Monday, November 02, 2009

Seitan Wellington...Swellington!

I was perusing the blogs today when I stumbled upon seitan wrapped in puff pastry on Joni's. I, naturally, immediately purchased the new cookbook that she and Celine put out because I was sure this would be great, as would the other 499 recipes inside.

The only logical next step was to run to the store to pick up the puff pastry and get to making dinner!

I had an idea to just toss together some almost duxelles (i've never actually made beef wellington or duxelles in my life, but the combo sounds heavenly, sans beef, so I sauteed some mushrooms in earth balance with garlic and shallots, and red wine until the wine reduced and everything was brown and smelling wonderful) and throw that on top of the seitan loaf before wrapping it in the pastry. Seitan Wellington!
My puff pastry lattice weaving skills are seriously lacking, but I'm totally blaming this one on the little person who had pretty much had it with my paying dinner all the attention at this point. Thankfully, it goes in the oven for another twenty-five so she and I could spend some serious mommy/daughter time!

I was leary of the setian when it was baking. Baking uncovered in the oven for over half an hour? I was sure it would be too dry. It was a bit dry on the end pieces, but the middle bite of my portion from three cuts in was perfection. I think I may add a bit more liquid next time just to make it a tad more moist, or I may throw it all in a loaf pan and just top with pastry. The presentation won't be as fancy but it may cook more evenly and stay a little moister? I've also toyed with the idea of portioning the seitan dough into a mini loaves pan and topping each with it's own pastry, creating mini, individual serving wellingtons . If I do that I'm sure I'll have to keep an eye on the cooking time to ensure that they don't dry out.
The flavor was really great, and I like the use of whole wheat flour with the gluten flour making it a bit more firm in texture. Speaking of texture, tho...if you compare my pictures to Joni's you'll notice that the two pictures are nothing alike. I was really hoping for mine to be like hers, but it just wasn't. I'm not sure what I could have done wrong or differently. I followed the recipe to a tee. I didn't knead the seitan dough much because the recipe didn't say to. Anyone try this and have similar/dissimilar results?

Served with some steamed carrots with thyme and my new favorite kale (dino, boiled and then tossed with olive oil, shoyu, and lemon juice).

Either way, I did love this and am not only excited to try it again and maybe tinker with it a little, but also to get their book and try some other amazing vegan recipes!