I read a piece in the Foods section of the newspaper about seitan or “wheat meat” and decided to try it. So I hitched up the mules to the buckboard and made the trek to a town big enough to have a grocery that carrys it. Bought some. Cost about 4 bucks for a few ounces, but Charlie and I only eat meat as a condiment, for the most part, so this meat substitute did us for three meals.
It was pretty darn good, so I went online and found a recipe for making it myself.
Did NOT work. Here is the recipe I got, because I think the fault was mine. I’m not crediting the recipe, in case the fault was NOT mine.
- 2 cups high-gluten flour
- 1 1/4 cups broth or water
- 3 tsp oil
- herbs, spices, seasoning
Mix dry ingredients, then liquids. Knead about 15 times, let rest 5 minutes, knead a little more, let rest 15 minutes. Cut into 6 pieces, form into cutlets. Put into hot broth, cover, simmer for 30-60 minutes. Use, refrigerate or freeze.
Okay, I used bread flour, because it’s higher in gluten than regular flour, but maybe not high enough. I used water, corn oil, onion powder, dried sage, dried celery leaves and salt.
The proportions of liquid to dry made a goop that could in no way be kneaded, so I added maybe 1/2 cup more flour, little by little until it was kneadable. Did all the rest as instructed. Cutlets looked like cutlets.
I put the broth into a pot, cubed one of the cutlets, added some cut up mushrooms, carrots, celery and a can of butterbeans and simmered that for another 45 minutes or so.
The cutlet cubes were like chunks of chewy dumplings–not at all like the seitan I bought at the store. Lucky for us, we like chewy dumplings, so I froze the rest of the cutlets to use the next time we want to eat something almost totally indigestible.
So now I’m going to plunk down some do-re-mi and buy a seitan cookbook that promises to tell me how to make it.
I’ll let you know how that turns out.
writing prompt: What kind of dumplings does your main character like? The fluffy round kind or the noodly kind or some other kind? Does this say something about him/her?