Monday, June 29, 2015

Food Pairing 101: What Goes Well With Chicken Fried Seitan?

On the surface, Lamesa may seem like just another hole-in-the-wall county seat in Texas. It is home to about 10,000 residents, boosts an economy driven by cattle and cotton and houses a prison named after a former Texas governor. But taking a spade and slamming it just a little deeper into the dirt causes one to find out that Lamesa is about much more than just cotton, cattle and prisons. That much more is chicken fried steak.

According to the town (and echoed by H.C.R 134 which was signed into law by the Texas House of Representatives in April 2011) two kids, one dressed as a clown and one wearing pink cowboy boots, somehow played a role in creating Lamesa’s legendary flour battered steak. I don’t know how it all fits together, mostly because the author of the original story has come out and declared it a yarn, but thank god it does.

A few weeks back, on a rainy day, I decided to skip a trip to the pool and hang in my kitchen to pay tribute to Lamesa. I battered a bunch of seitan, smothered it in gravy, and repeatedly said that “Everything is bigger and better in Texas.” I followed the amazing trail that was forged by Vegan Aide over at the Weekly Vegan Menu, who has since relocated to Zsu's Vegan Pantry. My only complaint was that the trail she forged was just a little too creamy for my taste. I know, I know, that is the authentic Lamesa way but for me it wasn’t the best. I would’ve enjoyed the dish much better had I gone with this vegan gravy (which I was in the process of doing before I ran out of nutritional yeast).

So what does one pair this little taste of Texas history with? How about a band whose name just screams Texas, a state that acts as the final frontier between the US and Mexico. That would be hotly tipped Hull newcomers FRONTEERS. This foursome, collectively, has just 76 years to their name. But what they lack in experience they make up for in fun. The four joined forces after bonding over girls, music and soccer near the tail end of 2014. The time for the debut has now arrived. It's the aptly titled "Youth":


(The food portion of this post was originally written on September 9, 2011. An updated version with music was written today.)