Friday, June 1, 2018

EASY, VERSATILE OAT & OKARA-OR-BEAN-ENHANCED SEITAN CUTLETS

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This is my new favorite seitan recipe.  It's easy to make, has more fiber than most seitan, is tender and flavorful, and is very versatile.  The finished cutlets can be cut into cubes for stews and into strips for stir-fries.  I haven't tried this yet, but I think it would also make great sausages-- in fact, when my friend Tanya tasted this seitan in an Italian roasted stew (p. 172 in my vegan Italian cookbook, "Nonna's Italian Kitchen" ) that I made for a birthday potluck, she thought it was chunks of vegan Italian sausage!


So that will be my next experiment, maybe with the addition of some different or additional  seasonings.  If it turns out well, I'll post about it, for sure.


Enough said-- here's the recipe!

Cutlets ready to cook, or to cut up for stews or stir-fries



Cutlet coated with Seasoned Flour, browned in a little oil and served with vegan gravy and sauteed mushrooms and onion
Printable Copy

BRYANNA'S EASY, VERSATILE OAT & OKARA-OR-BEAN-ENHANCED SEITAN CUTLETS
Servings: 9
Yield: Makes 9/ 4 oz cutlets, or 36 oz. of seitan in total

I usually make 3 times this recipe (makes 27 cutlets-- see below for 3 x the recipe) and freeze them.  They can be used as cutlets for a quick meal, or they can be cut into chunks for stews, or into slices for stir-fries and sautéed dishes, etc.

Dry Mix:
1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup quick oats
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic granules or powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme or sage (or a mixture)
Wet Mix:
1 3/4 cups water
1 Tbs vegan broth powder (use a tasty one)
2 Tbs soy sauce or tamari
1 Tbs olive oil
1 cup fresh (or thawed frozen) okara (pulp from making soymilk or tofu) OR mashed cooked or canned (rinsed and well-drained) white beans
NOTE: you could use other types of beans, if you wish.
Cooking Broth:
2 1/4 cups water
4 tsp mushroom powder
NOTE: I grind dry, stemmed Chinese black mushrooms or shiitake mushrooms in a dry blender to make the powder.
4  tsp tasty vegan broth powder
4 tsp soy sauce or tamari
4 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbs ketchup (can be an organic brand)
1 Tbs olive oil or dark sesame oil (or a mixture)
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 Tbs dried sage
1/4 to 1/3 tsp paprika

Mix the Dry Mix ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.

Mix the Wet Mix ingredients together in a pitcher.  Pour into the Dry Mix and combine with a spoon.  Knead for a few minutes, until a cohesive dough results.  Cover and let it rest for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, mix your Broth ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Turn the heat off and cover.
Remove the dough from the bowl and flatten it out into a more-or-less even rectangle.  Cut with a bench knife/dough scraper or a knife into 9 fairly even chunks.  

It's preferable to weigh the chunks, so, if you have a kitchen scale use that to make 4 oz. chunks.  If there is any dough left over after weighing, divide it evenly between the chunks and knead it in.



To form the cutlets, pat out each chunk on a silicone mat or clean counter (dampen your hands with water) until you have a fairly thin rectangle. Fold it in half one way and in half the other way.  Pat it again to make a cutlet about 1/4" thick.  It doesn't have to be an even shape, but even thickness is preferable.

On the left is the cutlet before folding; on the right is after folding and patting out again.
Simmered cutlets

Bring the Broth to a boil and slip the cutlets into the Broth one at a time.  It's okay if they overlap a bit and if you have more than one layer.  Turn the heat down to Low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat, uncover and let it cool for a bit.

Carefully remove from the pot-- you may have to use a small spatula or table knife to gently pry some of them apart.  

Finished cutlets
Store in single layers between sheets of baking parchment in a large, flat freezer container with a tight lid.

These will keep for about a week in the refrigerator, or for several months in the freezer.

To cook and serve the cutlets:

You can coat the fresh or thawed-out cutlets in Seasoned Flour (see below for recipe) and sauté in a little oil in a heavy frying pan until golden and crunchy on both sides, OR coat with Seasoned Flour, then dip in soy or hemp milk that has been tcurdled to thicken by adding a bit of lemon juice (so that it's like buttermilk), then coated with whole grain dried breadcrumbs, such as whole wheat panko breadcrumbs.  Shallow-fry in a frying pan until golden and crunchy, or air-fry.  Serve either way with a sauce of your liking, or plain with your favorite accompaniment.

The cutlets can also be cut into chunks and sautéed briefly to use in a stew.  They can also be cut into slices for stir-fries, or into thinner pieces (cut horizontally) for scallopine, sautéed and cooked in a sauce.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per cutlet): 158 calories, 21 calories from fat, 2.5g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 366.9mg sodium, 261.3mg potassium, 15.1g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 1g sugar, 20.5g protein, 4.2 points.


ADDITIONAL INFO:

FOR 3 TIMES THE RECIPE (108 OZ. OR 27/ 4 OZ CUTLETS):


Dry Mix:
4 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
1 1/2 cups quick oats
3/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 Tbs. onion powder
1 Tbs. garlic granules or powder
1/2 Tbs. dried thyme or sage (or a mixture)
Wet Mix:
5 1/4 cups water
3 Tbs. vegan broth powder (use a tasty one)
6 Tbsp. soy sauce or tamari
3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cups fresh (or thawed frozen) okara (pulp from making soymilk or tofu) OR mashed cooked or canned (rinsed and well-drained) white beans
NOTE: you could use other types of beans, if you wish.
Cooking Broth:
7 cups water
1/4 cup mushroom powder
NOTE: I grind dry, stemmed Chinese black mushrooms or shiitake mushrooms in a dry blender to make the powder.
1/4 cup tasty vegan broth powder
1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
1/4 cup minced garlic
3 Tbsp. ketchup (can be an organic brand)
3 Tbsp. olive oil or dark sesame oil (or a mixture)
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1/2 Tbsp. dried sage
3/4-1 tsp. paprika

Proceed as directed in main recipe (use a large bowl), making 27/ 4 oz. cutlets. Cook in 2 large pots, each with a metal rack at the bottom of the pot.

SEASONED FLOUR FOR DREDGING CUTLETS IF THEY ARE PLAIN, UN-COATED:
(This mixture is also useful for coating tofu, tempeh and seitan before pan-frying or broiling.)

2 cups whole wheat flour 
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
OPTIONAL: 
1 tsp garlic granules or powder
1 tsp paprika or smoked paprika

 Mix well and store in a tightly-covered container in your pantry.

Enjoy!


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