Thursday, June 12, 2014

Hail Seitan!

Let's start this post in an appropriately Behemoth way:

A couple of months back, I had the idea of starting a black metal yoga monthly event I fondly titled DOOMASANA. With a tongue firmly planted in my cheek (and if you read this blog and know how much cooking I do, you can see why freeing it from chewing duty was a nigh impossible feat), I lovingly dubbed it "yoga to the soothing sounds of Behemoth." And of course, the requisite taglines followed (because I love puns) about "heads will yoga poses," and "exorcizing your inner demons." And etc. and viscera and so on. Well, to my great delight, the event was quite a success which, of course, I measure by how much fun we had. And since it was pleasing to the (Dark) Lord, I decided to do DOOMASANA, The Second Coming. But back to talking about Behemoth and black metal in general. I can comfortably say that my iPod shuffle will often play Slick Rick and Slayer back-to-back. I love drum'n'bass, edm, hip hop, and black metal, but I really, really love Behemoth! You see, Behemoth and some other bands in the scene are a theology/literature/psychology major's wet dream (I am guilty of all of the afore-mentioned). "Blow Your Trumpets, Gabriel," is but a snippet of the veritable treasure trove that is the Behemoth opus. Everything is upended and inverted (and subverted)--a Christian mass becomes the vehicle for a very painful "cleansing," complete with vomiting blood, viscera, and being be-thorned--ha! I slay (er) myself! In the end, the girl becomes Gabriel, in a sense. She can blow her trumpets to signal a message not of judgement but of liberation. A new dawn. Or something like that. All this to say that maybe people should stop taking black metal so literally and start it taking it more literature-ally. As Nergal explains, "For me personally, I’ve always related to antiheroes. In most cases they were scapegoats, martyrs and negative archetypes, tools that were used in order to make other people into slaves. To me, Satan stands for everything that is dear to me. I’ve always been very fond of independence and autonomy and freethinking and freedom and intelligence." As someone who has always related to underdogs and DIY, I can certainly respect this.

So, onwards, to Seitan!

Seitan, or as it is fondly called, "wheat meat," is made out of vital wheat gluten. I have not eaten meat for so long that even meaty-looking things don't look particularly appetizing to me (striated flesh might be to blame), but seitan is a go-to for your carnivore friends to enjoy, as well as you. In fact, the above picture was taken at Thanksgiving and, no, that is clearly not my (hairy) hand :) I am a dainty lady, ruffian! And I certainly don't have hairy palms!

  • 1 3/4 cups vital wheat gluten
  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour (besan flour)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsps. chili flakes
  • 2 Tbsp. tamari
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 and 3/4 cups water
  • water
  • ½ small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
1. Combine the first block of ingredients into a big dough ball of droom. Knead dough for 2-3 mins (add more water as needed). Shape into 1 large or 2 small loaves.
2. Place seitan dough in large saucepan, and add remaining water or veggie broth, onion, and garlic. Cover saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 to 45 minutes, or until seitan pieces are firm.

Let it cool. Spend some time with your Bathory goat or with this kid and then make Seitan Bourginon--enough to make Julia Child ROLL in her grave :)

Seitan Bourguinon

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • a few drops liquid smoke
  •  bunch of mushrooms
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • dijon mustard
  • seitan
  • red wine
  • low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp thyme (or fresh sprig, if you have it)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig parsley or maybe even Herbes de Provence
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • chopped fresh parley to garnish
  1. Start sauteing the shallots and then add garlic. Add mushrooms to the mixture. Add wine, bay leaf, and tomato paste. A little dijon mustard also.
  2. Return the seitan to the Dutch oven. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add a little veggie broth or water and simmer the whole thing on low heat. Voila!

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