I was supposed to have an ordinary Saturday. Yoga, Farmer’s Market, some reading on the couch. I love Saturdays. In fact, there is only one thing that could deter me from my lovely weekend plans – sisters. Well, sisters and brunch. There’s really nothing better. And so I spent my entire Saturday with Sis. We started out at our favorite brunch spot, then moved on to a table outside a cafe on 5th avenue. There was the 75 degree sun, wine, a few friends walking by, and a car accident to entertain us (a car ran into a cabbie’s open door – crunch).
Once we have one of these wonderful Spring days that ushers in the new season, I tend to think that it’s going to stay warm for a while. Oops! Is that ever the case in April? A late night thunderstorm cooled down the place, and now we’re back to cold rain. Back to a hearty, warming dinner. It sure is a good thing I had a few sweet potatoes leftover from the previous cold spell. I sliced them into long, thin strips to roast, stir fried up some seitan. Added it all to a thick, tomato-y, beer-y sauce. As much as I would like to take credit for this gem, it’s actually a riff on Adrianna’s Lomo Saltdado over at A Cozy Kitchen. Her version is a Peruvian stir fry with sirloin and double-fried french fries. But when I looked at the picture I thought it was sweet potatoes, so that’s the direction I went. Plus, me and beef don’t get along, so I veggie-fied it. I hope this helps warm you up through this (hopefully) last cold spell of the season.
Seitan & Sweet Potato Stir Fry
1 c. brown basmati rice
2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into long, thin slices
4 T. olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp. sea salt
8 oz. seitan, cut into thin strips
1 red onion (or other color) thinly sliced
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1-2 jalapeno peppers, de-seeded and minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 T. shoyu
1 T. tomato paste
1/4-1/2 c. beer
handful of cilantro, chopped
Preheat the oven to 425.
Pour the rice into a heavy bottomed pot. Cover with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Cover, bring to a boil, then turn down to low and simmer for 45 minutes or until all the liquid is gone.
Meanwhile, combine the sweet potatoes, salt and 2 tablespoons of the oil in a bowl and toss. Spread onto a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping a few times along the way, until you get some browning.
Heat the rest of the oil in a skillet over medium high. Saute the seitan until brown, 7-8 minutes. Set aside. Using the same skillet (and a little more oil if necessary) cook the onions and tomatoes until the onions turn slightly translucent, 2-3 minutes. Add the peppers, garlic, cumin, tomato paste and shoyu and stir until it starts to smell amazing, 30 seconds or so. Pour the beer into the pan and scrape up anything that stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cook out the alcohol, simmering for 2-3 minutes, then add the seitan and sweet potatoes and stir to combine.
Serve the stir fry on a bed of the rice with a sprinkle of cilantro on top.