Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mushroom Seitan Sliders סײטאַן און שװאָמען קאָטלעטקעלעך

Top to bottom: poppy seed bun, mustard from 2nd Avenue Deli, pickled sour tomato also from 2nd Avenue Deli, grilled mushroom cap, American cheese from Horizon Organic, mushroom seitan slider, Russian dressing prepared from Angelica Kitchen Cookbook, and the bottom of the bun.

In spite of the reservations I have expresses in the past about vegetarian adaptations of meat dishes, I have always wanted to try some kind of burger, just to see how they would work, and also to have a delivery system for the pickles, sauces, and of course the buns. I had also been thinking that this year, I would base all my Passover cooking on War and Peace, which I am rereading in the wildly acclaimed Pevean and Volokhonsky translation. I will of course make carrot ice cream, which they did not have, and pineapple ice cream, which they did. Another staple in the War and Peace diet is something called cutlets, which seem to be burger-like creations. These cutlets are neither peysekhdik nor vegan. They are my very first vegetable burgers, so I really wanted to go the full Monty. More refined versions will follow, but wow, these will be hard to beat.

Seitan Mushroom Sliders

1 pound seitan
1 pound mushrooms
olive oil (be liberal)
about 2/3 of one large onion, (1 cup diced)
balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon caraway
3 dried red chile pods
1/4 cup sesame seeds
6 black peppercorns
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme

1/2 cup cooked amaranth (more might have been good)
1/2 cup cooked rice
1/4 cup grated parmigiano (omit for vegan sliders, and increase miso)
2 eggs (omit for vegan sliders and increase cooked amaranth)
1 stalk celery (3/8 cup minced)
1 small carrot (3/8 cups minced)
The remaining part of the onion (3/8 cup minced)
olive oil (be liberal)
several sprigs parsley (1/4 cup minced. More would have been nice)
1/4 cup brown rice miso or other dark miso

Chickpea flour for dredging

Grind the seitan to a gravelly texture. Dice the mushrooms and cook with the onion in a liberal amount of olive oil over high heat until reduced and dry. deglaze with a splash of blasmic vinegar and add to the seitan. Toast the cumin, caraway, chiles, peppercorns, and sesame in a small iron skillet for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the thyme and oregano and toast 5 seconds more. Grind the spices and add them to the seitan and mushrooms. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse to blend. Form the mixture into 4-inch cutlets for burgers, or 2-inch cutlets for sliders. This amount made ten burgers and ten little sliderlekh. Dredge the cutlets in chickpea flour and cook until nicely brown on both sides.

גײן אױף אַלץ

geyn af alts to go the full Monty

Monday, March 28, 2011


I am beside myself about these delicious buns. I followed Marion Cunningham's recipe from The Fannie Farmer Baking Book, but instead of making sixteen large buns, I made twelve large buns and nine little bunelekh for vegetarian sliders (sliders are tiny little hamburgers. We love tiny food). I want to endorse this recipe, which yields up a nicely soft yet densely-crumbed bun that will act as an ideal delivery system for the vegetable burger and condiments of your choice, but I must own that it is milkhik as the day is long, and buns are a particularly problematic category since they are not just a bread that might be eaten with meat, but a bread whose entire reason for existence is to be eaten with meat, so really, I have no idea what to tell you. I will just be making sure that none leave the premises unconsumed.

I have also just made my first batch of homemade seitan, about which more later (yes, I am using up lots of flour). I am hoping to be able to make some kind of burger-like entity with the seitan. Has anyone done this?


Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Purim Potatoes פורים קאַרטאָפֿל

אַ גוט חודש ענק אַלע A gut khoydesh enk ale. Blessings to all In Mol Araan for the new moon. This is an appropriate time to remember that the joyous holiday of peysekh is hurtling toward us like a monstrously gigantic chicken (this image, reproduced from the YIVO encyclopedia, is a New Year's Greeting, having nothing to do with peysekh, but that is still a pretty scary chicken). I have tagged as peysekhdik or perfect for peysekh these archival recipes:

Persian Herb Pie
Dill and Chard Frittata

Watch this space for all your peysekh survival needs.

In the meantime, here is our latest episode, featuring recipes for a Purim feast.
My partner Rukhl is Queen Esther and I am not entirely sure who I am, but I have the bobbly fuzzballs on my head.