Sunday, January 23, 2011

Seitan piccata

This is my back yard right now, which readers of this blog have seen in all seasons, but never with so much snow in it.  For those interested in extreme weather in Edmonton, Canada, there are some more pictures of mine accessible through my Flickr link on the sidebar.  I've been having fun plunging about in it once the temperature rose above -30C and practicing snow photography with the polarizing filter my brother Bert gave me for my birthday last year (thanks, Bert, now I get it!).

We've been under heavy snow for more than two weeks.  I am luckier than most for the odd reason that I don't have a car and am used to getting around without one.  My little street has been more or less impassible all this time so the Moon Goddess and I haven't been sprinting around in her car buying stuff the way we normally do.  Until now, when we are experiencing a chinook (which means unseasonably warm, above freezing, windy weather...I have to say that despite the inconvenience, I love this climate, always something new ;-), it's been so cold that any groceries I could buy would freeze in my backpack on the way home from the store.  Not a worry for a food packrat like me, so I've been eating from the freezer and dry goods and pickle jars mainly.  Here's one of those meals, the seitan piccata from Veganomicon

The recipe for it is on Google Books, here, so I won't reproduce it.  What you do is start with some good-tasting seitan cutlets, dredge them in flour (or in my case, seasoned flour that I had in the refrigerator), and fry them in plenty of olive oil:

This is a Mark-style Zoa-style chick'n-type okara seitan, basically
my okara seitan recipe (see sidebar for link) with Mark's seasonings
Fry it until both sides are golden and crispy, then remove it to a heated plate and keep it warm while you make the sauce in the same pan:

Don't wash the pan, and don't get rid of the oil.  Use what's left to fry shallots (or red onions in this case) and garlic until softened and beginning to brown:

Add white wine, vegetable broth, salt, pepper, and thyme, and reduce down to a fragrant, though not particularly beautiful, sauce:

To the reduced sauce, add capers and pitted kalamata olives:

Cook a little more, then add parsley and lemon juice:

It always pays to have some frozen parsley on hand
Just warm this up, and it's ready to be poured over the cutlets.  Served here with mashed sweet potatoes, jade blend from Bulk Barn topped with caramelized onions, and some mixed peas and edamame beans from the freezer.  The seitan was actually to die for, even without the piccata sauce, which nevertheless was very good, and as the header notes to the recipe implies, seriously serious-looking for such an easy dish.


  1. That looks like the perfect dish for this kind of weather! I like that snow picture.

  2. Seitan Piccata is so awesome! I need to make that again soon. Does your place of employment close down due to snow? In the D.C. area, we shut down if there's more than three inches.

  3. Thanks, Mihl, it really was good!

    Shenandoah, we never shut down! Edmontonians are tough, patient (for those 1.5-hour blizzard commutes...) and the city has excellent resources devoted to snow removal. So the graders work all night, and in the a.m. the main roads are generally navigable. This is the second worst snowfall on record, however, so it did test their powers.

  4. Isn't that incredible! I guess if we haven't learned how to cope with it by now, we never will.

  5. That is a lot of snow! It's the same here in SEattle as Shen says it is in DC...only here, 2 inches shut us down. Stuff freezes in your backpack? I guess that's what 30 below does for you...can't imagine it.

    I've often thought it would be cool to keep stuff frozen in cold temperatures by putting it outside...I suppose it would be handy if someone didn't have a freezer, which is dumb, because I'm sure everyone does. We used to keep beer bottles cold at the beach by putting them in a bag, anchoring it and letting it sit in the water...sorry I'm rambling.

    That piccata looks delicious...especially those nicely fried cutlets and the lovely caramelized onions atop the rice.

  6. Here in Seattle, two inches of snow can paralyze the city for days. The streets are very steep and driving becomes impossible. In Madison, WI, things hardly ever closed even though we received heaps of snow. I loved the occasional snow day — snow is so much nicer when you don't have to go to work!

    The piccata looks wonderful, as does the rest of the meal. I'll have to look up that recipe.

  7. Rose, we often do keep food outside at Christmas etc. when there's too much for the freezer!

    Andrea, how I wish we *did* have snow days! When I was a child we lived on an acreage for a while, and there would be days when the school buses couldn't make their rounds, and we would all gather around the radio listening for who wouldn't have to go to school. Instead we got to play in the snow! Heaven!

  8. Too much snow! It's making me nervous! I'm in the DC area and *I* shut down when there is more than 2". We've been strangely lucky so far this year. Anyway, your meal looks delicious, as usual.

  9. That seitan piccata looks delicious. I haven't tried that recipe in Veganomicon yet. I'll have to give it a whirl!

  10. Of course, no snow in the French West Indies, but I was in Paris in december and it was all paralyzed with 2". That was so funny for me !

  11. When you dredge the seitan, do you coat it in something first? I haven't dredged anything since I stopped eating meat over a decade ago, but back then, I used to coat the meat in egg before dredging. Veganomicon also doesn't seem to explain this! Thanks