Monday, September 07, 2015

Almond "Feta"

This was a massive pantry day! We made three loaves of seitan--Italian, Berbere, and Cajun--and froze most of them. And I also made almond "feta", which is now happily brining in the fridge.

The recipe comes from Miyoko Schinner's The Homemade Vegan Pantry, which is turning out to be an extremely useful resource. Here's the process:

Step 1

2 cups blanched almonds
1 cup liquid from sauerkraut
a bit of salt

I soaked the almonds for a few hours in water, then drained them and processed in the blender with the liquid and salt. I poured the remaining mixture into a container and put it on the counter to culture. With the warm weather we had, it cultured the following day! (how do you know? you taste it to figure if it's tangy.)

Step 2

2/3 cup water
2 tbsp agar powder

I simmered these together on low heat until the agar dissolved and solidified. Then, I turned off the heat, added the almond mixture, and whisked. I then poured the mixture into a container lined with cheesecloth and placed it in the fridge for a few hours.

Step 3


The cheese is ready and solid! I cut it into four pieces and placed them in a different container, pouring salt water on top. I'm told it will be wonderful and improve as time goes by.

Oh, and just for fun - here's what we had for dinner: fresh sourdough with hummus and mature ful, green ful lightly steamed with lemon juice and za'atar, caprese with vegan mozzarella from Miyoko's Kitchen, and a cucumber-dill salad. It was atrociously hot and this is all we could manage. The only thing here that might not be obvious is the ful topping on the hummus, but all there was to it was opening a can and sauteeing it a bit with sliced onion and some baharat.

UPDATE: The cheese came out wonderful!

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Step-By-Step Seitan

I've been wanting to make homemade seitan for a while, ever since I took Psalm Lewis' wonderful cooking class. At that workshop, we made vegan pot pie with seitan made from scratch--it's not difficult, and with all the ingredients on hand you can have a nice and reliable protein source for cheap. This morning I bought some vital wheat gluten and other essentials and followed Psalm's recipe:


Step 1:
1 cup vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
 2 tsp baharat (I did that in lieu of poultry seasoning, but I imagine anything meatlike would do)
1 tsp mashed garlic (the original recipe calls for garlic powder)
1 tsp paprika
3/4 cup cooked and mashed beans (I used black-eyed peas, which is what I had around the house)
1 tbsp Bragg's liquid aminos

Step 2:
broth or bouillion or dried vegetables

I measured and mixed the dry ingredients, then added the wet ingredients, and kneaded them into a ball--actually, more of a loaf shape--which I then left to rest for 15 minutes.

I then made some broth, placed the loaf in it wrapped in cheesecloth, and let that simmer for 30 minutes.

Then, I let the content of the pot cool somewhat before taking the seitan out of it.

I let the seitan cool completely before slicing it into 1/4-inch cubes, some of which I froze and some placed in the fridge for immediate use. Yum!
Update: Here are some of the seitan chunks in a nice tomato-based ragu. It came out absolutely delicious.