Monday, September 19, 2011


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Seitan Steak au Poivre

This is a French steak dinner for vegans! It's a simple but elegant menu from my new book "World Vegan Feast" and, though it was meant for a "Father's Day" menu, it makes a marvelous special occasion menu any time of the year, especially with a bottle of vegan red wine!.

Vegan “Steak Dinner” Menu:
Seitan Steak au Poivre
Oven-Fried "Patate Frite"
Green Salad with a simple vinaigrette
Chocolate-Hazelnut Praline Lava Cakes (with your favorite non-dairy vanilla ice cream)

The main dish, a French pepper steak, utilizes my homemade seitan steak recipe, which is also provided in the book. (You can make a batch of 16 and freeze the remaining steaks for future meals.) I've worked and re-worked my seitan recipes over the years to improve upon taste and texture, and this is one of our favorite "beefy" seitan recipes. It's easy to make and versatile, as it can be used for not only steaks, but roasts, stews and kebabs.

The "steaks" before cooking

The "steaks" after cooking, ready to use in a recipe or to freeze for future use.

The "steaks" coated with the pepper mixture before browning.

This dish is a successful vegan version of a French classic. It’s quick to make and quite impressive. I serve it with a simple green salad and the traditional “patate frite”, but I oven-fry the potatoes (directions in the book). In the interests of keeping fat even further to a minimum, I tried the wine glaze without the Earth Balance, but it just didn’t have the glossiness and richness that’s needed. It’s worth it for a treat now and then! However, I did use far less than the butter called for in classic recipes. (The seitan steaks are low in fat to begin with.)

After such a delicious main course, one must serve an elegant and equally impressive dessert. Chocolate-Hazelnut Praline Lava Cakes are incredibly decadent and moist individual chocolate cakes.  They have a soft center of melted hazelnut praline filling that erupts from the cakes when you dig into them. Originally, “lava cakes” were French egg-based, flourless cakes that formed a molten center when the cakes were deliberately under-baked. More often than not, these days (due to concerns about under-cooked eggs) a rich cake batter containing flour is used and a frozen chocolate mixture is placed between layers of batter before baking. This is the type that I started with to make my original all-chocolate vegan version. My batter has very little fat in it, yet it is rich, moist, tender, and dark. The hazelnut praline filling contrasts perfectly with the dark chocolate cake, and the result seems rich enough that half a cake is plenty for one serving, especially when served with a scoop of your favorite vegan vanilla ice cream on top of or alongside.

Bon Appétit!


Tami said...

The poivre is the only recipe I've gotten to try so far from your book. It was incredible... and we had it for Jim's birthday. I'm looking forward to really digging into your book.

Babette said...

Hello Bryanna,

Those recipes look very good and I can't wait to try them.

I used your low-fat pie dough for a pumpkin pie a few days ago and I can't believe how good it is, without any shortening and margarine.

I also made the poor-man's pudding (I'm from Québec!) on page 189 and it blew my mind ago.. so good, and even better than the original recipe I ate when I was little... but in part 2 of the directions, you say to add oil, but there's no oil in the ingredient list... how much oil are we supposed to add, if any?

I added a tablespoon or two, just in case.

Is there a place for typos, a place where we can find them all?

Anonymous said...

HI Bryanna:

I just bought some fermented bean curd to use in your almost blue cheese salad dressing. However, the recipe says to use 12 small cubes of the bean curd. Mine didn't come in small cubes. It is in the bottle in big rectangular chunks that are about 1 inch by 1 inch by 3 inches. How much should I use? I took a teensy piece out for a nibble and it certainly is pungent, in a nice bleu cheesy sort of pungency. Can you tell me by weight or by volume how much to use?


Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Hi, Joanne! I would use 1 of those big chunks for every 3 or 4 of my smaller ones. So try it with 3 chunks and then taste to see if you need more. When I get another jar I will weigh it-- should have done that in the first place!

Babette said...

Hi Bryanna,

I don't mean to be annoying, but I wonder if you've seen the question I asked you in this post's comments.


Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Babette-- I'm so sorry! I have had it on my mind to check back with my notes to see where that mistake happened and I'm glad you reminded me! I WILL get back to you, I promise!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Babette-- it was evidently a typo that we all missed! There is no oil in the cake batter. I must have transcribed the instructions from my basic pudding cake recipe and missed the oil in it. Sorry about that, but thanks for pointing it out, as I will be posting an Errata page eventually.

Lucille said...

Hello Bryanna! I'm so happy to have discovered you. I am just perusing through your amazing book on World Vegan Feast. I have been a vegan for only a little over two months. On page 28, you give out a link for nutritional analysis data. The link does not work. I am always interested to know the sodium content of a recipe because I have high blood pressure. The other alternative you give is to look for the tab on "World Vegan Feast Recipe Nutritional Analysis". I can't find that either. Where is this located on your website. I need to know the nutritional analysis of the seitan steaks.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Lucille, I'm ashamed that it's taking me so long to get all the analyses done! I will email you!

Chase Copridge said...

So how does the texture compare to actual steak, or redmeat.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Case, it's juicy, chewy and very tasty, but, of course, not like rare.

Chase Copridge said...

Does the addition of TVP give you a texture that shreads like meet I have often heard that you you add TVP to the mixture you get a nice meat texture than can slice and shread like the real thing

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

I don't add TVP unless I want a more crumbly texture. Machine kneading helps build texture and makes a seitan that slices thinly and you can shred it wit a fork. I do add tofu and chickpea flour to my seitan roasts.