That big tree trunk looking thing is yellow yam. Peeled, cut up and thrown into a pot to boil with carrots, sweet potato (in the red skin) and Irish potato (that would be your run of the mill Idaho to you Americans out there) is the most common way to prepare yam. Collectively the big pot of boiling roots is called simply...Food. It is the starch to whatever protein is being served. And it is left ital (not overly seasoned; natural) so it can calm the spice that is invaribly in the other dish.
We maintain a mostly vegetarian diet so our protein today is Seitan. Known also as Wheat Meat, seitan is made of wheat gluten and is a chewy, high protein, yummy way to dine! It is super easy to make and adapts to any recipe.
I'm pretty bad at writing recipes because I tend to just add a little of this and maybe a lot of that until it all tastes good. But I will give it a try...
First up, the Seitan:
You can buy it already "made" in most grocery stores in America. Here it is much harder to find. It is super easy to make though. You just need to get your hands on some Vital Wheat or Gluten and it pretty much makes itself.
1 cup vital wheat
3/4 cup water or veggie stock
1 Tbls jerk seasoning
1 Tsp cumin
1 Tsp parsely
1 Tsp salt
(other seasonings to your liking)
6-8 cups vegetable stock or water (for boiling seitan)
LARGE cooking pot
Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Add the water or vegetable stock. Stir with a wooden spoon. It won't take long for the gluten to start to stick and stretch. Knead the dough for about 1 minute with your hands. Cut into about 5-6 roughly equal pieces. Set water or stock to boil. When the water is boiling, place the seitan in the pot and allow to continue boiling for about 1 hour. The seitan will double in its size so make sure your pot is HUGE. Drain and set aside.
1 c all purpose flour (I used whole wheat)
1 Tsp paprika
1 Tsp salt
2Tbls olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
1 scotch bonnet pepper
4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme
touch o' honey
3 c water or veggie stock
Begin by browning the stew. Mix flour, paprika, salt and olive oil together in shallow bowl or plastic bag. Place seitan in bowl or bag and coat both sides. In the mean time heat some olive oil in a skillet. Brown seitan on both sides for about 4-5 minutes. When done, remove to a plate to cool. Cut into small chunks about 2" square.
Saute onion, garlic and scallion in oil left from browning the seitan. It's hard to say how much soy sauce, pick-a-peppa and honey I added to the mix. Maybe a couple tablespoons of each...Anyway, add some now. Then add the water or stock. Float the whole scotch bonnet pepper on top with the thyme leaves. (Cutting the pepper will be like adding fire to the stew. If you like things super spicy, go ahead and chop it up...but remember, I warned you!) Add the seitan back to the pot and cover. Let simmer, stirring occassionally, until stew-like.
This is pretty easy. Just clean, peel and cut veggies into large chunks. Put in a pot of salted boiling water. Cook until tender.
I guess I did a pretty good job because Mo came in from outside and said, "It smells like a real Jamaican kitchen." :)
Peace and Wellness,