Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Seitan Ribs and Cheesy broccli mashed potatoes

I entered an Iron Chef Challenge over on the Something Awful forums. The challenge was comfort food. I made Seitan, which, if you don't know is a mock meat made with wheat gluten and flavored to taste like whatever meat you like. I've duplicated my post exactly here, and if requested I can build an exact recipe, but I'm really not a recipe type. It's mostly flavor to taste, a pinch of this, dash of that. I hope you guys can follow along.

Exact post as follows:

To me comfort food is food that is delicious, easy to make, and always makes you feel good. I'm sure tonight's menu is sure to please. BBQ ribs, mashed potatoes. It doesn't get any more homey then that. The SO wanted to stop eating meat, so I stopped cooking with it. The ribs are completely vegan, and there is cheese in the potatoes, but easily can use vegan cheese to veganise the taters.

Now normally when it comes to cooking anything, I eyeball it, but for the seitan, it can be kind of fickle, so I've put the measurements of the important stuff next to the ingredients. Everything else is just to taste!

Enough intro, lets get cookin!

Seitan Ribbies

Our players in this course:

In order from left to right:
*Garlic Powder
*Onion Powder
*1 tablespoon Liquid smoke
*Kirkland Sweet Mesquite seasoning
*1 cup Wheat Gluten
*2 tablespoons Peanut Butter (or tahini, or any nut butter)
*2 tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
*Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce
*1 tablespoon soy sauce (not pictured)
*3/4 cup of COLD water (not pictured)

Combine ALL the dry ingredients in a bowl. That gritty stuff on top is the sweet mesquite seasoning. I like to season the seitan with the same stuff I'd be seasoning the meat with. Mix the dry stuff well. Once you introduce liquid you can't really spread it around as much as you like, and you'll have patches of over seasoned seitan.

Combine 3/4 cup of water with all your wet ingredients. It's important to use COLD water when making the seitan, otherwise the texture will be wonky. In the middle there is the peanut butter. You can use any nut butter. Tahini would be a more popular option, but I have never used it. I just Jif, works fine for me. You don't taste it in the final product.

Whisk up your wet ingredients. It's important to break down the peanut butter as much as possible. It won't be perfect but it's fine.

Mix into your dry ingredients.

Don't be afraid of the pukey-like clumps of PB at the bottom. Drop them in and mix them up. The process of making seitan can, at times, be kind of ugly, but it's totally worth it in the end.

Now you can mix it up with the spoon for a little while, but the gluten binds FAST, and just know you are gonna have to stick your hands in there and knead. Just for a minute or two, until it's a firm dough.

Flatten it out as much as you can in an oiled baking dish of some sort. The gluten will spring back as you try to stretch it out, so instead of pulling it apart, I just push down on it and it seems to do the trick.

Bake for 25 mins at 350. It will be a little squishy, but not like raw squishy. If you over cook it, it will be hard and bready. Enjoy your meat flavored toast at that point. I've done it a couple of times and it sucks.

Now while it's baking, time to check on the dog.

He was sleepin!

Anyway, now that it's in the oven, time to make the taters!

Cheesy Broccoli Taters

Hell yeah, lets meet the crew:

From left to right

*That tub has shredded mozzarella
*Minced Garlic (don't hate on it)
*Frozen Broccoli
*Plain Soymilk
*Salt and pepper

Peel and chop taters. Normally I like the skins, but it's not so awesome with the broccoli. I'm totally using the deep fry scoop to add the potatoes. I didn't want to risk burning myself while taking pics. Safety first!

Got some time to kill... lets check on the dog again...

Out cold! Jerk, and on my side of the bed too!

Just before the potatoes finish, add the frozen broccoli. Toss it right in there, it's gonna be awesome, I promise! (notice the finished seitan in the back, we'll get back to it, I promise!

Say hello to big red. Just toss all the taters, and broccoli into a mixer, or you can do it by hand for chunkier mash. It's your call really.

I mixed it up a bit, then added 2 heapin spoonfuls of garlic, a coupla handfuls of cheese, and enough milk to smooth it out. It was a total coincidence that it was St Patrick's day today, I didn't plan green food, but hey, whatever works.


