Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Daddy's Seitan Sandwiches

In honor of my father turning the big 6-0 today, I thought I'd post a recipe he taught me. In fact, eating this seitan sandwich is one of my earliest food memories with him (second only to his famous omelets, which is for another time). I know some people are going to be incredulous about cooking with seitan. If you think about it as meat substitute, then yes, I'm with you that eating meat would be preferable. But if you think of it as just seitan, then I believe you will be surprised at how much you like its pillowy texture and slightly sweet flavor.

I grew up in a quasi-vegetarian household where Dad's non-meat-eating habits usually predominated. Mom also tended to eschew dairy and simple carbohydrates (this was way pre-Atkins, mind you). Sauteed seitan with onions and BBQ sauce on a (white) baguette was a happy medium. I don't remember ever really eating red meat as a child, so I was delighted with these spicy and savory sandwiches that Dad made. Tofu, tempeh, and seitan were all weekly stars at the table.

For all you students and folks on a budget, seitan gains additional bonus points for its price, which is pretty dang cheap. I found mine at Whole Foods, though I'm sure it's available at most health food stores and co-ops. For BBQ sauce, I'm going to give a shameless plug for KC Masterpiece, which was developed by a physician, no less. A second good option is Bone Suckin' Sauce. Buy a really delicious crunchy loaf of French bread. It will take the sandwich to a whole new level.

Daddy's Seitan Sandwiches
generously serves 2
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 oz package seitan, sliced into thin strips
  • 1/3 c your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 1 loaf French bread
In a medium saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute, stirring occasionally, until soft and beginning to caramelize, about 10-12 minutes. Add seitan and cook until just warmed through. Add BBQ sauce and stir to coat onions and seitan. Serve immediately in French bread. Leftovers are good reheated the next day!

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