Seitan Saltado


Baked Fries

* 2 pounds russet or other high-starch potatoes, scrubbed clean, peeled ( or leave them unpeeled for a rustic look )

* 2 Tb peanut oil or olive oil


* 1/2 recipe ( two loaves ) Steamed Red Seitan( Recipe Here ), or slightly less than 2 pounds purchased seitan

* 4 Tb soy sauce

* 3 Tb red wine vinegar

* 3 cloves garlic, minced

* 1/2 tsp ground cumin

* A generous pinch of dried oregano

* 1/2 pound yellow onions

* 1 to 2 Tb aji amarillo paste or hot red chiles

* 3 Tb red cooking wine or vegetable broth

* 3 large, firm plum tomatoes

* 4 Tb peanut oil

* Freshly ground pepper

* Steamed long-grain white or brown rice, about 1 cup per serving ( optional )

* 2 Tb finely chopped cilantro


1. Make the baked potatoes fries first. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Slice the potatoes into french fry sticks about 1/2 inch thick, pour the 2 Tb of oil onto the large, rimmed baking sheet, add the sliced potatoes, and toss thoroughly with the oil. Don't crowd the pan; use two pans if the fries are overlapping. Bake the fries for 20 to 24 minutes, flipping once halfway through the baking, until the potatoes are golden and the edges are crisp and browned. Sprinkle with a little salt, if desired. Turn off the oven, open the door just a little, and leave the baking sheet in the oven to keep the fries warm.

2. Prepare the seitan and prepare the stir-fry ingredients. Slice the seitan into 1/4 by 1 inch strips. In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce and the red wine vinegar, garlic, cumin, and oregano. Add the seitan strips and use tongs to toss and coat the seitan completely with the marinade. While the seitan is marinating, peel the onion, slice it in half, then slice it into thin strips. If using fresh aji amarillo or other chiles, remove the seeds and mince. Slice the plum tomatoes in half, remove the seeds, and slice into thin strips. Measure the cooking wine and have it handy in a small cup.

3. In a 12 inch nonstick skillet ( or wok, if you have one ), heat 2 Tb of the peanut oil over medium-high heat. Add half the seitan strips and fry on each side for about 2 minutes. The seitan should be browned on the edges but still juicy. Transfer the seitan from the pan to a dish and repeat with the remaining seitan. Add the remaining 2 Tb of oil to the pan and add the onions. Stirring, fry the onions for 3 to 4 minutes, until they begin to softened and turn golden on the edges. If using minced chiles, stir into the onions and fry for 1 minute. If using aji amarillo paste, whisk into wine.

4. Pour the wine over the onion mixture and stir to deglaze the pan ( dissolving any browned bits from the bottom of the pan ). Scrape in any remaining seitan marinade. Using tongs, stir in the tomato strips to coast them in the bubbling wine mixture. Sprinkle within remaining Tb of soy sauce and season with plenty of freshly ground pepper. Add the seitan strips and continue using tongs to coat them with the sauce, then turn off the heat. Have ready serving dishes and mound a serving of rice into the dishes, if using.

5. To put everything together, place a serving of baked fries in a large mixing bowl ( maybe even the one you use to marinate the seitan with ). Use tongs to add a portion of stir-fried seitan and vegetables on top of fries and drizzle a little bit of the pan juices over the whole thing. Toss the fries with the stir-fry, taking care to coat the potatoes with the seitan juices. Slide onto a serving dish, sprinkle with some chopped cilantro, and serve immediately.