Sunday, June 3, 2007

General Tso's Seitan

Dinner 6/3 by Amy and Juan

• General Tso's Seitan with Chopped Greens

• Brown Rice

• Garlic Scapes Sautéed in Soy Sauce

• Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Today, Juan and I taught a DR Cooking workshop for the current crop of visitors. There are some things that people don't need introductions to (like tofu and sauerkraut), but some things that we eat here regularly are new to visitors -- nutritional yeast, tempeh, miso and sometimes even the whole concept of eating vegan. I enjoy taking the time to talk with people about the benefits of eating lower in the food chain and the choices that Bobolink makes around food. For example how we purchase wheat from Sandhill and grind it as we need it rather than buying flour. Another example is how we choose to do a lot of canning and preserving during the summer so we can enjoy our abundance all winter. And after a week of eating here, most people are convinced that we've got it pretty good.

Juan is the seitan master -- he's got making seitan down to an art. Meanwhile, I'm in charge of making the sauce. I found a recipe online and with a few tweaks, it has become a favorite in the Bobolink kitchen. Here's how I make it. I'm always impressed how easy and delicious this dish is. Today, because we had some greens in the refrigerator, I chopped them up and put them in the sauce. The garlic scapes [insert heavenly music] were just a quick sauté in oil with some soy sauce sprayed on. It got some compliments, too.

But the popular dish of the evening was the cookies. The recipe is based on the Big Gigantoid Crunchy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies from "Vegan with a Vengeance" by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. The kids always have fun making them and everyone enjoys eating them! One substitute that we frequently make with desserts is that we replaced the sugar with sorghum. From what I can tell, sorghum was pretty popular back in the day. Some of the older neighbors tell me that their family used to grow it and use the sweetener. It looks a lot like molasses and has a unique flavor, but the process for making it is much more natural than molasses. The stalks, which look a lot like corn, are stripped and pressed and the juice is boiled down like maple syrup. We use it as our primary sweetener -- not only because Sandhill grows and makes it, but because it's bioregional and yummy.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

Yummy, yummy, yummy!! Thank you for the awesome cooking lesson! Dinner that night was delish... I can definitely see becoming a seitan worshipper after that meal!

Kristen Owen