Monday, May 11, 2009

Tartines and Seitan and Red Potato Salad

Because I do not watch television, I miss out on cooking shows. Which I have discovered are awesome, not only for inspiration and carnivorous recipes to veganize, but also for handy tips and techniques. Therefore, I feel lucky and grateful that I had the spirit of enterprise to find Food Network online, and thus begin watching. Food Network's website boasts videos a-plenty from various chefs, but I am currently drawn to Barefoot Contessa. The recipes are great, and I have a list of meals to veganize, however my favorite part about the show is Ina Garten, who is just about the most pleasant, adorable woman ever. I like watching her make food for all of her friends and her cute little husband. But I could go on forever.

Inspired by Barefoot Contessa, I made tartines, paired with a main dish salad from The Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes Cookbook, one of my birthday presents from Jeffrey. Tartines are french open-faced sandwiches, usually served as a first course to a meal. Ina's tartines consisted of bleu cheese and tomatoes, and another batch made with smoked salmon and cucumbers. In the spirit of veganizing this, I had to come up with something, and settled on a vegan bleu cheese I found at Whole Foods (which is AMAZING), sauteed mushrooms, and avocado.

I made a loaf of sourdough bread on Sunday, and simply toasted it for a bit in the oven, then layed slices of bread with bleu cheese and sauteed mushroom. Then, back in the oven for ten minutes, followed by a layer of avocado.

The salad was even better than I imagined, with thin, crispy slices of sauteed seitan, red potatoes, shallots, and a dressing of garlic cloves, olive oil, and sherry vinegar.