Saturday, April 12, 2008

Seitan a la Ficelle

Dinner 4/12

Seitan a la Ficelle
(recipe below)

A recipe for Hezbollah Tofu from the Les Halles cookbook by Tony Bourdain.

This dish starts with the veggies -- leeks, carrots and turnips shown here with a bouquet garni (bay, parsley, thyme). In the original recipe, they're cooked along with the meat, but here we skipped that step, and braised them with water, salt and pepper, soy margarine along with some veg stock.

Seitan a la Ficelle (p. 122 of the Les Halles cookbook)

8 oz. seitan, cut into long slices
canola oil

8 baby carrots, peeled
8 baby turnips, peeled
2 leeks, white part only
1/2 onion studded with 4 cloves
bouquet garni
salt and pepper
1 tbs. soy margarine
1 cup veg stock

sea salt (fleur de sel)
1/2 cup Cornichons
Dijon mustard

Bechamel Sauce with Horseradish (below)

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Put all of the vegetable in a large pan that will fit in your oven. Add the veg stock and enough water to come up halfway on the leeks. Add the bouquet garni and soy margarine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Over high heat, bring the water to a boil, place the lid on the pot slightly ajar, and cook for about 20 minutes until the liquid has almost evaporated. Take the lid off, and place in the oven while you make the seitan.

As always, you can make your own seitan for this, but in this instance, we used the packaged type and sliced thinly in long strips. It was quickly stir-fried in a wok with canola oil.

On the plate, place the seitan in the center and position the vegetables around it. Pour some of the leftover broth from the pan around the seitan and veggies. Serve with sea salt, cornichons, mustard.

Bechamel Sauce with Horseradish (p. 254 of the Les Halles cookbook)

The bechamel sauce with horseradish is straight ahead, just whisk in as much horseradish as you like into the bechamel along with the salt, white pepper and nutmeg. We used about 2 tbs. for the 2 cups of sauce. For serving, we loaded the sauce into a squeeze bottle and let everyone decorate as they liked.

1 1/2 oz. of soy margarine
1 1/2 oz. of flour
2 cups of soy milk (rice milk, better than milk, etc)
salt and white pepper
pinch of nutmeg
2 tbs. freshly grated Horseradish root

Melt the soy margarine over medium heat. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to combine with the soy margarine. Reduce the heat and cook for a few minutes, but don't allow the flour-soy margarine mixture to take on any color. Slowly add the soy milk to the roux with a whisk and mix until smooth. Season with the salt and white pepper and add the nutmeg and the horseradish. Heat on low until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

(we're of the school of hot roux/cold liquid or cold roux/hot liquid. Chef Bourdain is apparently from the hot liquid/hot roux school. YMMV)

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