Food Network Friday: Pan- Fried “Lamb” Chops with Harissa

Welcome to Week #2 of Food Network Fridays! Here’s where I dabble with something from the Food Network and see if it can be veganized…and if it’s even worth it to try. Rather than keep you in suspense, Dear Reader, the answer this week is a big bold yes.

These recipes are one of the reasons I started thinking about Food Network Fridays. I saw Tyler Florence make this meal a couple of weeks ago and thought it looked ripe for veganizing. My big debate was which protein to use. Tofu with a sauce always works, tempeh can be good…but of course, I opted for seitan. I’ve never eaten lamb in my life, so wasn’t sure which direction to go with it until I saw a post at the PPK on making gyros. Ate-bit posted a recipe he’d grabbed from Vegsource and I knew it had to be. I cut the recipe in half, but otherwise kept pretty much to the original. My version is below, but be sure to see it there. It might be more up your alley. Many thanks to Deborah, whoever you are, for posting this.

“Lamb” Seitan
Makes 4 roasts about 8 oz each
2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup white wheat flour
1/8 cup white flour
1/8 cup soy flour
1/4 cup minute tapioca
1 Tbsp Bryanna’s Chicken Powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp dried parsley
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp Better than Boullion Vegetable paste
1 1/2 cup cold water
1/2 Tbsp tamari
1 tsp kitchen bouquet

Do your usual seitan thing. Combine the dry ingredients up to and including the garlic. Combine your wet ingredients. Pour the wet into the dry and knead for a few minutes. Shape into 2 ‘roasts’ and prepare your broth. My cooking method is different than the one at vegsource, because I like to start with cold broth.

Cooking Broth
8 cups water
2 Tbsp tamari
1/4 cup nooch
1 onion, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 Tbsp Bryanna’s Chicken Powder
1 bouillion cube (or another Tbsp of the Better than B. from above)
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp white pepper (I added this because I like it. )

Combine all the broth ingredients in your big seitan cooking cauldron. Add the seitan and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Let cool in the broth. When cool, cut them in 1/4’s. Freeze 3 and use 1 for this recipe.

Pan Fried “Lamb” Chops with Harissa
1 red bell pepper
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 small, fresh red chili, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Roast the red bell pepper. I followed the directions in Veganomicon by just oiling it up and popping in the oven until it started to char. Then place it in a paper bag for about 1/2 an hour. Now peel the skin off.

Heat the spices in a small skillet over low heat until fragrant. Remove from heat and grind in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.

Combine the red pepper and all other ingredients in a food processor (the Magic Bullet works wonders here) until pureed. Check seasonings. Set aside. You can make this ahead of time and just bring it to room temperature before eating. This makes extra sauce which I’m thinking should keep in the fridge for a few days if not longer.

“Lamb Chops”
1 “lamb” roast from above
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
oil for panfrying

Cut the roast into cutlets, about 1/2 inch thick. Rub one side with olive oil, then salt and pepper them. Heat oil in your frying pan, and panfry the cutlets until nicely browned. To serve, drizzle some harissa on the cutlets after plating.

Notes on these recipes:

That lamb seitan is incredible. We really, really liked it and have 3 roasts in the freezer so we can try gryos. But I would definitely make it again. I feel like I can never have enough seitan recipes and this one is a keeper.

The harissa is good stuff, too! I followed the recipe exactly except for cutting it in 1/2 and keeping the amount of garlic. The only time consuming part is roasting the pepper, but otherwise it’s super quick and tastes great. Just the right amount of undertones. It’s not very spicy, which was good for this recipe because I wanted the seitan to stand out. But I might increase the heat next time depending on how I want to use it.

Now about those chops topped with the sauce….I pan fried them longer than usual and they actually got a little crispy in spots. We liked that a lot. They have great texture and flavor and were perfect under the harissa. If you had some of the seitan already in your freezer, this would make for a really quick and impressive dinner any night of the week.

Would I make them again? Absolutely! I’m wishing we didn’t just have this because with that red sauce it would be perfect for Valentine’s Day. Maybe next year. I’m sure we’ll have them many times in between now and V Day 2010.

The original recipes are here. Thanks, Tyler Florence, for being so vegan adaptable!

If you joined in for Food Network Fridays, please post here so I can check out your adaptations. I’m posting this a day early because I’m having some challenges with Blogger and I figure a day early is better than a day late.

Tonight’s dinner: Pizza.

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  1. Posted February 13, 2009 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Thanks for doing this. I can’t make the harissa, since the TeddyBear can’t eat anything spicy, but the lamb seitan would be great for gyros sometime. And I am always up a for another seitan recipe.

  2. Posted February 13, 2009 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    mm mm, sounds good. I love harissa!

  3. Posted February 13, 2009 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    awesome! so creative. and i’m sure it was delicious.

  4. Posted February 13, 2009 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    If you eat with your eyes I think you could fool a “meat eater” with this one. I’m going to have to try.

  5. Posted February 15, 2009 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    First time here and I’ll be back for sure!

  6. Posted February 16, 2009 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    wow! this is so ambitious! there’s a restaurant in melbourne that serves mock mutton but i’ve never been gave enough to try it!

  7. Kat
    Posted February 16, 2009 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Great recipe, tried it last night. The “lamb” was really tasty, will definitely make this again. Thanks!

  8. Posted February 16, 2009 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Kat, I’m thrilled that it worked for you. I know it didn’t for someone else…seitan can be so touchy sometimes.

  9. Posted February 16, 2009 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    “Lamb” seitan sounds exciting! I haven’t made seitan in way too long.

  10. Posted February 17, 2009 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    Wow… just… WOW!

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