Friday, October 13, 2006

Seitan in the Slow Cooker

I upgraded to Blogger Beta yesterday and so far so good. Its going to take me quite a bit of time to organize my posts by topic but I'll try to do a few each day. Keep an eye on the Label list right above the archives.

Courtney asked how I cook seitan in the slow cooker. The short answer is, never from scratch. I've tried over and over again to make it from scratch in the slow cooker using Robin Robertson's recipes in Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker and I always end up with a rubbery mass. I don't know if its her recipe or if seitan from scratch just doesn't lend itself to the slow cooker experience. I may try the slow cooker again but using Isa's recipe this time.

Instead, I prefer to make seitan on the stove, let it cool (it makes the seitan firmer) and then cube it or slice it to use in the slow cooker. So when I made my concoction of seitan, quartered potatoes, cubed pumpkin and kale the other day, the seitan was already cooked. In fact, it was frozen (in its broth) and so was the cubed pumpkin. Both were cooked during my bulk cooking extravaganza.

I placed both the frozen pumpkin and the seitan into the slow cooker first and then filled in the spaces around them with the potatoes and kale. I added just enough water to cover the bottom of the slow cooker to prevent scorching while the broth was beginning to defrost. I placed the lid on and set the slow cooker on low for the day.

8 comments:

Courtney said...

Oh! Thanks for that. I have never made Isa's seitan--I'll have to give it a try. I have a recipe I like, but i am always open to new ones. If you ever get it to work in the crock-pot, let us know!

Thanks!

Michelle said...

Thanks so much for upgrading your search engine. Just last week I searched for and couldn't find spmething I *knew* you posted. I thought maybe it was my wording. It's much appreciated!

Michelle

Hippie Pagan Earth Mama said...

Hi Katie...I am a wonderful fan of your blog. I am a full time vegetarian, leaning slowly towards being a vegan. My family though...well, let's just say they do eat what I fix them with smiles!! I am very curious about this "Seitan" stuff!? What does it tastes like? Any starter recipes for us beginners? I have been all over the web gathering recipes, loads of info. And here is another thing, although I am dropping weight (great benefit!) I am still in that weird starting stage of not really having my pantry loaded......sigh.....oh, and my taste buds are changing!! LOL!! So, love your blog, think your fabulous! Blessed Be!! Kelly in Indiana

Katie said...

Kelly,
Isa's recipe is definitely the one to try, especially for beginners. The texture is chewy and somewhat meat like. Glad to have you along!

Michelle,
I had the same problem and I knew the wording wasn't wrong. It will be better as more things get labeled with topics.

Courtney,
I haven't given up on the idea of making it in the crock pot. If I have success, I'll definitely post about it.

Anonymous said...

I've tried making Isa's seiten in the slow cooker and I had awful results. It was soft and slimy and fell apart completely.

Like you Katie, I have made the same recipe on the stovetop countless times with excellent results everytime.

See-A-Penny said...

Hmmm, I haven't had such bad luck with cooking seitan in the crockpot --although I do notice if the seitan chunks are crowded together, the spots where they touch don't cook through, nor where the chunks touch/get stuck to the bottom or sides of the crockpot. And it can be difficult to control crowding, since the chunks swell up so much upon simmering (--Plus, I suspect my cookers (2 thrifted vintage '70's models that I adore), might run 'hot'? Perhaps they cook at a higher temp?) Or, it might just simply be that my family is particularly tolerant to seitan texture (or lack thereof as the case may be) -- my kids always seem to go for it no matter what state it's in, but that's them....

But what I *would* like to know, is this: do you have any particular recipes from the book (Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker) that you REALLY dig??? I own it myself, but don't refer to it nearly as much as I anticipated I would when I bought it....

Katie said...

I took Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker out of the library. Personally, I thought the recipes were too elaborate for me but its always worth a second look.

I find that the majority of cooking I do in the slow cooker is with regular recipes that I modify to suit the slow cooker. This mainly means decreasing the amount of liquid.

See-A-Penny said...

Yes, that's what I've realized as well -- a number of the recipes require sauteeing, blending, cooked beans, or some form of precooking before the crockpot even sees the light of day! Not exactly what I have in mind when I'm reaching for the crockpot on busy days (I've also had a problem with some of the recipes scorching, etc). One thing in the book I do like however, that I hadn't done before, is the author's crockpot baking -- that's actually worked very well for me (and was hopefully worth the cost of the book!). I have two crockpots (both thrifted) and will get soup or chili going in one, with cornbread, bread or dessert in the other -- and come home to a complete meal (it was also a lifesaver for me this past summer for baking, when it was just too miserably hot to fire up the oven)....