Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Seitan Ham with Herb-Scalloped Potatoes and Roasted Baby Carrots

I finally got around to making that Easter feast that didn't happen. And now I'm finally getting around to blogging about it! Believe me, I've attempted to write this post about ten times between last Monday and today and got interrupted or side-tracked each time. Life has not been this busy in a very long time, so bear with me as I blog (poorly) very sporadically until things settle down for me.

I may be really busy, but this meal was so super yum that I don't want to delay posting about it any longer! I'm disappointed that, in my extreme hungover-ness, I couldn't handle putting it together on Easter proper. But there is always next year! And I officially can't wait!

The glue that holds this entire meal together is the seitan ham. At the very least, it's what makes it an Easter feast. It is very, very easy to make and is done in a similar fashion to the seitan roast I make every Thanksgiving. Wheat gluten steamed in a cheesecloth until it reaches the right springy texture! Easy peasy!

What the hell is going on in that second picture, you ask? Well, I'm a consummate idiot and burnt the element off of my double steamer, because a couple weeks ago I was too busy to notice that I placed a basket of broccoli in the steamer and set it over high heat, without bothering to put any water in the pot. I'm searching for a new one that satisfies all of my obscene criteria with regard to what a double steamer should look and act like. In the meantime, my mom has since kindly given me her double steamer so that we can stop playing Macgyver with a metal colander and aluminum foil until I find a new one.

The recipe for this ham comes from Caribbean Vegan. I don't have the cookbook, but the author has graciously provided the recipe online, here and now that I've tried it, Caribbean Vegan has skyrocketed to the top half of my "Cookbooks to Buy" List. Instead of the glaze she has provided, I whisked together a teaspoon of mustard with a 1/4 cup of maple syrup to make it a little more Easter-traditional.

We loved it! I've never had real maple-glazed ham before so I liked it just because it was delicious and not because I've particularly missed the taste of ham. The husband has ingested a fair bit of ham in his life and also gives it the seal of approval. The liquid smoke is what makes the magic happen, I think! We've bought premade vegan hams before and it's what we used in the TIV Breakfast Special. Unfortunately, they can be quite hard to come by. Further, while visually they look more like ham than the recipe I tried here (very pink and smooth), it's usually at the cost of added chemicals and processing. And for me, it's always about taste and quality over appearance (especially since fake meats often freak me out!) For these and many other reasons, I'm especially excited to have found myself a recipe for homemade vegan ham, and I'm looking forward feeling out some other glazes and then trying it in our breakfast special. I will let you know how it goes!

We are gluttons though, so one ham wasn't big enough for us. I think I'll double it next time. If you're a normal person who doesn't need three servings of everything, this size will be perfect for you.

Scalloped potatoes are another Easter favourite. There are many, many, many recipes for vegan scalloped potatoes to choose from. This one comes from Veganomicon and we quite liked it. I do need to work on my potato slicing skills if I'm going to keep making it. Or perhaps invest in a mandolin! Gently roasted baby carrots round out this springtime feast, courtesy of Everyday Happy Herbivore!

Easter may be over, but spring sure isn't, and this would make a lovely Sunday night dinner. In the meantime, I'm going to try and stay up on my blogging. And my cooking, actually - another reason I haven't been blogging much is because we've been relying on old (quick) favourites to get us through this busy patch! What delicious vegan things have you been cooking while I've been MIA?


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