Vegetarian Giro d’Italia: Seitanstoofpot with Beer

May 10, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Other, Vegetarian Giro d'Italia

Seitanstoofpot with Beer

Today was the last stage in The Netherlands so I’m rounding out the recipes with a hearty soup called Seitanstoofpot with Beer. This dish was created to honor International Labour Day on May 1st, so it’s a Dutch homage to hearty factory worker food which invariably involves beer and meat. In the Netherlands, instead of Labour Day, they celebrate Koninginnedag on April 30th –  a celebration of the birthday of the Queen’s Mother. The holiday brings folks to the streets dressed in orange much like these fine fellows:

Let me be honest, though, this recipe came out rather…um, not so good. Before I get to that, I wanted to let you in on some amusement I had…

In my research for the Giro stages in the Netherlands, I stumbled across this great Dutch vegetarian site – Vegatopia. To read through the recipes I used Google Translate (Dutch to English) and soon I was lulled into reading interesting grammatical structures from mistranslations.

Google translate sometimes hits the nail on the head, but Dutch seems to give it trouble. You can almost understand it…but then realize you have no idea really what it’s trying to say. (Some of my Podium Cafe readers might recognize this phenomenon as “Fringlish”.)

In particular, this translation of the description of Koninginnedag provided for an asparagus croquettes recipe could better be performed during a poetry reading by a man with a beret and a cigarette hanging out of the side of his mouth, snapping and banging on a bongo in a smoky room.

Queen does for most people: a lot of beer and greasy bites. Want to make sure that happen – besides fat – really delicious?…Guys, I have this year is no sense in Queens. All those stupid people who wander about the streets drunk. Just the idea of a candy.  Muk mountains that people just had to leave the attic. Gruesome forms of happiness. Spoiled children, worse still, cool parents. Bands which are not starting nothing and remain so. Fanfares. Salmonella huge barbecues full mapping satay, which comes from such a nauseating fumes.

Ahhh, yeah. (I do think that if I ever write a song the line “spoiled children, worse still, cool parents” and “gruesome forms of happiness” have got to be in it.)

So, let’s let Google Translate lead us with a description into of Seitanstoofpot with Beer.

Bovendien zorgt het ontbreken van grote stukken vlees ervoor dat de stoofpot niet uren hoeft te garen, maar in een half uurtje klaar is. Vlug in de keuken dus.

Moreover, the absence of large cuts of meat make the stew not have hours to cook, but in half an hour to finish. So get in the kitchen.

Wait, hold on a minute, don’t go into the kitchen so fast with this recipe until you read further.

Beer selection is probably key for this soup to work. In short, it starts off pretty good on the palate then you get a really bitter aftertaste. I had the opportunity to serve this to others besides my in-house taste tester so I was able to get some interesting impressions of this recipe including:

  • It needs a starch in it. But, I like what it did to the kidney beans.
  • It tasted like it was going to eventually give me a stomach ache.
  • It’s a bowl of bitterness but falls short of vitriol.
  • It didn’t have a bad aftertaste, it had a bad middletaste and a good beginningtaste.
  • It was bilious…that’s why I had to stop eating it.

That said, try this beer soup recipe at your own risk. There has to be something I’m missing in the recipe and maybe Google Translate led me astray. The only liquid in this soup is the beer so that’s the only culprit I could find. Perhaps the beer should be cut with another liquid? If you know of a beer that doesn’t do this funky turn of taste when you cook with it, please let me know.

Now, without further ado, the last of the cuisine from the Netherlands for the Giro…

Seitanstoofpot with Beer
Translated from Vegatopia

2 onions, sliced (Note: This seemed to be a lot of onion. I used only one.)
1/2 cup carrot, thinly sliced
3/4 cup mushrooms, sliced
3/4 cup seitan (Note: I used a “chicken” seitan and liked how it soaked up the flavor)
3/4 cup kidney beans (from a jar) (Note: I just dumped in an entire 15 oz can, drained)
2 bottles dark beer
1 1/2 T parsley, chopped
2 T flour
a pat of butter
salt, pepper

Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat.  Cook the onions in the butter and turn frequently. Then add carrots and mushrooms and stir occasionally.

After five minutes add the seitan to the pot.  Turn the heat to high and stir occasionally.

Three minutes later, lower the heat and add the beer and some salt and pepper. Simmer 15 minutes with the lid on the pan.

Add the flour into a bowl and get half soup-ladle the liquid from the stew. Put the liquid into the bowl with flour and stir well. Add the flour paste to the stew.

Add the beans and cook another two minutes.

