Gluten for punishment

(Or: hail, seitan)

portobello seitan stroganoffI’ve been pretty low all week and have been craving comfort food, especially now that the weather has finally gotten a bit more seasonal and less petri-dish-like. After having read What the Hell Does a PinkHairedGirl Eat? for the past several months, I decided yesterday that I needed to make some seitan.

I started by doing some homework: first Doug’s friend Greg Ceton’s column on making it, then Isa Moskowitz’s recipe on her Post-Punk Kitchen site. Both versions insisted that you don’t have to repeatedly wash the flour, which appealed to me much.

sizzling seitanBee firmly in bonnet and haunted by visions of stroganoff, I set out shopping for vital gluten flour, mushrooms, and a few other items. The gluten flour proved a bit elusive, but only because I didn’t think to look in the regular baking-items aisle at Star until after scouring the organic section and Cambridge Naturals. Second Star trip proved successful, however.

mushrooms and garlicI was a little skeptical that I’d actually be able to make edible seitan, but it was surprisingly easy to mix up, knead, and simmer. The hardest part was waiting for it to cool in the broth so I could start making the stroganoff.

I’ve made tofu stroganoff a couple of times, and while it was pretty good, it can’t hold a votive to Isa’s version: all toothsome homemade seitan, all mushroom-shallot-wine sauce. I served it on whole wheat noodles — hell of savory and comforting and perfectly awesome.

seitan portobello stroganoffOn a mad impulse while I was grocery shopping yesterday, I bought Isa’s Vegan with a Vengeance at Porter Square Books. I’m not planning on going vegan (or even vegetarian, really), but I’m mildly obsessed with making every single recipe in the book.



5 Responses to “Gluten for punishment”

  1. LLA says:


    Visit LLA

    hail, seitan - hee hee hee hee..

    And you’ve really taught me something here. I’m not such a carnivore that I didn’t know that seitan existed - I’ve seen it at the Farmer’s Market, and even eaten baked strips of it with a salad on occasion. But I had no idea that it was something that you could actually make. I’m quite impressed! And even more impressive, you make it look/sound really good! Thanks for teaching me something new…

  2. Terri says:


    Visit Terri

    I love this… because I can just see you with a couple of bees zipping around in your chef hat/bonnet, scouring the grocery stores of Cambridge, digging into mounds of flour, clattering around with pots and pans, stirring and seasoning! And I’m utterly impressed with your cooking skills… determination… and the results I’ve been lucky enough to sample!

  3. Cyn says:


    Visit Cyn

    That looks so yum! I am totally craving that stroganoff right now - I need to make some more seitan.

  4. Paula says:


    Visit Paula

    Can you email me some stroganoff? Because now I must have some.

  5. Editrix says:


    Visit Editrix

    The seitan kind of gummed up my keyboard when I tried, so I guess you’ll just have to hop the Fung Wah and join us for dinner sometime!


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