This is my entry into the Vegan MoFo November challenge, which is to make something original involving breadcrumbs as an ingredient. Thanks to the organizers for keeping the spirit of MoFo alive during the 11 non-MoFo months! I did not make a breadcrumb-themed three course meal, but these were pretty good, and a great way to salvage misbegotten, tasteless, generally old or texturally peculiar seitan.
Seitan-stuffed tomatoes with Moroccan spices
(I'm not giving a serving size, and the reason will become evident below)
2 tbsp almonds, roasted and ground
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
200g (about 2 cups) crumbled seitan
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp dried ginger
2 fresh tomatoes
1 tsp harissa (substitute red pepper flakes or hot sauce if you don't have harissa or the time to make it)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup currants
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp chopped coriander
1 cup cooked rice or other grains (any kind)
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
Start by roasting your almonds and grinding them up in a food processor to a granular consistency (you can just leave them in the food processor when you're done).
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and, when hot, add the chopped onions. Stir and fry for a few minutes, until the onions are translucent, then add the garlic, the spices, and the seitan:
Stir and fry for six or seven more minutes, until the spices are fragrant and the seitan is beginning to brown. The mixture will be dry.
Meanwhile, cut the tops off your tomatoes and set them aside (you'll need them later). Scoop out the tomato guts and chop them; place them in a small bowl with the harissa and the soy sauce. Mix this all together. The reason for this is that harissa is super-hot and also rather thick and will need to be incorporated--I assure you, no one, even the most dedicated chili-head, wants a mouthful of harissa:
Add this to the seitan:
...and stir and fry for a few more minutes, just to warm everything up. If it's still dry, add a tablespoon or two of water. Then take it off the heat and let it cool a bit. When it's cool enough, add the rice and the currants, parsley, and coriander, and run it all through the food processor to make a coarse paste. Add the breadcrumbs:
...and mix everything up together:
Now taste for salt--depending on your seitan, you may have to add a little more soy sauce, or just plain salt. You should have a nice thick mix, easily moldable into, for instance, balls...because, as you have probably already guessed, you're going to have a lot more mix than will fit into two tomatoes. This mix could have myriad uses, but I am very into Moroccan cuisine at this moment and have specific plans for it that involve its intermediate metamorphosis into meatballs. So, if you're me, you'll stuff your two tomatoes (putting their little hats back on afterwards):
...and make the rest into these:
The ones in the back are rolled in seasoned flour, because I seem to remember reading somewhere that this would make them look awesome when cooked.
Okay, I was wrong about that. Probably it was awesome when fried rather than baked, which was what I did, at 375F for about 20 minutes. Anyway, these flour-coated balls will be great in a stew, just wait and see!
Meanwhile, put your tomatoes in at 400F for about half an hour. Watch them, and don't let the little fellas collapse:
|Hey, they rose in the oven! Cool!|
Meanwhile, in true Moroccan fashion, I was steaming couscous:
So the whole meal?
The stuffed tomatoes, some zucchini-lemon couscous of my own devising (just mix the steamed couscous with some lightly stir fried zucchini, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt and pepper); and an orange-radish salad with mint, cinnamon and a few drops of orange flower water. Yes, I cooked with orange flower water! First time, and absolutely delish. I bought it years ago to use in handcreams or some such thing, never guessing how handy it would prove to be in the kitchen. Seek it out, peeps, it made this salad amazing. Mmmmmmmoroccan!