Anyone who had the pleasure of dining at the Horizons restaurant, was probably greeted with warm rosemary focaccia and dipping oil. Being bread fiends, the second the server brought it to our table, we knew it was going to be a terrific dinner. When I saw the recipe in the second Horizons book, I added it to my must-make list.
I had a few issues with the recipe itself. 2 tablespoons of “yeast powder” for 3 cups of flour. Wow. I used 1 tablespoon of SAF instant rise. The recipe refers to a “sheet pan”. I wasn’t sure if it meant an 11 X 17 or 9 X 13. I opted for the smaller, and think I maybe should have used the larger. Before spreading the dough in the pan, I sprayed it with non-stick spray, just to be safe. The recipe doesn’t call for it and it may not be needed. Rather than brush the top with 1/4 cup of oil, I used 2 tablespoons and still felt generous. While this was baking in the oven (and the Irish Seitan Beef Stew was simmering), it really brought back the aroma of Horizons.
This focaccia will be a go-to for entertaining. It’s quick and easy and absolutely won me over by including black pepper in the dough. It’s great stuff!
As a sidenote, Liz is right. I don’t like the idea of something that is supposed to be crunchy being made all mushy, like chips getting soaked in liquid. But since it makes a crust, I may just be tempted to try it!
The chilaquiles are made with crushed up tortilla chips which I know give Tami the creeps but luckily for me I have no such qualms because this was delicious. I used Gimme Lean for the meat which I’d brought back from America. I don’t think we have anything similar to that here but you could do something similar with chopped up seitan or TVP granules or even crumbled up veggie burgers.
The tortilla chips form a sort of crust on the bottom and the spiced tofu and beef work together beautifully. I served it with home made guacamole and shredded lettuce to provide a bit of crunch and cut through the spice. Like many of the Horizons dishes, this seems like more work than it actually was and it would work equally well for Brunch or dinner.
If you live in the U.S., don’t wait until St. Patrick’s Day to try this dish. A rainy fall day is the perfect time. I made a few small changes to the recipe, using 16 ounces of seitan (instead of 20 to 24 ounces), 2 cups of broth (instead of 2 quarts) and only 1 cup of beer. The recipe calls for fructose, which I’ve never seen, but suggests brown sugar as a substitute. I used just a tiny bit to round out the beery flavor. Since my short-cut store-bought broth isn’t the best, I added a Rapunzel vegetable cube.
The result is savory, herby, hearty and a terrific comfort food dinner. It always surprises me how much I enjoy beer in cooking, when I can’t stand it for drinking. We suggest you try Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery Imperial Stout. Sorry, it’s not Irish. It’s British, but was pronounced the best stout Jim ever had. Plus it’s vegan! It’s a little pricey, but worth it for a splurge. Get a bottle and get cooking.
The Seitan French Dip was the first thing I cooked from the first book when Matthew bought it for me, so I made it again as the first recipe for this project. Mostly, I’ll be making things I’ve not made before but this is so good it deserved a second outing. It’s an excellent way to use up seitan scraps and I’ve been keeping them together in a bag in the freezer for this very purpose.You can’t tell from the picture but there’s lots of melty cheese (Daiya) underneath the pile of seitan and mushrooms.
This was just as good the second time around and the Vacqueyras that Matthew picked out was once again a perfect partner for it.
Two vegans, two countries, two great cookbooks, one wonderful restaurant! Join us as we cook from Horizons, The Cookbook (Book Pub. Co., 2003) and Horizons: New Vegan Cuisine (Book Pub. Co., 2007).
These are the cookbooks from the recently closed Horizons Restaurant of Philadelphia. Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby, the chef/owners are preparing to open a new restaurant, Vedge. In the meantime, we’re revisiting their previous works.
(This is us enjoying beer tasting in Vermont a few months ago with our husbands – from left to right Matthew, Liz, Jim and Tami)