This Bitchin’ Kitchen Supperclub Challenge was probably a meat-eater’s dream. Rib-eye steak cooked in tons of butter with a white wine butter sauce served with french fries cooked in duck fat. Yuck!! Tons of cruelty, tons of calories, tons of fat, tons of NO WAY!!
What a great challenge, though, for me to veganize! I love being able to show that I can make a very similar and delicious dish that is much healthier and more importantly, compassionate. The plan seemed simple: leave the cow alone and use seitan for the steak, swap out the butter for vegan butter and the fries would be oven-baked.
Since going gluten-free, I don’t make seitan very often but I wanted to do this challenge and I feel bad that Tom, who does not need to be gluten-free, eats that way because of me. I know he misses seitan; I do too, so you can imagine how happy he was to see this meal!!
I used to boil the seitan and it was a hit or miss experience. Sometimes it came out perfectly and sometimes it was soft and jiggly, kind of like meaty jello. But now I’ve switched to Terry Hope Romero’s technique of steaming the seitan and it’s so much better. It’s firmer and chewier and just perfect. If you don’t already have Terry’s book, Viva Vegan!, go get it! NOW! I’ll wait….
Ok, so now that you have Terry’s beautiful and amazing book of vegan Latin recipes, we can continue. I didn’t play around much with her recipe. I added some flaxseed because I’m always looking for excuses to add them into my food and I, of course, added more spices.
The Beurre Blanc Sauce is Nadia G’s recipe except that it’s vegan and instead of tarragon (which I didn’t have), I used a combination of fresh parsley and fennel fronds. The combination gives a similar flavor to tarragon. And the fries were oven-baked to crispy perfection. Parboiling them before baking them helps them get that crisp texture we all want from fries.
The result: a beautiful, elegant dish that would make a beautiful Valentine’s Day dinner. In fact, I think it’s going to make it into my Valentine’s Day Menu coming up soon. I love these Supperclub Challenges because what it shows me again and again is that being compassionate is really not a challenge at all. Next time someone says vegans can’t enjoy a thick, juicy steak, prove them wrong with my Seitan Steak in Beurre Blanc Sauce with Oven-Baked French Fries.
Seitan Steak in Beurre Blanc Sauce
For the Seitan Steak:
1 ½ cups cold low-sodium vegetable broth
4 cloves garlic, grated
3 Tbs. tamari
4 Tbs. tomato paste
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 ½ cups vital wheat gluten flour
¼ cup chickpea flour
¼ cup nutritional yeast
2 Tbs. ground flax seed
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. paprika
In a large bowl, combine the vital wheat gluten, chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, flaxseed, and spices. In a smaller bowl, combine the broth, garlic, tamari, tomato paste and olive oil. Mix well.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until you have a dough. Knead by hand for 3 minutes and the dough will become firmer as the gluten develops. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes and then knead again for a minute.
Place the dough on a cutting board and divide into 4-6 equal pieces, depending how big you want each piece to be. Knead each piece and form each into the shape of a steak or cutlet.
Wrap each piece loosely in a piece of aluminum foil. Place the foil packets in a steamer and steam for 30 minutes. If you are making more than 4 packets, you might want to do this in batches so the steamer isn’t too crowded and each packet has room to expand. When the steaks cool, transfer them to the refrigerator for at least an hour but preferably, overnight in a container.
Oven-Baked French Fries
2 – 4 large russet potatoes, sliced into French fries
4 cups water
1 tsp. Kosher salt
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. paprika
¼ tsp. black pepper
A pinch of cayenne
Non-stick cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the potato slices into a large pot of cold water. There should be just enough water to cover the potatoes. Bring the water to a boil and add the salt. Cook the potatoes for about 5-8 minutes or until they are just shy of fork-tender. They should be cooked about 75% of the way.
Remove the potatoes from the heat, drain them in a colander and run cold water over the potatoes to stop the cooking. Dry the potatoes on paper towels or with clean dish towels. You want the potatoes to be pretty much dry.
Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl. Add the oil and spices and mix well. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Turn the potatoes and bake for 10 minutes more or until they are golden and crisping up. When they look about ready, turn the oven to broil and broil the potatoes for just 5 minutes. Serve while hot.
For the Beurre Blanc Sauce:
1/4 cup vegan dry white wine
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 shallots, minced
1/2 cup cold vegan butter, cubed
1 Tbs. fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1 Tbs. fresh fennel fronds, chopped
1/2 tsp. sea salt
Freshly cracked pepper
Heat saucepan on medium high. Add white wine, vinegar, and shallots. Let boil and reduce down to 2 tablespoons of liquid. Take off heat and let cool for about 1 minute. Put saucepan back on burner without turning on the heat. Throw in a few butter cubes at a time; whisk until butter is melted. Continue until all butter is melted. Add herbs, salt, and pepper. Mix. Cover, turn heat to very low and let sit.
For the Seitan Steak in Beurre Blanc Sauce:
1 Tbs. canola oil
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup chickpea flour
2 Tbs. vegan butter
Heat canola oil in a pan on medium high. Put the chickpea flour on a plate and season it with salt and pepper. Lightly dust the seitan steaks in the flour. Shake off the excess. Cook for 3 minutes per side, until the seitan steaks have a crispy, browned coating. For last minute of cooking, add butter and melt. Baste the steaks with the butter. Remove steak from heat.
Serve the seitan steak on a plate. Drizzle on the beurre blanc sauce and serve with the Oven-Baked Fries. Enjoy!
The “V” Word: Say it. Eat it. Live it.