If you like cooking with seitan, and if you like a well-seasoned sauce with a pop of smoke and spice, you will no doubt enjoy the “Seitan with Ancho-Chipotle Sauce” (page 310) as much as I did. Making seitan from scratch is super easy, and there are an abundance of recipes available if you want to try, including from this book (see my review here). You can also purchase seitan in most well stocked groceries and natural foods stores if you are so inclined. Either way, once the seitan is ready, the rest of the work is in the sauce, which consists of onion, carrot, garlic, fire-roasted tomatoes, and three dried chilies (ancho and chipotle). I substituted 1 tablespoon of chipotle powder for the chile, since I didn’t have one on hand, with no problem. The sauce is simmered for nearly an hour to thicken it up, and then everything is blended smooth in a blender.
Slices of seitan are dipped in seasoned cornmeal and, according to the recipe, should be pan-fried in 2 tablespoons of oil. Your options for reducing or eliminating the oil include baking the seitan on a parchment paper lined pan in a moderate oven for 30-minutes, turning halfway through; or, using a very fine mist of spray oil in your skillet; or, using a very high quality nonstick skillet without any oil (this will tend to stick to any but the best of non-stick cookware). Whichever method you choose, you can get by with much less than 2 tablespoons of oil, if not eliminating it altogether.
The final step is topping the browned seitan with the warmed sauce. With the very first bite, I think you will agree, the flavors are indescribably satisfying and delicious!
Keeping it “McDougall Friendly” checklist:
- Omit the oil when sautéing the vegetables; used a nonstick skillet with a little water, sherry, or broth instead.
- Instead of pan-frying the seitan in 2-tablespoons of oil, you can bake it on a parchment paper lined pan in a moderate oven for 30-minutes, turning halfway through; or, use a very fine mist of spray oil in your skillet; or, use a very high quality nonstick skillet without any oil (seitan will tend to stick to any but the best of non-stick cookware).