Every now and then, we all hunger for a sentimental serving of the sort of all-American comfort food that small-town restaurants specialized in, and—if you were lucky—the even more wholesome versions that Mom made at home. This menu was inspired by thosehearty hashes and classic desserts, but we’ve given it a grown-up spin.
First, a rich mix of seitan and mushrooms is sautéed with bell peppers, onion and tomatoes—enlivening the satisfying quality of a hash with a hint of chili. Then it’s served over a crisp potato fan and topped with a bright salsa. A fresh red cabbage slaw tastes just right alongside, and the fudgy chocolate brownies are an ideal ending. These dishes may not be exactly what Mom used to serve, but she would approve.
ROASTED POTATO FANS
Serves 4 -Vegan
Think of these paprika-dusted potatoes, thinly sliced but still whole, as an enlightened version of home fries. Smoked paprika, made from dried, smoked red peppers, is prized in Spanish cooking for its complex aroma and flavor. It’s available at specialty food stores, some grocery stores, and online at latienda.com.
4 medium-sized red or white thin-skinned potatoes, scrubbed (about 11/2 lb.)
2 Tbs. olive oil
11/2 tsp. salt
11/2 tsp. sweet paprika, preferably smoked
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Working with 1 potato at a time, cut thin lengthwise sliver off one side so potato lies flat on cutting board. Place two chopsticks (or two wooden spoon handles) parallel to each other on cutting board, and place potato lengthwise between them. Holding chopsticks against potato, make crosswise cuts through potato, 1/8inch apart, down to chopsticks (they prevent slicing all the way through potato).
2. Place potatoes on baking sheet. Pry slices open gently with your fingers, and brush a little oil between each slice.
3. Mix salt and paprika in small cup. Sprinkle potatoes with mixture, pushing slices gently apart to season between slices.
4. Bake about 1 hour, or until potatoes are tender and crisp. Serve hot, topped with Portobello-Seitan Hash.
PER SERVING: 224 CAL; 4G PROT; 7G TOTAL FAT (1G SAT. FAT); 37G CARB; 0MG CHOL; 885MG SOD; 5G FIBER; 2G SUGARS