November 8, 2010

something for everyone

As a vegetarian who lives with a "pescetarian", for many years we didn't cook fish in our house, rather saved seafood for going out. A hankering to expand our at-home repertoire & experiment with new recipes, while having more control over the quality & source of our food choices recently made us reconsider that approach, & this past weekend we found ourselves at our local fresh fish shop where my husband bought a swordfish steak to take home for his dinner that evening. We collaborated on the sauce, a version of our favorite garlic, ginger & toasted sesame marinade. I made myself a separate little vegetarian feast, a hearty & satisfying adaptation of a classic French stew, & much to our cats' delight, a small piece of the freshly broiled fish found its way into their bowls. The whole house was singing with the merry sounds of full bellies & happy tastebuds that evening!

carbonnade de seitan

2 cups seitan, cut into bite-sized cubes
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp flour
1 cup vegetable stock
1 large yellow onion, sliced thinly
4 large garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup mushrooms, sliced  I used shiitakes
1 bottle of dark beer
pinch sugar
1 tsp vinegar
1 bay leaf
fresh thyme
fresh ground black pepper
chopped fresh parsley
papardelle pasta

optional, though not traditional, but hey, you're making it with seitan anyhow: thinly sliced red pepper; add after you've browned the onion

In heavy dutch oven, brown the seitan cubes in olive oil so that some sticks to the bottom of the pan. When all the seitan is browned, remove & set aside. Lightly brown the sliced mushrooms, then set aside with the seitan. Melt the butter in the same pan & deglaze. Stir in flour and lightly brown. Add onions and sauté until soft and lightly browned. Add vegetable stock & beer. Stir constantly over low heat until well blended and mixture begins to boil. Add sugar, vinegar, bay leaf, & garlic. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, then add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the parsley. Return the seitan & mushrooms to the pan. Stir, cover and place in oven at 325ºF for about 1/2 hour. Serve over papardelle pasta.
Serves 2.

maple sesame glaze

4 shallots, sliced thinly
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
1/8 cup tamari
1/8 cup rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
4 large garlic cloves, crushed
4 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp fresh lime juice
1Tbsp miso
fresh cilantro leaves

in a bowl, combine the tamari & rice wine vinegar.

toast the sesame seeds over medium-high heat until they are fragrant & a light, golden brown. Set a couple of teaspoons of the sesame seeds aside for sprinkling.

while they are still hot, add the sesame seeds to the tamari & rice wine vinegar mixture & whisk together well; the mixture will sizzle & pop, so be ready!

add the fresh ginger, crushed garlic cloves & mix well. Mix in the maple syrup, toasted sesame oil, lime juice & miso. Set aside for at least one hour so the flavors can mingle.

melt the butter in a small pan with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots & cook, stirring frequently, until they are soft & translucent. Add the tamari, maple syrup & rice wine vinegar mixture & lower the heat to medium-low & gently cook until mixture bubbles & thickens slightly. Pour over freshly broiled swordfish or tofu steaks & broil for one more minute, watching carefully so it doesn't burn or over-cook. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds & fresh cilantro leaves & serve immediately.

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