Lazy dog smells dinner!

Now lets finish the Seitan!

Re-Score your ribbies, and cover with some Sweet Baby Ray's (damn I love that stuff)

Spread it all around good and slap sauce side down on your grill. Now, I don't have a real grill, so I'm using an indoor grill. You can totally use a Foreman Grill too!

Now, up to this point, I'm sure there were some doubters. Let me put your minds at ease with the next few pictures.

At this point, you aren't cooking the seitan, you just want to get a nice char going. Basically coat/flip a few times to make something delicious!

Hell yeah! I love dinner!
We tore this shit up, it's so good. It's the most requested dish at my house, and for good reason.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


You can watch it live right here, or on

Friday, January 30, 2009

My Friday

I don't do much other then work, knit, cook and clean so on my Fridays I really let loose!

Nope total lie; I spend my Friday nights exactly where I spend my Friday days. In front of my computer, either working or knitting. Tonight is no different. I'm knitting, and having a Damages-a-thon on Hulu. I love hulu. I don't think I could knit for nearly as long without it.

Anyway, I thought I'd give you a look into my life, but only a little peek.

My current project. Nothing to fancy, just my Knit Headscarf. I'm trying to be all artsy with my photos. Never you worry, my Etsy listings will be as pure as possible. No fancy color saturation, or anything. I just try to keep it as true as possible.

HI! Here I am! This is my "office." Well, it's something anyway. Hell, a week ago I had my desk in the kitchen. We don't really have much in the way of office space in the house, so we've set up shop in the garage. Well, it was originally a garage, I mean, I'm sure it was at some point. But the previous owner of the house decided to change all that. He put a false wall (behind me) and COVERED the whole room in that sexy wood paneling. He put it everywhere in the house. Pain in the ass, we've been piece-by-piece tearing it all down. Anyway, this is my setup. Here you see my super cool "current projects" basket. As you can see I'm using my DPN's all wrong, but heck, just put stoppers on them, and they are a convenient travel size. Perfect for travel, and they are exactly the right size to make my headscarves with. My super sweet laptop; and my second monitor is off to the side. I just can't function without a dual monitor setup. Hey, how do you dig those kickin-rad headphones! In a lovely shade of pea green, these are the most comfortable headphones I have EVER owned. I spend ALL day with these things on. During the day I do TPV for telemarketing calls, and when I'm done working I am studying to be a Medical Transcriptionist, so my afternoons are spent typing what mush mouth doctors are saying.

My View.

There is much more of the sexy wood paneling. Here you can see that I'm totally working hard. Etsy Shop, on one monitor and Damages on the other. Just past that you can see Tim's desk. 2 monitors aren't nearly enough for him, he's got 3.

Anyway, that's me. That's what I've got going on. The Jazzy behind the computer. Chances are I'm here, wearing my headphones, and knitting, or looking up delicious recipes online. I hope everyone's having a good Friday, stay warm, and have fun!

Hi Everybody!

Ugh, I've had a hell of a week. I don't know if it's been the weather, or what but I haven't been sleeping well at all.

Anyway, I guess I should tell you a bit about myself. My name is Jazzy. I cook, I knit, and I work from home. I'm currently studying to be a medical transcriptionist. It's more difficult then I thought it would be, but I'm finding that once I finish the course, I'll have a rewarding career, and I'll be able to work in my jammies!

I recently opened my Etsy shop. It's called Click Clack Shack. I'm working on my style, and trying out a bunch of different things. I like the Valentine's Day Face Scrubbies. I think they are so cute, I made a big stack for myself, and I'm finding that I can't stop finding uses for them. I just wish I knew what kind of stuff will sell. Alot of people sell washcloths, dishcloths etc. I'm trying to find a unique item. One thing that I've made that I haven't seen alot of are my hairscarves. I make them with elastic sock yarn, and I love them. Keep an eye on my shop, I'll be adding 2 more tonight! I've got one in blue and one in purple.

Anyway, this is my blog. I'll be updating frequently. You'll get sneak previews of new Etsy listings, maybe a recipie or two, and a knit pattern here and there, who knows!