seitan is my motor

Tuesday

21

October 2014

1

COMMENTS

Fragrant Apricot Chutney Two Ways

apricot chutney | www.seitanismymotor.com

I never was a sweet and savoury or sweet and spicy person. Refusing to eat food which had both sweet and savoury components was my life task. I remember that a friend once wanted to try out a new recipe and she told me about making a sauce from cream and figs and eating that over pasta. I was pretty sure I would hate it. But she is one of my best friends and I didn’t want to be unpolite. So I objected only a tiny bit and told her I would try it. She was very exited about her dish, I couldn’t eat it.

I thought I would never change my mind about this. But I live with a person who loves everything sweet and sour, sweet and savoury, sweet and spicy. He hoards sweet and sour sauces and spicy, sweet chutneys. This summer, when apricots were in season I bought a huge box of this wonderful fruit and instead of putting all of the apricots into a cake I decided to make a chutney for P. And the most amazing thing is that we both loved it. Without even realising it, my taste has changed a tiny bit. No, I still do not love everything sweet and savoury, but I definitely do love chutney.

dried apricot chutney | www.seitanismymotor.com

I originally made this recipe for the vegan month of food, but since September was such a busy month I never mananged to publish it. The first version was made with fresh apricots but since they are clearly not in season anymore I made a second version with dried apricots. Both chutneys are quite different though. The fresh apricots blend with the spices, they provide structure and a fruity base, but they are clearly not as prominent as the dried ones with take the lead when it comes to taste. I don’t know which one I like better, I think that the one with the fresh fruit is a bit lighter and a bit more sour. It’s definitely a summer chutney, if there is such a thing. The one made with dried apricots is great for autumn as the apricots here add a very comforting and warm facet. And doesn’t it have a perfect autumn colour?

Recipe

Fresh Apricot Chutney
3 black cardamom pods
15 black peppercorns
3 cloves
3 dried allspice berries
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 dried red chili
500 g (17.6 oz) fresh apricots, quartered
3 cherry tomatoes, quartered
150 g (3/4 cup) sugar
60 ml (1/4 cup) water
2 tablespoons white wine or apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, diced
1 teaspoon salt

Add all whole, dried spices to a medium sized pot and toast until they start to brown. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat and cover uncovered for about 20 more minutes, until thickened. Transfer to sterilised jars. Let cool completely and store in the fridge.

Dried Apricot Chutney

3 black cardamom pods
15 black peppercorns
3 cloves
3 dried allspice berries
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 dried red chili
200 g (7 oz) dried unsulfured apricots, quartered
3 cherry tomatoes, quartered
125 g (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) sugar
120 ml (1/2 cup) white wine or apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, diced
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon hot madras curry powder
1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Add all whole, dried spices to a medium sized pot and toast until they start to brown.
Add remaining ingredients and add salt to taste. Bring to a boil and cook covered for 10 minutes. Remove lid and cook for 5 to 10 more minutes, or until thickened.Transfer to sterilised jars. Let cool completely and store in the fridge.

apricot chutney | www.seitanismymotor.com

Wednesday

15

October 2014

8

COMMENTS

Vegan Wednesday with Sweet Potato Soup and Pumpkin Seed Sausages

fried plantais | www.seitanismymotor.com

It’s been a while since I participated in the Vegan Wednesday roundup. I never manage to take a picture of all the food I eat in one day, but since that’s not mandatory I thought that this time I’d just write about some recipes that we have recently made.

Some time ago we bought some green plantains. It was an impulse buy and those are bad because I usually have a hard time figuring out what to do with the products I buy this way. This time the plantains had already been lying around for some time, they had changed their colour and were sweet and soft. I finally decided to use them. I knew that two of my cookbooks contained plantain recipes and I decided to go with the easiest one. I found a description for fried plantains in the book Caribbean Vegan by Taymer Mason. That recipe has only two ingredients: plantains and oil. The plantains are simply deep fried in a pan, that’s it. Taymer includes some tips about pairing plantains and explains that the sweet ones go very well with spicy dishes. Since we didn’t plan on anything spicy I just sprinkled some chipotle powder right on top of the bananas after they were done. I am not a great fan of combining sweet and hot stuff but these were good! Sweet plantains are not that different from regular bananas and you could actually use those for frying. Just make sure that they are still a bit firm.

sweet potoat soup | www.seitanismymotor.com

I do use Pinterest from time to time, mostly to collect food photography I like or recipes I want to try out one day. Last week I saved a recipe for this sweet potato soup. It’s a vegetarian recipe that calls for heavy cream which I substituted with oat cream. The ingredient list was a bit unclear as it had no weight or cup measurements for the vegetables. It called for four large sweet potatoes. I realised only after I tried to make this recipe how much these vegetables can vary in size! I had bought three and they weighed 1.3 kg! I used all of them anyway since I had already peeled them. My soup came out much thicker than the original recipe and its colour was brighter, too.  (The soup has a pastel colour in the original version and the directions mention to thicken the soup with cream. I had to thin it with cream and water.) I probably should have doubled the amount of cream or halved the amount of sweet potatoes to get the look of the soup in the original picture. But it all doesn’t matter much since the soup was very delicious! It’s a simple and easy recipe that can tolerate all kinds of variations: we used a red pepper instead of the carrots and added a teaspoon of Hungarian paprika. The pumpkin seeds on top were fried in oil and I sprinkled the bowls with a generous amount of chipotle.

seitan sausage with pumpkin seeds | www.seitanismymotor.com

My daughter is a huge fan of snack sausages made of seitan. There’s one made with pumpkin seeds that she asks for every time we shop at the health food store. And I cannot blame her, I really like that one, too! But of course those little sausages are quite expensive. Recently F has discoverd that she likes to help me cooking and sometimes runs into the kitchen declaring “I want to cook something!” Yesterday evening I suggested we could make our own pumpkin sausages and F loved the idea since it would include stirring the ingredients and kneading the dough. I admit that I simply copied the ingredient list for the pumpkin sausages that I had found online. The sausage doesn’t taste exactly like the original version but it was a really great activity we did together. I can already imagine the weird looks she’ll get from people whenever she tells them she makes her own sausage.

Recipe

Pumpkin Seed Seitan Sausage (makes 4 sausages)

50 g (1/3 cup heaped) toasted pumpkin seeds
140 g (1 cup) vital wheat gluten
1 teaspoon granulated onion or onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
3 tablespoons melted refined coconut oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon liquid smoke
180 ml (3/4 cup) cold water
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 teaspoon salt to taste

Method:
Grind the toasted pumpkin seeds and mix with gluten powder, nutritional yeast, onion powder, paprika, and black pepper.
Combine coconut oil, soy sauce, water, liquid smoke, and garlic and mix with dry ingredients. Add salt to taste. ) Knead really well.

Have ready a large pot with a steamer basket and water. Bring the water to a boil while covering the pot with a lid.
Have four sheets of aluminium foil ready (letter size) and divide the dough between the foil pieces. Form the dough into a log and wrap in foil. Place in the pot with boiling water and steam for 45 minutes. Remove and let cool completely then transfer to the fridge and let rest over night. Serve fried or eat as a snack.

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