Thursday, October 18, 2012

Around the World in 80 Plates: Belgium

I was looking through books and on the internet for Belgium and everything was pointing to Carbonade Flamande and Frites. Lucky for me, back when I was testing for Terry Hope Romero's newest book, Vegan Eats World (which comes out October 30th by the way!) there was a recipe I had filed away but never got to make which fit the bill perfectly! Hers is a play on the two served together somewhat untraditionally but also perfectly, called Beer Bathed Seitan Stew with Frites (hopefully it made the cut, there were so many amazing recipes). She recommended using an authentic Belgian dark beer like Chimay so I asked Ryan to stop on his way home and grab some. I'm not usually one for alcohol but once again decided to go for it. This stew is perfectly balanced though and it just added a nice background flavour without it screaming "THERE'S BEER IN HERE!". I found it to be a nice mix of french onion soup and a beef stew and the frites that went along with them are now in my top five best fries (and yes I have a mental list). They are baked on parchment with oil, vinegar and thyme and it adds just a little something but again just the right amount and taste amazing dipped in the stew. Kiddo isn't usually one for vinegar but he loved these fries too, though his were next to Gardein sliders and peas not the stew. I will admit I skipped the seitan in this stew and just upped the mushrooms. I think it was great this way too but I'm sure it would be closer to authentic with it. I was making it quickly on a weeknight and didn't think to make the seitan ahead of time. Next time I'll give it a try and there will definitely be a next time since we all enjoyed it so much!



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