Oct 30, 2011

Day 21/180: Get thee behind me ...

I had a Twilight Zone moment in the local grocery store. I was in the baking aisle, hoping that they would have a product that I wanted to try. They did. There weren't any price tags on the bag, so I looked at the shelf tag. I winced, and then I did a double-take and burst out laughing. The wince was for the price. The local market jacks the prices way up and this stuff was about twice as much as I thought it would be.

The double-take and laughter was for the label attached to the shelf tag which read in large friendly letters "GLUTEN-FREE".

I was buying wheat gluten.

I pointed this out to the folks at the store and they hurriedly corrected it. I bought the bag and brought it home to try to make seitan. (See! That's what makes the title of the post a joke, Tom said devilishly.) It worked too, although based on the first batch I'm going to have to do some tweaking to get it closer to what I want.

Essentially, you take a cup of gluten and put it in a bowl, add dry spices, add a cup of water, mix it until it all blends together, put it on the counter and knead it for a while, then slice it, flatten the pieces, and boil it in broth or stock for about an hour. Easy-peasy.

Take it out and let it drain for a bit. If you are eating it alone, It will be enough for at least three meals. Last night I dredged two pieces in breadcrumbs, fried it like a steak with onions. A baked potato rounded out the meal.

Next time, I think I'll hold back on the water and add some Hoisin in place of it. I'm also thinking about using some good chili powder right in the stuff.

In order to be frugal about it, it would be a good idea to have some vegetables or dhal ready for the broth so that after the seitan comes out, you can start a soup with the broth that you cooked it in.

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