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Crimini Mushrooms and Seitan over Olive Oil Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Chipotle Crackers

Posted Oct 12 2009 9:49pm
I was shopping with my daughter at A Southern Season, a gourmet store, today, and found these interesting "Fieri" brand crackers by a company named La Panzanella. I purchased their Chipotle flavor, but would love to try the others, as well, such as Serrano Lime.
On the drive home, I came up with an idea for a main course with these crackers that appeared (and proved) to be quite sturdy and thick. I love the combination of mushrooms and seitan. Over medium-high heat, I started sauteeing a medium diced clove of garlic, as well as two medium shallots cut into half moons.
A minute or so into the saute, I added half of a box of seitan, cut into thin rectangles maybe 1/2" x 3/4", and another minute later added about 15-20 small crimini mushrooms, cut into halves or thirds, depending on mushroom size. I cooked, stirring occasionally, for a good length of time, perhaps 10-12 minutes, to let the seitan get nice and crispy. I then quickly increased the temperature to near high, added several tablespoons of port, and let the alcohol cook away with the port flavor being absorbed into the mushroom and seitan. I mixed in some salt and freshly ground black pepper.
On each of three of these crackers I spread a thin coat of some olive oil-garlic mashed potatoes that I had prepared. Starches are great to get things to stick, and that's just what I did - I served the seitan saute atop the potato, carefully gently pressing down. A sprig of rosemary, salad, and corn-off-the-cob with a bit of lime and salt as well as Earth Balance margarine filled out the meal.
My wife and I were very pleased with the meal. One thing I might change, however, is to marinate the seitan in a lime base to add an interesting citrus taste dimension. I had considered adding some tomato paste atop the cracker, before the potato, but am glad that I didn't do that. Our new local vegetarian restaurant, Butternut Squash, has asked me to submit one of my recipes for them to rotate into their menu, and I think I'll offer this, at least for now!
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