I have a lot of cookbooks. I always get inspired when I get a new one, make a recipe or two and then it sits on the bookshelf with the others. I want to try to use them more and make a new recipe each week. I get in a rut making the same things. Hopefully this will help me break out and try new things.
“Fake Meat” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
My sweetie got me Isa’s new book, Fake Meat, for Valentine’s Day. I bookmarked several recipes I want to try only to find I was missing a few ingredients. I really wanted to try her pull-apart chick’n seitan recipe. It is used in several other recipes and looks incredible. I had vital wheat gluten but didn’t have pea protein. I know pea protein is used in many commercial faux meats, so I was excited to try it. I ordered some pea protein from Anthony’s. It arrived yesterday and I set aside some time to try the recipe out. I had cheese cloth but no twine. I ended up cutting more cheese cloth for ties and have some twine on order.
Isa has this recipe on her blog, if you don’t have the book yet. However, I’d recommend getting it. Isa never disappoints.
Read the Recipe First
It’s not hard, but it can be a bit complicated particularly if you haven’t made seitan before. The simmering is the thing that always used to trip me up. If you cook seitan under too high of heat, it can get rubbery if it boils. Her blog post and the book go into great detail about how to get it right by doing a very low simmer. That helped and it turned out great.
Things I Did Differently
- I didn’t change the ingredients at all.
- I did use Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base as the broth. That worked out very well.
- I did not use a food processor to mix the seitan. I have tried this in the past and my food processor overheats. She mentions taking breaks as this is common.
- Instead I mixed all of the ingredients except the wheat gluten in a blender. I then mixed the blended ingredients with the wheat gluten in my stand mixer using a dough hook. I have an Ankarsrum mixer, but this should also work well in a KitchenAid as it’s not a stiff dough. Other people in the blog comments mentioned doing something similar. It works very well.
So, how was it?
It’s really good. Even on its own, it is tasty. It’s tender, with a nice mouth feel and chew. It tastes similar to chicken and will be a great start for other recipes. I took Isa’s suggestion and pan seared it with a little olive oil to add to our grain bowls for dinner. My sweetie kept sneaking pieces to snack on.
I may have wrapped it too tightly in the cheesecloth as it came out like little fat sausages, but it shredded beautifully. I grew up eating a lot of chicken, often shredded for Mexican dishes like enchiladas, tostadas, tacos, etc. Shredding this chick’n felt familiar.
This seitan will become a staple in our house, I’m sure. Thankfully she uses it in several recipes so I can keep my goal to keep trying new recipes.