Tuesday, March 31, 2009

TGRWT # 16: "Chicken" and Rose

Caught up in my post-class malaise, I was >THISCLOSE< to not revisiting this month's flavor combination of chicken and rose. But I had made that delightful batch of chik'n seitan last night, and my first attempt was just good enough to make me want to continue experimenting. Home from class, I hopped in my car and picked up some raspberry jam for a raspberry rose water glaze that turned out to be the perfect complement for my seitan. Interestingly, this had actually been my first inclination when I thought about the pairing, but then I over-thought it and made that failed cream sauce. Let this be a lesson to follow your gut! (Ha, get it?)

The taste of the glaze with the chik'n really popped. Substituting jam for frozen raspberries pronounced the raspberry flavor and kicked it up a notch with that little added sweetness. While the raspberry was certainly the main focus, the rose was like a smooth bottom note that gave the raspberry's flavor volume. When they were combined with the chik'n, the fruitiness of the rose-raspberry combo really stood out and the chik'n lost some of its salty, savory quality - which wasn't a bad thing at all. Like I said yesterday, I'm not sure if vegan "chicken" can combine with raspberry the same way regular chicken can, but the flavors worked together in SOME way that I found very pleasing.

I served the seitan with my favorite salad at the moment: sunflower seeds, raisins, tomatoes, and cucumbers over mixed greens. Ideally, I would eat this with a tahini-based dressing, but tonight I went with Annie's Goddess Dressing because it's what I had on hand. To be fair, with this salad the Annie's is a close second to a tahini dressing, so I am not complaining. Definitely give this a try; there's something about having all four elements together that makes this salad really exciting. I've tried it in every combination with one ingredient missing, and it's simply not the same. This salad rules hard. Hard. Eat it anywhere, everywhere, always.

Okay, now for the recipe you really care about:

+ 2 servings of chik'n style seitan
+ 2 T raspberry jam
+ 1 T rosewater
+ 1/2 t Earth Balance
+ 1/2 t corn starch

01. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease up a baking sheet. Place the seitan on the baking sheet, then set it aside.

02. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the jam, rosewater, and Earth Balance. Pop it in the microwave for about fifteen seconds, and then stir them until well-mixed. Dissolve the corn starch into the warmed jam mixture.

03. Return to your baking sheet, and evenly spread the glaze across both sides of a piece of seitan. Repeat with the other piece, and then pop the baking sheet in the oven and wait ten minutes. Remove, cool, and enjoy.

This serves one lonely little person.

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