I'm going to be cooking what I consider to be classic North American dishes every Sunday. Unlike the Cookbook Challenge I'll be choosing these dishes myself. Tonight I decided to make these Barbecued Seitan Ribz from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen and the Mac Daddy from Veganomicon.
Nick & I are both big mac & cheese fans but we've never eaten ribs in our lives. It's not really a thing here but I searched around a bit & settled upon the recipe from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen because it sounded easy to throw together and the pictures on the site looked great.
This recipe was definitely easy to make, the only challenge was getting the seitan to spread out & lie flat in the pan so that you could cut it into equally sized pieces. I was also momentarily panicked when I was reading the recipe through a few hours ago & it said to 'prepare your grill'. We don't really have grills over here but then I remembered one of my most recent kitchen appliance purchases, a Grill & Griddle!
I love this thing! So far I've used it to make panini's, toasted sandwiches, pancakes and now ribs. Nick also wants me to mention that he once used it to make a pocket pita panini pizza!
The actual seitan was crazy delicious. Moist inside and crispy on the outside thanks to the grilling. Nick & I are both fans of steamed or baked seitans & this recipe certainly didn't disappoint.
We chose the Mac Daddy recipe from Veganomicon to go with it because it seems that people in the US eat ribs with mac & cheese! The Mac Daddy was the first vegan mac & cheese I ever made & I love it. It's slightly healthier than some other popular mac 'n' cheeses (the New Farm recipe for example) and I love that it includes tofu. The Cheesy Sauce recipe is part of the Mac Daddy recipe & we often just make the Cheesy Sauce to throw over pasta. Sunday Night Football's a special occasion this month though so I made the whole thing.
This was a great dinner & I'll definitely be making it again. We went a bit easy on the BBQ Sauce because we were using store-bought & were unsure of how much we'd like it but I'd happily slather on some more next time.
I thought I'd also give you guys a sneak peek at my kitchen set up! I've mentioned on the blog before that my pictures can be less than perfect because I do most of my cooking in the evenings & my house is really dark but tonight I started working on a solution. Last weekend I actually made a pre-mofo practice Sunday night football dinner & the pictures were so terrible that I had to do something!
That's my kitchen with the main lights on. That's how dark it usually is! I've added the extra light which'll have to live somewhere else when I'm not taking pictures as it's clearly in the way. I'm no photographer but I think this has made my night time pictures a little better.
I'm going to show you what we ate last week anyway though because it was delicious...
We made Vegan Dad's Boneless Chicken Hot Wings and his Sweet & Sticky Sauce with a side of polenta fries.
As you can see the picture really didn't do this delicious food justice. I was also a little freaked out about making three new recipes for one meal so I'm glad that this was pre-mofo rather than today when it would have made me a little more panicky! Everything actually came together relatively easily. The first hurdle was that the seitan wings included chicken broth powder which isn't something you can buy here upping the new recipe total to four as I needed start by making Bryannas Chicken Broth Powder. This looked so easy that I actually outsourced the task to Nick who's not usually the chef in this house. We left out the soy protein powder, I would imagine that you can buy this in the UK but we didn't have any so out it went & it was fantastic anyway. I'll definitely be making this again rather than buying expensive chicken broth cubes from Vegan Essentials so don't be put off making this wing recipe because of the extra step.
The seitan came together really easily, the only real challenge was forming it into the 'wings' around the stick. We only used 1 cup of water (the lower amount in the recipe) & it was quite a wet dough so if (when! Seriously, go!) you make this add the water slowly. Also bear in mind that I'm no artist so I would suggest a trip to Vegan Dad's blog if you would like to see what the wings are meant to look like. This is some of the tastiest seitan I've ever eaten.
This thick sweet sauce was equally easy to make & I added a tonne more to my plate after taking that picture. I was worried that the sauce might be too sweet for me given that it contained ketchup, maple syrup AND brown sugar so we decided to serve it as a dip rather than pouring it over the wings & baking it that way but I'd certainly give that a try next time. Nick was incredibly excited about this sauce because the last step is to drain the onion, he hates onion & we often argue about whether it is or isn't necessary in recipes!
I'm actually unsure where I found the Perfect Polenta Fries recipe. It's something that I've had saved in my bookmarks for years but for some reason I've always had some kind of polenta phobia. I don't really know why but it meant that I'd never tried it until last weekend. This recipe was probably the most challenging of all because the directions in the recipe seemed a little off. It said to coat the polenta in cornmeal which I would take to mean it should be really well covered but after trying them (& having had to use a lot of extra cornmeal!) I would think that the recipe should have said that these needed to be sprinkled with cornmeal or perhaps thrown into a bowl & tossed with the oil & then the cornmeal. Whilst the recipe wasn't perfect (we had to scrape a lot of corn meal off off the cooked fries!) I am now a polenta convert though & will be making some polenta fries in the near future.
I think it's time for Nick & I to break open some Cleo's to stick with our American theme & I'm going to go & read all of the MoFo blogs that I have open in multiple tabs & windows! I hope you guys enjoyed Football Food Sunday I'll be back with more of the same next weekend!