Monday, February 7, 2011

Faux Meat Ropa Vieja stewed with La Mujer Blandenga, discoRUIDO! and Weston

Last week, after a ridiculously tough run, I asked J-Fur if she had a book I could read in the bathtub. Being the nerd she is, albeit a lovely nerd, she launched into a synopsis of ten different books and why I should read them. I chose Drown by Junot Diaz (even though it "isn't his best work"). Drown is broken into ten different fictional pieces about characters that are struggling with family issues, drugs, divorce, infidelity, poverty and handicaps. In the final chapter of the book, about a man who has left behind his family and found someone else, the son of the man speaks about his ability to make a mean ropa vieja. It was at that moment that inspiration struck...what about a mean vegan version of this normally meat filled dish?

Faux Meat Ropa Vieja (adapted from
(printable version)

-1 block of tofu, sliced thin
-1 batch of seitan, sliced thin
-olive oil
-1 red pepper, diced
-1 yellow pepper, diced
-2 yellow onions, diced
-3 Tbs. roasted garlic
-1 Tbs. cumin
-1 Tbs. oregano
-1/2 tsp. cayenne
-dash turmeric
-dash cinnamon
-1 1/2 cups sherry
-1/2 cup water
-28 ounces of crushed tomatoes
-15 ounces of diced tomatoes
-4 bay leaves

1. Make the seitan according to this recipe. Soak the tofu in the broth with the seitan overnight.

2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and peppers and cook until they are starting to brown (about twelve minutes). Add garlic, cumin, oregano, cayenne, turmeric, and cinnamon. Stir in the pot until the spices are well combined.

3. Put the tofu, seitan, tomatoes, wine, water and bay leaves into the pot. Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for an hour. Serve over rice.

The first one hundred times I heard "Sex on Fire" by Kings of Leon I enjoyed myself even though it was much more produced and polished than the band's previous albums. But even during this songs heyday in my head, I couldn't help but feel that something was amiss. Would I really get this song if I spoke Spanish and loved music that is more fizzy than fuzzy? Spain's La Mujer Blandenga has made this concern dissipate faster than fired up sex.

If you've ever hit up the dance club and tired quickly of the seemingly endless supply of bad, beat driven tunes then you are dancing at the wrong disco. Next time try discoRUIDO!

While I cooked the Ropa Vieja I questioned society, girls and facebook along with Swedish indie popster Weston. "So Sorry" is from his debut EP.