Seitan stars in another vegetarian version of a classic and much-loved European stew, this time from France. Though traditionally served with toasted crusty bread, it’s delectable served over linguine or fettuccine pasta, mashed potatoes, or polenta.
20 oz (565 g) seitan, cut into 2 x 1 in (5 x 2.5 cm) pieces
2 Tbsp (30 mL) whole wheat pastry flour
3 Tbsp (45 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 medium onions, coarsely diced
2 cups (500 mL) low-sodium vegetarian broth
3/4 cup (180 mL) dry white wine (can be nonalcoholic) or white vermouth
1 Tbsp (15 mL) salt-free tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried thyme
12 oz (340 g) button or crimini mushrooms
1/4 cup (60 mL) pitted kalamata olives, drained and cut in half lengthwise
1 Tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In shallow bowl, toss seitan pieces in flour to coat.
Heat 2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil in large, heavy pot over high heat and add seitan. Stir-fry seitan until golden all over. Remove from pot.
Add onions to remaining oil in pot. Stir-fry over medium-high heat until onions begin to soften, about 5 or 6 minutes, adding sprinkles of water to keep onions from sticking or burning. Add broth, wine, tomato paste, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme. Return seitan to pot. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
In large, heavy skillet heat remaining 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil over high heat. Add mushrooms, sprinkle lightly with salt. Stir-fry until they start to exude their liquid. Immediately add to pot with stew.
Add olives and parsley to stew and taste for salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Each serving contains: 380 calories; 22 g protein; 10 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 trans fat); 50 g carbohydrates; 8 g fibre; 450 mg sodium
source: "Seitan", alive #358, September 2012
Tourtière is, for me, the dish that best represents Québec. It can be traced back to the 1600s, and there’s no master recipe; every family has their own twist. Originally, it was made with game birds or game meat, like rabbit, pheasant, or moose; that’s one of the reasons why I prefer it with venison instead of beef or pork. Variation: If you prefer to make single servings, follow our lead at the restaurant, where we make individual tourtières in the form of a dome (pithivier) and fill them with 5 ounces (160 g) of the ground venison mixture. Variation: You can also use a food processor to make the dough. Place the flour, salt, and butter in the food processor and pulse about ten times, until the butter is incorporated—don’t overmix. It should look like wet sand, and a few little pieces of butter here and there is okay. With the motor running, through the feed tube, slowly add ice water until the dough forms a ball—again don’t overmix. Wrap, chill, and roll out as directed above.
My love of artichokes continues with this classic recipe, one of the best ways to eat this interesting, underrated, and strange vegetable. Frozen artichoke hearts are a time-saving substitute, though the flavour and texture of fresh artichokes are, by far, much superior and definitely preferred.
Cervelle de canut is basically the Boursin of France, an herbed fresh farmer’s cheese spread that’s a speciality of Lyon. The name is kind of weird, as it literally means “silk worker’s brain,” named after nineteenth-century Lyonnaise silk workers, who were called canuts. Sadly, the name reflects the low opinion of the people towards these workers. Happily for us, though, it’s delicious—creamy, fragrant, and fresh at the same time. Cervelle de canut is one of my family’s favourite dishes. It’s a great make-ahead appetizer that you can pop out of the fridge once your guests arrive. Use a full-fat cream cheese for the dish, or it will be too runny and less delicious.