I think I finally came up with a seitan in the crock pot winner yesterday. To accomplish this, I took the best parts of both recipes, came up with a meal that was ready at 5:00pm and my family demolished it. Here's a peek at my technique.
First, I greased the crock pot because nothing chafes me more than trying to peel my food off the sides of a ceramic bowl. I turned the crock pot on high while I did my prep work. Yes, there's prep work, somehow it seems to be vegan and frugal there must be prep work. (Get over it and move on, I'm trying to.)
Robin Robertson's recipe calls for browning vegetables in olive oil before putting them in the slow cooker. I did this begrudgingly but it does make it all taste better in the end. As usual, I subbed the veggies I had for the veggies the recipe called for. It was mostly little substitutions like quartered potatoes for new potatoes.
I put the veggies in the bottom of the slow cooker and went about making the seitan. I initially planned to use Isa's recipe but at the last minute switched and used the Seitan O Greatness recipe. Since I'm always feeding a crowd, I doubled the seitan recipe.
I placed the uncooked seitan on top of the veggies and went about adding some liquid. I whisked together a cup of water, 3 tablespoons of tamari, some thyme and onion powder. I poured this over the top of the gluten, said what passes for a cook's prayer in my house (God I hope this doesn't taste like s--t), put the lid on and switched the slow cooker to low heat.
8 hours later...
I whisked 1 tablespoon of cornstarch into 1/4 cup of water and set it aside. I removed the seitan from the cooker and sliced it to serve. The seitan will have chunks of potato stuck in the bottom so I flip it over to slice it more easily. I poured the liquid from the slow cooker into a small pot, whisked in the cornstarch mixture and cooked it over medium low heat until it thickened. This creates a gravy to serve over your meal.
The texture was much better than any slow cooker seitan I've ever made. I served this with tomato salad and polenta fries which everyone really enjoyed. Personally, I think they taste even better after they've cooled off. Of course I didn't have polenta or grits so I ground up some organic popcorn into cornmeal (thank you Chile for giving me the courage!) and it worked beautifully.