Saturday, 11 October 2014

Chestnuts and seitan in tomato-creamy sauce

Chestnuts are all over the city now. Free food. Nutritious too. During this season we practically eat chestnuts almost every day at home, in every possible form: smoothies, desserts, stews, curries, soups, pancakes, bread, pastas… It is such a versatile ingredient that it is almost impossible to get tired of it. At every new recipe, chestnuts will perfectly blend in giving the dish a slightly sweet and creamy texture, helping to thicken sauces, balancing any bitter or acid flavours that would tend to dominate. Its high carbohydrate content makes up for a great grain replacer in meals, perfect for those avoiding gluten in their diets. Power food it is.

200g champignons, cut in thin slices
100g Oyster mushrooms, roughly shredded 
200g chestnuts, cooked and peeled
300g seitan, in chunks
100g corn (optional) 
350g Tomatoes in pieces or passata (from a jar)
150g coconut milk

1 tbs. coriander, freshly ground
1 cinammon stick 
2 bay leaves
1/2 t.s. freshly grated nutmeg
2 celery leaves (i used dried, but if u have fresh, that works too)
1 tbs. caraway seeds
1 tbs. nigella seeds
1 tbs. freshly grated ginger
1 ts. lemon zest

Sea salt to taste
Chilli pepper sauce to taste (or cayenne pepper)

Freshly chopped cilantro leaves and sage leaves to garnish

Add olive oil to a baking pan, add the caraway seeds and the mushrooms and champignons and stir fry them for 7-10 minutes. 

Cook the tomato pieces or passata with the spices in low fire for more or less 5 minutes. Add the seitan chunks, the chestnuts, slightly broken into smaller pieces and the mushrooms. Leave it simmering in low fire with a lid for approximately 10 minutes. Add the coconut milk and the ginger and cook for 2 extra minutes. When ready, add salt, chilli pepper sauce and garnish with the fresh sage and cilantro. Remove the bay leaves before serving. 

If you don’t have all the spices I used here, feel free to make your own tomato sauce with the spices and herbs of your own choice, add the coconut milk for the creamy effect and combine it with the mushrooms, seitan and chestnuts. It can be that simple.