Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Seitan and Chickpea Stew

East Texas has been hit with an arctic blast of cold air, so the timing for the "Seitan and Chickpea Stew" (page 318) couldn't have been better.  This stew is warm, comforting, filling, and oh-so-flavorful.  It helps if you already have a homemade batch of seitan waiting in the wings, but store-bought works, too.  Since I had made a batch the day before, I not only had fresh seitan available, I also had the broth I cooked and stored it in to use in the stew.  Veggies included all the earthy choices you want to see in a stew - carrots, celery, new potatoes, cabbage, and onion, and a splash of white wine added an extra dimension.  The recipe called for the seitan chunks to be browned in oil and set aside, to be added to the stew later after al the veggies cooked.  I tried browning them using just a tiny spritz of vegetable spray, but this did not work, and I gave up this experiment right away when I saw how badly the seitan was sticking to the bottom of my cast iron pot.  I decided they didn't need to be browned after all, and bypassed that step altogether.  Another change I made was to thicken the stew at the very end of the cooking time with a cornstarch and water mixture, as I like the broth in my stew to be quite thick.  This stew tasted even better the next day, just as the recipe promised!

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