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Mostly-vegan low-fat whole foods recipes

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

GF V-con Chickpea Cutlets...a sort-of success

Everyone, and I mean everyone (or all the cool kids with vegan food blogs, that is), is raving about the chickpea cutlets in the Veganomicon. Alas, they are quite, well, wheaty and therefore off limits to me in their original form. Someone on the CHOW website, where the recipe was first posted, suggested a way to try to make these gluten-free. Obviously, some of the textural factors (that sounds crazy...) will be different, but the flavors would be the same, so I figured it was worth a try and so I futzed with the recipe and came up with something. And, well, it kind of worked...they were okay, nothing to rave about, which leads me to think that, in a taste comparison with the real thing, they might kinda suck, but they were more than edible and I think they would have been better had I fried them rather than baking them. But anyway, here's the recipe:

Gluten-free Chickpea Cutlets (inspired by the original recipe in the Veganomicon and by goodhealthgourmet on Chow.com)

1 c cooked chickpeas
2 tbsp olive oil or broth
2 tbsp ground flax seed
1/4 c veggie broth (I used some broth from cooking the beans, plus some vegebase bouillon)
2-3 tbsp chickpea, garfava, or soy flour
2 tbsp braggs liquid aminos
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp sage
1/4-1/2 c cornmeal or gf bread crumbs
Oil for frying, optional

In a small saucepan, bring the broth to a boil, then remove from heat, add flax and whisk well. Cover and set aside. It will thicken within a few minutes.

Mash the chickpeas with the oil or 2 tbsp broth until smooth (I used a food processor because I am lazy and lack a potato masher). Add the seasonings, broth/flax mixture (once it thickens) and enough flour to make these dry enough to shape and handle.

Pour the cornmeal into a small dish and then form the cutlet "batter" into patties and gently dredge each patty in the cornmeal until it is coated with a fine layer.

If you want to fry these, heat a pan over medium heat, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, and then fry each cutlet until it is golden brown on each side.

To bake, coat each cutlet in a fine spray of oil on each side and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes, flip and then bake for another 8-10 minutes or until they are beginning to brown.

I made 6 cutlets....round, not square-ish, like the original recipe calls for, only cuz this dough is not as easy to manipulate as I can imagine the gluten-tastic version is. Also, I recommend using the oil and, as I said above, pan-frying these, despite my usual inclinations away from using oil. I think this would have made them better.

I served these topped with an amazing jarred tomato sauce from Trader Joes plus some sauteed onions and a generous sprinkling of nooch. I normally don't go for jarred sauces, but I had heard good reviews of this one so I picked up a few jars last time I was in Boston and I wasn't disappointed. Plus, its fat-free and doesn't taste like it! Always a good thing. So, yeah, grab some Organic Tomato Sauce with Mushrooms if you are near a TJs.

On another note, we had a dinner party, a vegan dinner party and, yep, I forgot to take pictures. Sometimes I'm a dolt. But we had the Potato and Broccoli Soup with Fresh Herbs from V-Con and it was really, really good (I never knew I liked fresh dill). Plus, Susan's Crustless Mini-Quiches (made extra-mini), spinach and artichoke hummus, Dreena Burton's Roasted Red Pepper dip and vegan french onion dip (plus veggies and chips for dipping). Guests brought sushi, bruchetta with vegan-rella (very good when broiled and toasty!) and a rice and veggie casserole. Dessert was Sunbeam Pudding and vegan chocolate peanut butter No-Bake cookies. (just used earth balance and sugar-in-the-raw, plus some extra chocolate chips and crunchy peanut butter). yep, we had way too much food, but whatever, it was good. Maybe next time I'll actually remember to take pictures.

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