Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Hezbollah Tofu: Seitan Gascon, Steak Frites, Green Beans

Dinner 4/8

Seitan Gascon

Steak Frites (Sunday) / Green Beans (Tuesday)

We made two versions of Onglet Gascon for Hezbollah Tofu (in the Les Halles Cookbook, p. 127) -- and we actually went out and purchased a meat mallet to help pound out the seitan, which worked frighteningly well... who knew? ;)

The seitan recipe is the same as before, with a few modifications -- we only boiled it for 15 minutes and pressure cooked it for 15 minutes, due to the fact that we were able to pound the seitan out thin enough with the aforementioned meat mallet. A word of caution however -- make sure you have nothing of value nearby when you begin to pound on the seitan as liquid will spray everywhere. Better than animal blood, though!

I should point out that it does work better with plastic wrap on top or in a zip-lock gallon or freezer bag with the thick plastic -- the description above was going more for humor than actual cooking instruction ;)

If you grill it, pat the seitan dry, brush a little tamari on top -- it'll take about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes per 90° turn for the nice grill marks. For pan frying, add enough soy margarine to coat the bottom of the pan, and don't crowd the seitan pieces together as they'll just steam and not get the sear you're looking for.

But the key to this dish is the sauce.

Mustard Sauce

2 oz. white wine
1/2 cup veg stock
2 tbs. Dijon Mustard
1 tbs. soy margarine

If you've pan-fried the seitan, remove it and add the wine, scrape down the fond and reduce by half. If you've grilled the seitan (as we have here), in a small sauce pan, add the wine and reduce by half. Then add the dark veg stock and reduce by half again. Whisk in the soy margarine (monte au beurre). Off heat, whisk in the mustard and adjust the seasonings. Slather on top of the seitan and serve with the Steak Frites as we did on Sunday.

The steak frites recipe is actually vegan, so there isn't any adjustments to make here.

Steak Frites

4 Idaho potatoes
2 quarts peanut oil for deep-frying

Once you have your potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2" thick frites (a french fry cutter works wonders here), drop them in cold water for at least 30 minutes. Rinse them well to get rid of the excess starch.

In a wok or large pot (with a thermometer) heat the peanut oil to 280F. It may seem like a great deal of oil, but the reason there's so much oil is because the temperature stays stable when you add the potatoes -- it doesn't drop 100° and take forever to get back to where it needs to be. Fry the potatoes for 6-8 minutes until they are soft and have turned opaque. Remove with a skimmer or spider and let rest for 15 minutes on a sheet pan.

Crank the oil up to 375F and drop in the fries for 2-3 minutes. Remove and drop into a large bowl that been lined with a (paper) towel. Add salt to taste, take the towel out and toss. Serve hot.

The green beans are trimmed and blanched in salted water for four minutes. Drain, and drop into a bowl of ice water to keep the color. Wipe out the pan, turn the heat to medium-low and add a little soy margarine. Put the green beans in along with salt and pepper to taste. Heat through to coat and serve...

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