We had a Labor Day party a few weeks ago, and of course we made sure to have plenty of vegetarian options for the grill. We discovered that Trader Joe’s veggie burgers are not grill-appropriate (those things fell apart!), but Morningstar’s Grillers work well. We’re really liking SmartDogs – they grill well, have appropriately hot-doggish structural integrity, and have pretty good flavor. Our favorite is the chorizo-style dog: it’s delicious with guacamole and cheese! (Plus with the chorizo seasoning you don’t notice that it doesn’t taste the same as an all-beef dog). My dad brought portobello mushrooms too, so we had grilled portobello sandwiches, and we also had a bunch of nice fresh veggies that we grilled in a basket.
What we learned from our Labor Day party is that veggie options are not all that popular at family cookouts. We ate the leftover grilled veggies for a good week, and we still have tons of veggie burgers in the freezer (along with tons of beef and turkey burgers too – we overbought everything). We’re slowly working our way through it all, and the Trader Joe’s burgers we’ll save to cook up when it’s too cold to grill outside anymore.
The week after our party, I got to try seitan for the first time. We drove out to Pittsburgh to go to F’s sister’s wedding celebration. Megan is a chef and a vegetarian (you’ve met her before, I posted about her visit back in August). She planned all the food for her party, and so of course she had plenty of vegetarian options. I had a portobello sandwich that was delicious, and I also got to try the seitan, which I put on hot dog buns, sloppy joe style, and covered with barbecue sauce (since Meg had a barbecue sauce bar at the party). I thought it was delicious, but then I also really liked the sauce, which is a rarity for me since I’ve never really liked regular barbecue. I would definitely eat seitan again, but from what I hear it’s kind of a pain in the tail to cook, so I’m not sure it’d be worth it to try to make it myself if I’m just going to slather it with sauce. There are lots of other things I can slather with sauce, after all.
We also had a bit of a debate over how to pronounce the word “seitan”. Just looking at it, I’d say sye-TAN, but I’m not at all attached to that. Megan usually says it SEE-t’n, which has the advantage of being faster to say in a busy kitchen. Anyone have the last word on this?