Today wasn’t my best day in terms of planning. It started with me asking my husband what he wanted for dinner. Of course he said seitan cutlets. That is the answer I get quite often. He knew I would want to test seitan with quinoa so he knew what to expect today, much to his chagrin. He really likes the cutlets with breadcrumb but quinoa is healthier so I am trying to make that substitution work in the recipe. We decided that a mushroom cutlet would be good so I made some dried mushroom powder earlier today to flavor the cutlet without leaving bits in the finished product. Here is what I did.
Mushroom Seitan Cutlet with QuinoaMakes 11 medium cutlets
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 cups water
4 tablespoons mushroom powder (more would yield a stronger flavor which would work)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups vital wheat gluten
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees convection (or 375 regular) and line a half sheet pan with parchment paper or spray it with oil.
In your blender combine the quinoa, water, mushroom powder, garlic powder, Worcestershire, and pepper and process until combined. Pour the resulting thick liquid into a bowl. Add the gluten a little at a time until it has all been absorbed. If you are make the seitan with bread crumb you will notice this texture is softer, more sticky and wet. I think this is due to the quinoa since it is so different from the bread crumb version. Just wet your hands before making the cutlets and you won’t have any problems.
Heat a lightly greased cast iron pan until hot and sear a few cutlets at a time on the top and bottom. Move the seared and crispy cutlets to the prepared half sheet pan. Continue until all the cutlets are seared and crispy on both sides.
Add ½ cup of water to the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Then remove the pan from the oven and rotate the pan (in case your oven has a hot spot), add another ½ cup of water. Bake the cutlets for another 20 minutes. After the second half of baking all the water will have evaporated and the cutlets will be cooked through. The bottom of the cutlets may be a little wet from the water. To recrisp the bottom you can return the pan to the oven until it dries out, or sear the cutlets in the cast iron pan before serving (which is what I do).
If you have made the cutlets ahead of time (which I always do), recrisp them in the cast iron skillet and then add them to the simmering mushroom sauce below 5 minutes before you are ready to serve.
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 206.16
Calories From Fat (10%) - 20.83
Total Fat - 2.32g
Saturated Fat - 0.28g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 251.45mg
Potassium - 251.04mg
Total Carbohydrates - 25.05g
Fiber - 2.54g
Sugar - 0.41g
Protein - 21.65g
The seitan has a nice subtle mushroom flavor. I like that there is no wheat taste from the bread crumb. The texture is almost too soft. Any softer and these cutlets would definitely be too soft. This texture is most like veal that will cut with the side of a fork (depending on how crispy the exterior is). If you want something that is closer to beef in texture you may want to add a little more gluten (maybe a ¼ cup). My husband would like this to be a little chewier so I will be increasing the gluten just a little to get more chew in the next batch. I was surprised that the quinoa works so well to make a tender seitan. It is more difficult to work with when it is raw but I think the taste and nutrition is worth it. My parents, who came over for dinner, both liked the seitan and each ate a full serving. Since it passed the omnivore test it must have been at least fairly good.
Mushroom topping for cutlets
Makes enough for half the cutlets above – assumes 5 servings
1 cup yellow onion, finely diced
½ cup water
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups Crimini mushrooms, cut into quarters or eighths
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
¼ teaspoon thyme
¼ teaspoon salt
Juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch (dissolved in water above)
Water sauté the onion until tender. Add the Worcestershire, Crimini mushrooms, paprika, thyme, salt and lemon juice and cook until the mushrooms have given up their liquid. Now dissolve the cornstarch in the water and add it to the pan and cook to create the sauce.
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 33.08
Calories From Fat (2%)- 0.8
Total Fat- 0.09g
Saturated Fat - 0.02g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 154.75mg
Potassium - 223.76mg
Total Carbohydrates - 7.48g
Fiber - 0.88g
Sugar - 2.5g
Protein - 1.16g
The mushroom sauce was a big hit tonight. Everyone really liked this. My parents even asked what was in the sauce and if I would show them how I made it. I am certain they plan to use it on meat, but at least it isn’t packed with fat, sugar and salt so it is still better from them on that count. If I had vermouth in the house I would have used that for half of the water in the sautéing process to add flavor. However, these mushrooms actually had more than enough flavor as they were.
I am going to call it a night and finish posting our Valentine’s Day recipes tomorrow so that I can spend time with my Valentine. I hope you are all having a nice holiday.