Add the parsley, stir, taste. Add  salt and / or pepper to taste and serve. Serve with bread or brown rice.

Guinness Bangers and Cheesy Onion Mash (a.k.a. Vegetarian Sausage and Potatoes)

April 08, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Side Dishes

I was inspired by a “Dinner: Impossible” episode on the Food Network to make this banger and mash recipe.  All I had to do was convert the original recipe by using vegetarian sausage.  I also took advantage of a bumper crop of parsley in my Aerogarden to throw some fresh herbs into my mash.

Preparation couldn’t have been easier, but cook time is a little long. But, you don’t have to monitor it that much. So, this was definitely a “sit on the stove and let simmer while folding the laundry” dinner. Served with a little light coleslaw, this meal was quite unique and satisfying. And, it would be easy to make large quantities of if serving a large crowd.

Guinness Bangers and Cheesy Onion Mash
(a.k.a. Vegetarian Sausage and Potatoes)

Serves 2
By: Megabeth
Inspired by Dinner: Impossible

Vegetarian Guinness Sausages
2 t olive oil
1 12 oz package vegetarian Italian-style sausage (4 sausages)
1 pint, 6 oz bottle of Guinness Extra Stout
1/2 white onion, diced

Cheesy Onion Mash
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1/4 white onion, diced
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup asagio cheese, shredded (or use white cheddar)
1 1/2 T butter (I used Smart Balance instead)
2 T flat leaf parsley, minced
sea salt, to taste

In a saute pan, heat olive oil on medium high heat. Add vegetarian sausage and brown on all sides.

vegetarian bangers and mash

Add Guinness and onions and turn heat to low.

vegetarian bangers and mash

Cover and braise for 50 minutes.

vegetarian bangers and mash

In large pot, place potatoes and onions and pot and bring to boil.

vegetarian bangers and mash

Continue to boil until potatoes and onions soften. Drain and place in large bowl.

vegetarian bangers and mash

Add cheese, butter and heavy cream. With potato masher, mash potatoes until smooth.

vegetarian bangers and mash

Add parsley and stir to combine into potatoes. If you desire creamier potatoes, use a hand mixer after hand mashing.

vegetarian bangers and mash

Remove sausage from pan and serve with mashed potatoes. Feel free to use some of the sauce from the pan to drizzle over the potatoes and sausage.

Vegetarian Chili

December 25, 2008 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

This vegetarian chili recipe has been crowd tested and crowd approved. I’ve served it to meat eaters at a pot luck without revealing that the chili had no meat in it.  They didn’t even realize anything was “amiss” and were raving about the taste. It’s now time to reveal my secret ingredient: beer. Try to choose a flavorful pale ale. Steer away from light beers (no flavor) and thicker stouts (too much flavor).

The ingredient list does look long; however, preparation couldn’t be easier.  It’s all about combining the ingredients into the pot and letting it simmer. The reason why this particular recipe works is that the various flavors and spices are given a chance to be layered through the cooking process.

Vegetarian Chili
by Megabeth

8 oz package sliced small portobello mushrooms (or white mushrooms)
1 12 oz package vegetarian “ground beef” crumbles
1/2 onion, chopped (optional)
2 garlic cloves, minced
olive oil
1 1/2 t chili powder
1 1/2 t garlic powder
1 1/2 t onion power
1/8 t cayenne pepper
1 packet (1.13 ounces) organic taco seasoning
2 15 oz cans organic dark kidney beans (drained)
2 15 oz cans organic light kidney beans (drained)
1 11 oz can organic canned corn (drained) (or 1 cup frozen corn)
2 10 oz cans diced tomatoes and green chilies
2 6 oz cans organic tomato paste
3/4 cup peanut halves
1/2 cup beer
shredded cheese and sour cream for garnish

– Pour a little olive oil into bottom of large pot and add garlic. Heat oil and garlic on medium heat. Add mushrooms and saute until mushrooms are softened. (Note: If using onions, saute onions first, then add mushrooms after the onions have had a chance to soften up.)

– Add “ground beef” into pot. Stir occasionally until heated through.

– Add chili powder, onion powder, cayenne and about 1/2 of the chili seasoning while the “ground beef” is cooking.

– Add kidney beans, corn, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and peanuts.Stir to combine, then add rest of chili seasoning. (Note: I did not add peanuts to the chili in the picture below as I didn’t have any on hand…)

– Cover and turn heat to low. Allow chili to simmer on the stove for at least a 1/2 hour. The longer you let it simmer, with occasional stirring, the better. Towards end of cooking add about a 1/4 cup of beer.

– Scoop into bowls and serve with shredded cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.

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