Monday, March 13


i made seitan especially for this dish, duders.
that's real.
what kind of marzo italiano would it be without cacciatore??
i mean, seriously.
i'm actually surprised i didn't think of it sooner.
here's the thing-
cacciatore is hunter's stew.
and i'm no hunter, homies.
i AM into big, rich, thickness.
so, with the addition of homemade hand-torn hunks and slabs
of GPOP and olive oil seared seitan,
i had a harmless helping of that hot fire on hand!!
there's no wrong way to make it, apparently,
and since it's a customized collection of vegetables and ideas,
you can be sure that mine's as authentic as anybody else's.
for sure.
let's have a look-see, shall we?

one onion, roughly chopped lengthwise-
one each of sliced red and orange sweet bell peppers;
and half an italian hot pepper (the long light greenish one);
you're gonna need a clove of crushed garlic,
and a clove of sliced garlic,
and a whole lot of olive oil.
saute that stuff until it gets a little browned,
and add in one stalk, celery-style of fennel.
that's the big action, you'd better believe.
now deglaze the pan with 4 T red wine vinegar-
add in 14 oz. hand-crushed stewed tomatoes and juice,
a big squeeze of lemon juice,
rosemary, oregano, basil, parsley, and thyme,
black pepper, a big pinch of salt,
and a few tablespoons of tomato paste, too.
you'll notice that it smells so good you want to do a little dance.
go ahead.
it takes a little minute to cook, anyway...
a cup of reserved seitan broth goes a long way here.
the juices will cook down, but the flavors will lock in,
and that's expert as heck.
in the same pan i seared my seitan in,
i also browned a whole buttonload of crimini mushrooms, too.
if you char 'em up a little first, they taste a billion times better in the broth.
so, do that.
i also added arugula and kale and spinach and sprig onion stalks to mine.
y'ever have baby leaves, and notice that they HATE staying nice for very long?
that's a real struggle up here in the woodsly goodness,
so i've got to use them up,
or it's like i was wasting them on purpose.
....which is just plain ol' stoopid.
so don't be like that.
from there,
you're just gonna wanna put it all together,
and let it bubble away on low heat for as long as it takes to cook farro.
(it's like, twenty minutes, man)
why farro?
because it's like rice and like pasta,
but with more nutrients and sh!t than orzo.
follow directions, and get yourself as much or as little of that as you'd like,
i served it with more green onion, fresh basil buds,
and a few baby leaves for added sexxxiness.
how was it?
i ate every last little bit all by myself in record time.
and moreover, i enjoyed every bite.
the blackened exteriors of the seitan were just what the sauce-soaked insides
needed to really upgrade the texture and flavor to eleven, man.
i realllllllly get excited about food.
you know that.
i get excited about other stuff, too,
but i get to EAT the food,
and i get to MAKE it exactly how i want it.
i told you that already,
but i'll repeat myself as often as the thought occurs to me.
for realsies.
over and over, each successive meal,
as my big paisano-goombah genes get charged up with
all of this tomato-based energy,
i can feel the lupe de luna in my blood really getting activated.
and i'm getting so psyched,
and as my memory stretches back to boyhood,
when family dinner was more than just me and crabtree.
when my grandmother used to eat whole families of chickens,
or my uncle ed would totally get weird
with three kinds of animal fats in one dish-
i'm reminded that the good ol' days were pretty inconsiderate of
the lives of other things.
and that while i may be solo in my kitchen,
i'm for sh!t-sure more connected to the bigger picture
than all my people are to each other at the dinner table,
sitting over a mealtime mortuary with little to no regard
for anything beyond their tastebuds.
i'll choose eating alone over eating animals every single time.
that's as preachy as i'm liable to get,
but i mean that sh!t from the bottom of my heart an' that;
never quiet, never soft.....

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