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February 6th, 2010:

Bonus Non-Cookbook Recipe: Seitan Chili

seitan chili

ChiliCooked2I thought I’d celebrate the halfway point by offering up an original recipe. We’ll be back to blogitude in a few days.

Seitan is a meat substitute made from vital wheat gluten. (Sorry, decidedly not gluten-free.) The first recipe I ever saw for it was old-school, having you basically make up a flour and water mixture and then rinse and work SeitanChunksout the gluten from the non-gluten part of the slurry. It took up the better part of a day for Scott and was not quite stellar enough to justify the amount of labor spent. But it’s easy to make your own seitan from vital wheat gluten, which you can find in the baking aisle among the various flours; Bob’s Red Mill makes a good version, so if you can’t find it locally you can order it online. SeitanSauteI’ve adapted this recipe from one found in the book Vegan Vittles (which I don’t have a copy of now, so it’s not part of the blog).

Seitan chili
seitan
1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup Red Star nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
AddingGarlicToSaute1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1 cup water
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil

chili
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
AddingPeppers22 medium bell peppers, diced
32-ounce can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
16-ounce can of diced tomatoes, with the juice
32-ounce can of whole tomatoes (if you like, remove the tomatoes and cut into quarters, then return to juice)
1 cup tomato juice
2 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
AddingSeitan1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp Tabasco, or to taste
2-3 drops of liquid smoke
salt and pepper to taste

To make the seitan: Place the vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast flakes, garlic powder, paprika, coriander, chili powder and poultry seasoning in a bowl and stir to blend. Combine the AddingTomatowater and the soy sauce; pour into the vital wheat gluten mixture. Mix well, until you have a large, firm spongy mass in the bowl. Knead the gluten directly in the mixing bowl for about a minute.

Transfer the gluten mass to a cutting board and press out into a broad, flat rectangle (more or less). Use a serrated knife to cut ChiliToCookinto bite-sized cubes. Leave them on the cutting board for now; do not put them back into the bowl before browning, as they will stick together rather firmly. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy pot and brown the seitan cubes, turning to ensure a rich, even color on all sides. Transfer the browned cubes to a bowl.

Add 2 more tablespoons of olive ChiliCookedoil to the pot and saute the onions until they are softened, about 7-10 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeno pepper, and saute 4-5 minutes more. Add the bell pepper and saute for 3-4 minutes more. Add the seitan cubes back to the pot, along with all the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer about 1 1/2 hours, tasting periodically and adjusting the seasoning as necessary.

Enjoy!