Ahh…Veganomicon. Once upon a time I had my own copy. However, in a series of unfortunate events I lost most of my worldly possessions, including V-Con. Even though I had not yet fully embraced veganism, I loved that book and was deeply saddened by the loss of it. Lucky for me, so many of the recipes have been posted on the internet. I can’t afford to buy myself a new book anytime soon but at least I won’t go without.
By the way, if you feel generous perhaps someone could e-mail me the recipe for Chickpeas Romesco, the Tamarind Lentils, Tempeh Shepherdess Pie, or Pumpkin Saag? I can’t seem to find any of these recipes on the internet. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
Any way, I’ve always wanted to make this recipe, but have never been able to persuade my mom to buy the vital wheat gluten. My aunt bakes regularly and has vital wheat gluten around all the time. I didn’t have the lemon zest called for in the recipe and we didn’t have any prepared breadcrumbs so I just toasted two pieces of bread and crushed them up. I also added onion powder and white pepper.
I learned several things. One: chickpeas take forever to mash with a fork. I started with fork, then switched to a potato masher, without success, and then finally my fingers. In the photo you could see that some of the chickpeas still evaded mashing. Oh, how I long for a food processor. Two: if you bake these they may turn out looking like mutant cookies. Look at the photo. ‘Nuff said. And three: no matter how horribly and irrevocably you screw up this recipe it will taste good. And that’s a good thing.
1 cup of cooked chickpeas
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 cup of vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup of plain breadcrumbs
1/4 cup of vegetable broth or water
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 cloves of garlic, grated
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon Hungarian Paprika
1/4 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
olive oil to taste
Mash chickpeas and oil together until no whole chickpeas remain. Add remaining ingredients and knead 3 minutes or until strings of gluten have formed. Divide dough into four pieces and stretch each piece into a 4 by 6 inch patty.
To fry: Preheat a thin layer of olive oil in nonstick pan over medium heat Add cutlets to the pan and cook, 6 to 7 minutes per side or until golden brown and firm to the touch.
To bake: Preheat an oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place cutlets on a greased cookie sheet and brush with oil. Bake for 20 minutes, flip the patties, then bake for 1o minutes more or until cutlets are golden brown and firm to the touch.