Tuesday, March 17, 2009


The seitan sucks. I kept it at a simmer - Isa and the PPK gals taught me that - but this thing looked like a steaming pile of grey brains in that cheesecloth. There was no cohesion - the whole thing was crumbly, and I remember reading somewhere that this happened to others, who compared it to under-cooked ground beef. Yep, that's about it.

I thought maybe I can wrap it up in foil and toss it into the oven, maybe that would do something to it, but before I could do that I tasted some of the crumbly pieces. Yecch! It tasted nothing like corned beef at all. I chucked the whole mess into the garbage. I'm really disappointed and now kicking myself for not picking up a hunk or real corned beef to cook, one of the few meat meals we eat all year.

I hope my husband won't be too disappointed. If he is, he can always call Blimpie. Our local franchise (Blimpie Base #2, IIRC. #1 is in Hoboken, about 10 miles away) makes corned beef sandwiches every year on Saint Patrick's Day. Of course, there are also about a dozen mom-and-pop delis between our house and Blimpie, but they don't deliver like the Blimpie Base does.

All those spices, wasted. I finished up the caraway seeds and only have a bout a teaspoon of the fennel seeds left. My hand is sore from crushing them in the mortar and pestle I've had since my nursing school days back in the 1970's. My sink was so greasy I had to take a Brillo to it, and the bowls and utensils needed a good scrub with grease-cutting Dawn to get them clean again. That'll teach me from veering away form tried and true recipes. That stew just better taste good or I'm really screwed as far as today's dinner goes.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

This Irish gal is making a traditional Irish dinner today.

For starters, I'm making a stew loosely based on this recipe from the old McDougall recipe forum on VegSource. Very loosely. In fact, all that recipe did was put the idea of adding cans of tomatoes into the stew. My stew is about 6 Yukon Gold potatoes (peeled and chopped), a small head of cabbage (chopped), 6 carrots (peeled and chopped), 2 onions (chopped), 2 cans of plum tomatoes (broken into pieces), a few cloves of chopped garlic, and about a quart of veggie broth. Just plop it all together in the biggest pot you have (I had to spread it over over 2 pots - Yikes!) and let it simmer all day so the house smells fantastic and the concoction cooks down to this melt-in-your mouth Irish stew.

Every stew needs its bread, and I'm making a plain loaf of whole wheat with some instant potato flakes tossed in for flavor.

And to go with the stew and bread, corned beef seitan from the recipe by Brian McCarthy found here on Everyday Dish. I've been meaning to make this since I first saw the recipe a year or so ago on that site but never got around to it. This year, it's now sitting in my biggest pot simmering away. This is why my stew had to get split over my next 2 smaller pots. I really have to get myself a nice big soup pot.

For the past week I've been playing all my Irish/celtic music CD's and even watched Feet of Flames twice to get myself in the holiday mood. Man, I love how Michael Flatley dances, but that man has an ego the size of all Ireland! LOL