff.
And, just because I was getting over a cold and had nothing better to do all day, I made baked potatoes too. The only way that I've ever known how to make these is to wrap them in tin foil and bake them (or the micro way which seriously creeps me out now). I looked up how long to leave my tin foil pressies in the oven, and found that other people oil the skin of the potato and salt it and then bake them. There was even a tirade about my treasured tin foil method online! So, I tried the oil/ salt method, and holy Pete! What a different beast! I still think that the tin foil method is great too, but this is good in its own right. They get amazingly fluffy inside, and the skin is crispy and salty goodness. So, I'm sure most of you know this, but this was what I did:
• Scrub baking potatoes
• Puncture them with a fork a few times
• Coat in oil lightly with a brush or your fingers
• Put in a metal baking pan, sprinkle with salt
• Bake for 30 minutes, turn
• Bake for 30 more, enjoy perfection
Anyway, five recipes later, we had a phenomenal dinner, and I cannot recommend the Real Food Daily cookbook more, particularly now that I've made this seitan! And now, I feel like I have to re-make all the seitan dishes that I heretofore thought were awesome just to have my mind blown out of my head from deliciousness overload.