As a lifelong vegetarian-turned-vegan, I was only vaguely familiar with the "French dip," a roast beef sandwich served on a baguette and dipped in broth. Yet, when I came across the recipe for Vietnamese seitan baguettes with broth in Veganomicon, I immediately wanted to try it. I enjoyed my Vietnamese po'boys so much a couple weeks ago, and this sandwich has similar flavors going on.
First I made baked Seitan Cutlets (recipe also from Veganomicon.) This was my first experience baking seitan. It seemed more time-consuming than the boiling or steaming methods, but this was my first time and it'll probably go faster next time when I know what I'm doing.
The cutlets looked so freakish soaking in their broth bath, like alien babies or something.
They looked much more appetizing once they had been thinly sliced and sauteed. At this point, they were ready to be stuffed into baguettes along with Veganaise, shredded cucumber, and cilantro.
As if the sandwiches alone didn't have enough flavors and textures happening, the broth was amazing. The crushed red pepper and 5-spice powder gave it just the right amount of heat and spice.
I gotta say, it's meals like this that cause me to get pissed off when I go to a restaurant and the best they can do for a vegan is an iceberg lettuce salad. I'm not a chef, yet I was able to make this by following a recipe, and I'm not exaggerating to say it's one of the best things I've ever tasted. My omnivore husband agreed -- he loved the "meaty," chewy texture of this seitan. I don't understand why it is so hard for trained restaurant chefs to look through some recipes and offer something like this on their menu!
That's enough ranting for now -- it's my birthday, time to party! (And by party, I mean get Jacksona and Olivia dressed and make myself some oatmeal, since Jackson ate mine while I was writing.)
Have a great day!