Listen to the More Recipes About Music & Food Spotify Playlist
This is one of those times where a recipe sends me looking for a song and I find a new cool band. Not that I had not encountered CYHSY before, and even this specific song, but while writing this article I decided to listen through their catalog. What I discovered was a wonderful blend of “You Kids Get Off My Lawn” nostalgia with a solid injection of post-postmodern lyrics. It would be easy to dismiss them as a kinda Millennial wannabe ersatz Talking Heads (and it’s clear the Heads are a MAJOR influence), but somehow they are able to dodge that comparison enough to create solid edgy angsty pop music for the current edgy angst pop world. This inspiration track had shown up in a number of my Spotify indie radio/recommended playlists though I never really explored further. Were it not for the Music & Food research, I doubt I would have spent a day listening to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s catalog. Much like the end result of this recipe, I happily surprised by the result.
My Seitan Worship stems from research for potential promo pop-ups for I Wanna Be Your Hot Dog, I know if I ever actually get my shit together and do some events, I’m going to need some vegan dogs. Given most of the commercially available non-meat dogs SUCK (and are usually WICKED expensive), I set out to develop my own. I ultimately settled on seitan for perhaps no other reason than its simplicity, and that was a solid decision.
Let me say this: if you are vegan or vegetarian or even an omnivore occasionally doing the seitan thang and you are NOT making your own, you’re a sucker. It’s dead fucking simple, infinitely versatile, and WAY cheaper than anything in the stores. Bob’s Red Mill is stocked in basically any decent grocery these days, and their Vital Wheat Gluten is my choice. Can’t find it locally? There’s always the internet. Beyond that, you’ll need a good food processor and a large pot with a steamer basket. That’s pretty much it!
This recipe comes from a dive into bar snacks for a consultancy gig. The concept was a small plates menu with spreads, dips, charcuterie, etc. Kinda tapas but not. One of the R&D recipes was a walnut mushroom pate. The resulting pate recipe is below and it’s not bad, just not stunning (or really anything I’d put on a menu). As I now had about 2 cups of pate I really was not going to use as a spread, and I hate throwing successful but “meh” recipes out, I started thinking how this could be used as an element in a sandwich.
I immediately thought of the traditional pate element of a banh mi sandwich. If I was going to use vegan walnut pate, I might as well substitute the traditional roast pork with seitan. I went with a sundried tomato and mushroom recipe using spices to mimic a sort of pork sausage flavor. The one non-vegan aspect here is the topping. I had leftover bread & butter pickle slaw which contains mayo and used that rather than making banh mi pickles. The slaw can easily be made vegan by using a mayo substitute. Same goes for the sambal mayo, just use a mayo substitute. Saute the seitan slightly to bring out the sausage flavor and treat yourself to a nice crusty baguette from a local bakery. Great fresh bread is a key part of this sandwich.
SEITAN SAID DANCE
Sundried tomato & mushroom seitan, walnut pate, B&B pickle slaw, and sambal mayo on a baguette
Makes 1 sandwich
3-4 slices Mushroom & Sundried Tomato Seitan
2 tablespoons Walnut Pate
B&B pickle Slaw
Heat a lightly oiled skillet over medium-low heat. Add the seitan slices and saute until warm and lightly charred. Flip and cook on the other side. Take a 6″ baguette and cut lengthwise. Spread a bit of sambal mayo on each side of the interior and top the mayo with a generous spread of walnut pate. Place the seitan on one side of the cut baguette, top with slaw, and place the other half of baguette on top.
MUSHROOM & SUNDRIED TOMATO SEITAN
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, fine dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces Baby Bella mushrooms, chopped
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, minced fine
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup sparkling water
1 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
Combine all spices & nutritional yeast in a small bowl. Set aside.
Saute onion & garlic in the olive oil. When the onion is translucent, add the fennel seeds and mushrooms. Saute until mushrooms have given up their moisture and are tender.
While that is cooking, place the sundried tomatoes in a food processor. Process until finely minced scraping the sides as needed. Add the mushroom mixture to the bowl. Add the spice & yeast mix, olive oil, tomato paste, and water. Process until combined and saucy. Add the vital wheat gluten and process until dough ball forms. It will seem a little wet, but that’s ok. Turn the dough out onto a cutting board and knead for three minutes. Don’t work it too hard – you just want to make sure everything is thoroughly mixed and form a bit of extra gluten. If the more you work the dough, the denser the final product will be.
Form into a loaf shape and wrap tightly in foil. Place in a steamer basket and cover. Steam for 50 minutes monitoring water level about halfway through. Let cool on a plate and refrigerate overnight.
Makes about 2 cups
2 teaspoons dried sage
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups raw walnuts
1 8-ounce package crimini mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Place the sage, thyme, basil, marjoram, fennel seeds, rosemary, black pepper and salt into your food processor and process for about 20 seconds, until the fennel seeds and rosemary are chopped up a bit.
Toast the walnuts. Then saute mushrooms.
Add the walnuts, mushrooms, olive oil, and balsamic to the food processor and process until there are no big chunks of walnuts. Don’t over-process because you don’t want a smooth paste. You want it to be crumbly. If there are some little pieces of walnut and beans, this is just fine.
Pulse, stopping to scrape the sides as needed until you reach a pâté texture. Press into a container for serving using a spatula to smooth it, and let it chill completely in the fridge before serving.
Makes about 4 cups
10 ounces green or napa cabbage, shredded fine
1 medium carrot, shredded
1/2 cup chopped bread & butter pickles
2 tablespoons mayo
2 tablespoons pickle brine
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
In a medium bowl, toss cabbage, carrot, and pickles together. In a small bowl, combine mayo, pickle juice, sugar, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour dressing slaw mix and toss to coat. Place in an airtight container and let rest in refrigerator at least an hour before using.
2 tablespoons Sambal Oelek
2 tablespoons mayo
Combine ingredients in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.