Monday, June 29, 2009

A hard summer ahead and a seitan ham recipe

Right now, I am sitting in front of my laptop devouring half of a refreshing, cold watermelon…and I could eat the whole one if I didn’t eat the other half yesterday. Today has been a long day. I have spent all the morning in Barcelona, and have just returned to home at 4pm. Nevertheless, starting from tomorrow I will come back even later because…I have found a job! Yes, at least, after two months of job haunting, dozens of e-mails without reply — I don’t understand that quirk. Why can’t they send a quick e-mail, even if it is to say that I am not what they are looking for? I won’t bite them! It’s frustrating when they don’t say anything at all— and with already no hope left, I have found a job. Yeah, it’s a crap job, but it’s a job, and it will help to pay the bills, the mortgage, maybe a new camera and the FCE exam I want to do in December (it costs almost 200€!!).

In the case you are wondering, I will work as a saleswoman. Well, actually I won’t sell anything, but inform, but in the end is the same: I must convince people who has got a certain gas rate to fill in a form because it will allow them to save a 10% in their bill. The gas company in question is called Endesa. Today I spent all the morning with other salesman and saleswoman who showed me what the work consist in. It’s not difficult, but some people is really stubborn. Aggressive replies and door bangs are quite common, sometimes even before you have opened your mouth.

I will tell you more about my first day yesterday…if I am not too shattered. My timetable is: training courses from 9.30 to 10.45 AM (compulsory) and work from 11.30 AM to 8.30 PM, with a stop for lunch. There is one hour by train from Cunit to Barcelona, at that means that I will come back not earlier than 9.30 PM….every day >.<

For the moment, when I still have time (this is my last weekday free afternoon!), I leave a Seitan ham recipe which I did last week. Have a nice week! =)

Seitan ham: the cruelty-free ham

Seitan Ham

I love seitan. If you have wheat gluten, it’s very easy to make (I tried once to wash wheat flour…don’t try it too, please. After it, my arms hurt for a week, and I only got a tiny, measly gluten ball. All the other  — not only the starch, but also a lot of the gluten — licked out through the waste pipe) and you can freeze it. Actually, I always do more seitan than I need and I freeze part of it. It keeps perfectly for months and it has saved my life many times when I didn’t have anything already cooked. Defrost the hamburgers you need, sauté some veggies, and you have an almost complete meal.

That recipe makes a really tasty seitan. The key is not over simmer it, and let it cool in the broth: it will make a juicy, not too hard seitan, but full of flavor. I changed some things, like the ketchup and the soy sauce (I reduced a lot the amount of them) and it was still tasty. Actually, I think it was too salty (maybe my teaspoon of salt was too full), but it was great anyway. The next time I will try some other variations, like using chickpea flour instead of soy flour, or pumpkin seed oil instead of olive oil. I think that it will give a cool green color to the seitan!

Adapted from I eat food
Makes 8 hamburgers

Simmering broth
7 cups water
1/3 cup soy sauce (instead of 1 cup)
2 Tbsp liquid smoke (I didn’t have, so I didn’t use it)
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried Italian herbs mix (instead of 1 tsp of sage)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (I didn’t use it either)

1/3 cup soy flour
2 1/3 cups wheat gluten
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 Tbsp sweet paprika
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup ketchup (instead of 1 cup)
1 Tbspoon extra virgin olive oil (or any other oil, preferably a strong flavored one. The original recipe didn’t have oil in it, but I added it to give a little bit more of flavor.
Put the water of the broth in pot and bring it to boil. Add all the other broth ingredients.
For the seitan, mix the dry ingredients ( soy flour, wheat gluten, salt, pepper and sweet paprika). Mix as well the wet ingredients (the water with the ketchup and the oil if used). Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mix (I used wood spatula)  and knead well.
Separate the dough in 8 balls, and give them a hamburger shape with your hands. Renae, the author of I eat food, divided it into 6 balls, but I found the balls too big.
Place the flattered balls in the broth and simmer for about one hour on a very low heat. I discovered that leaving the seitan cool in the broth for about another hour or so make it much tastier.
Now, you can bake it or just brown it on a skillet. I just browned it on a skillet because I was in a hurry, but I suppose that baked it tasted better. If you want, you can try to bake it as Renae did it for her Easter dinner.
Or if it is too much seitan for you (like it happened to me…yeah, my family is still reticent to try seitan. And eight seitan hamburgers are too much seitan hamburgers for one person, even if that person eats as much as I do) you can freeze them. I had to cut them lengthwise because they were still too big, but I liked the result because now they look even better =) Seitan can be kept in the freezer for many months. I even had in six month in the freezer, but I am sure that it can last more.

Jamón de seitan

Adaptado de I eat food
Hace 8 hamburguesas

7 tazas de agua
1/3 salsa de soja (en lugar de 1 taza)
2 cucharadas de liquid smoke **I don’t know how to translate it (no tenía, así que no lo usé)
1 cebolla grande, picada
1 cucharadita de orégano seco
1 cucharadita de hierbas italianas (en lugar de 1 cucharadita de salvia)
¼ taza de levadura en polvo (no lo usé tampoco)
1/3 taza de harina de soja
2 1/3 tazas de gluten de trigo
1 cucharadita de sal
¼ cucharadita de pimienta blanca
1 cucharada de pimentón dulce
1 ¼ tazas de agua
1/3 tazas de kétchup (en lugar de una taza)
1 cucharada de aceite de oliva extra virgen (o cualquier otro aceite, preferiblemente de sabor fuerte. La receta original no tenía aceite, pero yo lo añadí para darle algo más de sabor)

Pon el agua del caldo en una cazuela y llévalo a ebullición. Añade los otros ingredientes del caldo.
Para el seitan, mezcla los ingredientes secos (harina de soja, gluten de trigo, sal, pimiento y pimentón dulce). Mezcla también los ingredientes húmedos (el agua con el kétchup y el aceite si se usa). Echa los ingredientes húmedos en los líquidos, mezcla (yo usé una espátula de madera) y amasa bien.
Separa la masa en 8 bolas, y dales forma de hamurguesa con las manos. Reane, la autora de I eat food, la dividió en 6 bolas, pero me parecieron demasiado grandes.
Pon las bolas aplastadas en el caldo y hierve durante aproximadamente una hora a fuego muy bajo. Descubrí que dejar el seitan enfriar en el caldo durante otra hora más o menos lo hace mucho más sabroso.
Ahora, puedes hornearlo o simplemente dorarlo en una sartén. Yo simplemente lo doré en la sartén porque tenía prisa, pero supongo que horneado sabe mejor. SI quieres, puedes probar a hornearlo como hizo Renae para su cena de Semana Santa.
O si es demasiado seitán para ti (como me pasó a mi…si, mi familia sigue siendo reticente a probar el seitan. Y ocho hamburguesas de seitan son demasiadas hamburguesas de seitan para una persona, incluso si esa persona come tanto como yo) puedes congelarlo. Yo lo tuve que cortar a lo largo porque seguían siendo demasiado grandes, pero me gustó el resultado porque se veían aún mejor =)  El seitan puede congelarse durante muchos meses. Yo lo llegué a tener congelado durante medio año, pero estoy segura que aguantaría incluso más.

Starting from tomorrow, I will spend a loooot of time in Barcelona

1 comment:

renae said...

I'm glad you found the ham seitan recipe useful - yours looks great!