Thursday, April 29, 2010

Potato Salad Seitan Sandwich

My mind is on non-stop summer foods. Again. I have already made a huge batch of my Oma's Noodle Salad (veganized, duh), experimenting with black bean burgers and next up...I had to fulfill my need for some good old fashioned potato salad. On a sandwich. With seitan. Oh yeah!!

Also, a lot of the food that I have been making reminds me of when I grew up in Germany. And I find it interesting how different the flavor palate was between the US and where I grew up. When I first moved over to the US, even as a kid, I was repulsed at how sweet everything tasted. Campbells Tomato Soup...yuck! Way too sweet for me. Pasta salad...sweet, no good. I even have memories of bbqs where people brought pasta salad, which literally was sweet tasting italian dressing with some peppers chopped and added. This left me longing for what I grew up with, food with pow. Alot of things that I remember having growing up had a lot of sass, a lot of tang...which is still with me to this day. I much prefer things that way. And this potato salad hits my flavor spot. Zingy, creamy and mustardy with a splash of vinegar to give it that added tangyness that I so love and remember.

So here is my idea of a perfect summer sandwich, cool and tangy potato salad on a layer of seitan and lettuce...Mmmmm.

Here is what you will need:

Parsley & Fennel Seitan
1 c. vital wheat gluten
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 tbsp. flour
1/2 c. cold water
1/4 c. soy sauce (I've also subbed Braggs for this)
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
1/2 tsp dried parsley

Mustard Potato Salad
5-6 large potatos (2.5 - 3 lbs)
1/2 c. diced red onion
3/4 c. diced celery (about 2 - 3 stalks)
1/2 c. vegenaise
1/2 c. spicy brown mustard
1 tbsp. vinegar
salt/pepper to taste
parsley to garnish, optional

Begin with making the seitan, since it takes longer to make. The recipe is loosely based on the recipe out of Isa's Vegan with a Vengeance. I have made many variations based on it, and it always turns out fab. The addition of parsley and fennel seeds make it a nice compliment to the potato salad.

Begin by mixing all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate, smaller bowl combine all of your wet ingredients. Using a large spoon or spatula, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until well combined. After everything is incorporated, knead for about 5 minutes and let the dough set for a few minutes. Get a large pot ready, and fill it with cold, well salted water. Shape the dough into a long-ish log, cut into 3-4 evenly sized pieces. Place these in your pot and bring to a boil. Once a boil has been reached, set to simmer, covered with the lid propped open a bit for one hour. Turn off heat and let cool in the broth. The seitan should be much bigger and lighter in color than before. And it will most likely looks like brains. Gross, but tastes to good.

While the seitan cools, start making the potato salad. I left the skins on my potatoes because I like the texture, color AND it saves a whole lotta work. Cut your potatoes into bite sized cubes. Add to boiling water and cook until it is tender enough for your fork to push through, about 10 minutes total. You do not want your potatoes to be mush, but rather slightly undercooked just a teeny bit. Drain and let the potato cubes cool. Spreading them out on a baking sheet is a great way of cooling them down a bit faster. While the hot potatoes cool down, begin by making the dressing. Finely dice your onion and celery, set aside. Mix your vegenaise and mustard until smooth and well combined. In a large bowl, add your diced potatoes, onion and celery. Pour over your dressing, using a spatula, fold carefully until everything is evenly coated. Add your tbsp of vinegar, any salt/pepper to taste if needed, giving one last stir. Set in fridge to let all of the yummy flavors mingle.

Back to the seitan. Take out each chunk, and to the best of your ability, cut it into long strips and slices. Store in a container, making sure to cover it in some of the broth. Now comes an important decision: hot or cold. If you say cold, just layer lettuce, sliced seitan and potato salad on some of your favorite bread and you are ready to rock 'n roll. I made mine with the seitan warmed up. Using a good non-stick pan, you can easily toast the seitan without the use of any oil. Cook on medium heat until each side of the seitan is lightly browned, then layer up your sandwich. Either way, this is really good.

I know know that this is not a mind-blowing new idea, but hey, if it is not broke, why fix it? Why reinvent the wheel? Sometimes, things are classics for a reason and this tangy (not sweet) potato salad is the perfect example. Layered with lettuce and seitan on a sandwich just lets it reach new heights.

Now make sandwichs, go on a picnic, enjoy good foods and the day!


chris.s said...

i can personally vouch for the tastiness of this sandwich. Though I'm not sure if i could handle cold seitan...

speaking of sour German foods, you should take a shot at some pickled vegetables. if not full on pickled then perhaps just cold vinegary bits like peppers and artichokes and mushrooms....maybe over cold pasta? i bet you could really do a great job on something like that.

also, the pictures are a knock-out. well done!

Mihl said...

Potato salad is a dish my Oma and me used to make together. She would just make some Pellkartoffeln, let them cool and add Fleischsalat and mayonnaise. Not really a recipe but I loved that stuff. Your mustard version sounds very interesting. And I've never had potato salad in a sandwich. We usually had it with W├╝rstchen. So weird and non-nutritious now that I think about it.

Ha, ha, all fellow Germans who have been to the US complain about how sweet everything is. And I usually leave out the sugar, if it is called for in savoury US recipes.

Andrea said...

I didn't grow up in Germany but everything tastes too sweet to me, too! I think mustard in potato salad sounds like a great idea.

sophia said...

so much mustard! sounds fantastic!

Kala said...

Mmm, looks so good and perfect for summer!

JENNA said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who puts potato salad on sandwiches! That looks great!

Photo Jenny said...

Wow...thanks for the encouraging feedback, guys! Who knew there were so many potato salad fans out there? I can't wait to make this again and bring it along on a picnic :)

PIE-3.14 said...

I agree with you completely about how everything here tastes way too sweet.

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