Seitan with gravy and Biscuits (my take on classic Czech food)

Most menu’s in the Czech Republic are very meat heavy with thick gravies, sauces and stews. The ubiquitous Czech meal is meat with gravy and dumplings or heavy potato biscuits. This week I’ve been inspired by the classic cuisine of the Czech Republic and I’ve created a vegan version. Crispy chunks of seitan, smothered in gravy with a side of biscuits is my version of the “meat and dumplings” that will stick to your ribs and keep you warm and ready for late Fall and early Winter.

Crispy Seitan:

1 package of seitan, diced into bite sized pieces or left in big chunks

2 Tbsp canola oil

1-2 tsp Penzey’s Northwoods Fire spice (or another favorite spice blend)

Heat oil in a heavy saucepan and add the seitan and pan fry until brown and crispy.

Add the spices and stir thoroughly.

Chickpea Gravy:

1/4 cup all purpose flour *GF variation, use GF all purpose flour or Garbanzo bean flour

2 1/2 cups water

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion,chopped

2 tsp mustard seeds

3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed

1 16 oz can chickpeas, rinsed

2 pinched cumin

2 pinches paprika

pinch of rosemary

pinch of thyme

pinch of oregano

pinch of coriander

3 Tbsp soy sauce * GF variation, use Tamari or other GF soy sauce

juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Mix water and flour until dissolved. In a large skillet add olive oil, onions, and mustard seeds and cook for 10 minutes until browned. Add garlic and lightly mashed chickpeas and stir together and then add spices, soy sauce and lemon juice. Lower heat and add flour mixture and stir until thick, add nutritional yeast. If it looks too thick, add a bit more water. Serve generously over the crispy seitan. Vegan with a Vengeance

Biscuits:

2 cups all purpose flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt *GF use all purpose GF flour plus 1 tsp xanthum gum
¼ cup shortening ( I prefer Earth Balance)
¾ cup “buttermilk” (1 cup soymilk + 1 tsp vinegar, whip together and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes to “curdle”)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place sifted flour into bowl, add shortening and use pastry blender or fork to cut shortening into small particles.
Add “buttermilk” a little at a time until a medium-soft dough is formed. (More may be needed if dough is too hard.)
Knead a few times onto floured surface until smooth and dust dough ball with additional flour.

For flat biscuits, roll out and cut with a biscuit cutter or an upside down glass.

For tall biscuits, fold dough in half and pat down about 3 or 4 times then roll out and cut. DO NOT twist your cutter or glass when making the biscuits, that seals the edges and they will rise into balls not tall biscuits.

Place in pan with edges touching. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 – 13 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve 2-3 biscuits on the plate with the seitan and gravy.

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