Food can transport us to other warm, pristine places, and fond times, with such authenticity that we can even forget or at least more easily ignore all the storms brewing in our lives, whether they be an ugly winter storm or an internal maelstrom. My trip to Spain over the holidays is still fresh in my mind, and during a long tough streak of grey weather, I’ve been searching for anything that will bring me back to those better, sunnier days of vacation.
One of my favourite restaurants in Barcelona was Monchito, a vegan taqueria in the gothic quarter. What was especially appealing and charming about Monchito is that there is no pretentiousness with the food or drinks. It’s a straightforward menu, prepared with care and attention to flavour and ingredients, yet it was the most memorable meal of the trip, and for me, when I think of food that evokes and sums up the atmosphere of a place, it’s the tacos at Monchito.
I came up with this recipe in the hopes of conjuring the spirit of Barcelona, of warm days and vibrant nights, of wonderful warm meals and delicious cocktails. Does it work? Serve these fajitas with some mojitos or sangria and I promise you’ll forget all about winter for at least a few hours.
For the Seitan:
2 cups of wheat gluten flour
2 tbsp of ketchup
1/4 cup of soy sauce
2 tsp of thyme
1 tsp of paprika
2 tsp of garlic powder
1/2 cup +1 tbsp of vegetable broth or water
For the simmering liquid:
18-20 cups of water
1/2 cup of soy sauce
For the fajitas:
8-10 fajitas (I prefer the corn ones)
2 tbsp of cooking oil
1 cup of BBQ sauce (I used this one from Neal Brothers)
1 cup of bell peppers, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 cup of mushroom (I used cremini), chopped
1 28g package of fajita seasoning+63ml of broth or water (I used this one from Simply Organic)
Prepare the Seitan:
1. In a large bowl, add together the 2 cups of wheat gluten flour, 2 tbsp of ketchup, 1/4 cup of soy sauce, 2 tsp of thyme, 1 tsp of paprika, 2 tsp of garlic powder, and 1/2 cup of vegetable broth. If you find that the dough is too dry and flaky, add more vegetable broth. It may depend on the brand of flour your using, but I added another 1 tbsp. Mix and knead until a solid and smooth ball of dough is formed. Divide the ball of dough into two.
2. Prepare the simmering liquid. Bring a large pot of 18-20 cups of water to a boil. Add in 1/2 cup of soy sauce. Once it’s boiling, reduce to simmer, and add both balls of dough into the simmering liquid. Cook over medium heat for 45 minutes, flipping the dough occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the pot and properly marinates.
3. Remove the dough from the simmering liquid. Cut the dough into small strips.
4. Over medium heat, add 2 tbsp of cooking oil to a large skillet. Add the strips of seitan. Cook for 5-10 minutes until the seitan starts to crisp up slightly.
5. Add 1 cup of BBQ sauce. Cook for another 10-15 minutes over medium heat until the sauce dries out.
6. Add 1 cup of chopped bell peppers, 1 cup of chopped sweet onion, 1 cup of chopped mushrooms. Mix the vegetables and seitan together and then mix in the fajita season+63ml of broth or water.
7. Scoop a generous portion of the veggie and seitan mix onto each fajita. Top with your preferred garnishes and serve.
4 Comments Add yours
I have bought seitan and used it in dishes, but I admire you making it from scratch!
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Making it from scratch is definitely a bit more time consuming.
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