Monday, March 10, 2008

crockpots make ugly but tasty food

this recipe was inspired by fresh from the vegetarian slow-cooker, a book by the amazing robin robertson, who also wrote the vegetarian meat and potatoes cookbook that i LOVE. and vegan planet. and lots of other books.
warning: there is no picture on this entry cos for reals, crockpots make things indiscernible enough that i think my cell phone could not capture anything. but i promise, the appearance is made up for by the genius taste.
to make up for it, here is a picture of a crockpot that looks just like mine. it is two quarts. you can tell it is not mine, though, because it appears to have green peppers in it, which i do not really want to eat.

last night, before i went to bed, i turned on my crockpot to make seitan cacciatore. admittedly, this is probably nothing like chicken cacciatore, but it is really good anyway.
it requires about 10 minutes of non-crockpot prep time, and then many hours of crockpot simmering.
first, i sauteed one package (8 oz) of seitan with a little bit of olive oil until it was browned. as it was sauteeing, i chopped up a small onion, a carrot, and a piece of celery. once it was brown, in like 3-5 minutes, i put it in the crock pot. then i deglazed the pan with some amazing apple cider vinegar--basically putting it in the pan, and scraping up the burnt on bits with the help of the liquid. once it had reduced a little, which was almost immediate, i poured it over the seitan, put some more oil in, and sauteed the vegetables. as they were sauteeing, i put like 1/3 can of diced tomatoes (a big can, so maybe like 8 oz?), a little bit of tomato paste mixed with like 1/2 cup of warm water, some dried oregano, and a couple of bay leaves in the crockpot. i also put in salt and pepper. i did NOT put in a little bit of sugar, but i would do that next time.
once the veggies were done, i put them in the crockpot too. then, i put the lid on, and turned it to low till i woke up. the recipe says 6-8 hours. i definitely was on the longer end of that, since i did all this a while before i went to sleep. in the morning, i took out the pot part of the crock pot and put it in the fridge. when i got home, i had a dinner ready to heat up that i had never eaten before!
i put it with some whole wheat pasta, which was fine, but next time i eat it (maybe for lunch?) i plan to have it with the no-knead bread i am making right now.
edited to add: i ended up eating it with the bread, and tearing up the crust (my least favorite part) to throw into the cacciatore. it absorbed the liquid really well and added a nice taste and texture to the whole thing. it makes me want to bake the leftovers with bread chunks to make a nice stuffing. just a thought.


Mark D. Snyder said...

i wouldnt' know how to spell cacciatore if i didn't just cut and paste it from your post

Vegan Planet said...

Glad you like my book, Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker. As a slow-cooker fan, you might also appreciate the recipe I posted on my blog for slow-cooker seitan pot roast -- it's really good!!! Here's the link to my blog:

Pink of Perfection said...

love the title of this post. truer words were never spoken.