I've just ordered a new stock of vital wheat gluten flour as I suddenly seem to be getting through it and my stocks are wavering on the low side. One of the reasons is that I am back in my own kitchen, after a spell of being away in Kent, and so enjoying the time and the quiet creative chance to explore new recipes. The other reason is that I have discovered the wonders of using oranges in cooking, particularly so with seitan.
Using oranges isn't a new experience completely. We've enjoyed a few tasty wonders whilst eating at our favourite restaurant Eurasia in Southern Portugal where Mila, the resident goddess of Portuguese fusion food, has employed the very accessible orange as an ingredient in a few of her buffet dishes, including a seitan one. Quite why it took so long to explore the orangey possibilities myself is beyond me. It took a browse through a free Waitrose newspaper, and a chance upon a far from vegan recipe, to have me putting oranges on my shopping list as a savoury recipe ingredient rather than a sweet treat. The recipe involved chicken but I had the ability to look beyond that and think seitan instead. Coupled with fennel and the seitan, the recipe involved only a few other ingredients including orange juice and zest, olives, mustard, and thyme. In fact here is the recipe (although it pains me to include a link to a non vegan recipe) and I implore Waitrose to include in their 'Cook's Tips' at the bottom a vegan alternative. It doesn't involve that much compassionate imagination after all.
The recipe was a little 'off piste' for us mostly for the fact that it involved the little used oranges, but also involved mustard; an ingredient I am fond of but Phil is a little dubious of. I'm gradually introducing it more and more in the hope that it will infiltrate his life in the same way that California and Brittany did. When I announced to Phil a few years ago that I wanted to revisit California he was reluctant; an artificial impression of Americans and American life emblazoned on his mind. I insisted it wasn't like that and as it was my birthday pulled the ace card out on him and we went. He loved it. Same with Brittany. His impression of the French was a meat loving, English hating nation; a misconception I was determined to dissolve. I have the advantage of being able to communicate reasonably well with our French neighbours (after all I am of French Canadian decent) and I have immense respect for the French pride (misinterpreted as arrogance). A few beautifully baked French baguettes, bottles of amazing French wine, spotlessly presented French villages and polite smiling French exchanges later, he was sold. Now he asks me when we can return. Mustard is taking a little longer, French or not. Anyway, I digress. I completely blame that on the amazing bottle of French Beaujolais I am currently drinking.
|Seitan boiled but yet to be marinated and baked|
I then happened upon a recipe from my treasured Native Foods Restaurant Cookbook (many a happy meal in Palm Springs led me to buy this a few years ago). It was a Moroccan style marinade to make Moroccan steaks from seitan. Just perfect it was, and very quick to make before applying to the already made seitan pieces. Obviously I cannot just repeat the recipe here for copyright reasons. However, I just found the exact same recipe (Rockin' Moroccan Marinade) online so follow the link to jazz up your home made seitan, or tofu, or tempeh to get that orangey summery hit. I marinated my seitan for a few hours then baked for about 30 minutes at 200 degrees C. There was even enough marinade to store and repeat a few days later.
Get orangey and enjoy!