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Cooking with code: Double-Fried breaded mushroom and gluten knot cutlets

Updated on May 13, 2013

This was originally going to be a steak substitute; needless to say, it didn't quite work out.

Autumn hits, and it's time to cook; the microwave oven gets relegated to rush orders, and all the pots and pans get a scrubbing.

This recipe is not exactly fast; provide about an hour, or perhaps two hours if one needs to steer others away from a hot stove.

These cutlets are crisp on the outside, while remaining moist and juicy on the inside. Even if they aren't suitably steaklike, they are nevertheless quite tasty. The mushrooms provide a rich, earthy flavor; the gluten knots give a bit of chewy texture.

This recipe calls for lots of frying. Double-frying, in fact. This is not air food.

Ingredients that may or may not be readily available

Time to go shopping.

  • 75 grams (about 3 ounces) dried gluten knots
  • 13-15 large dried black mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4-1/2 cup soy flour
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • water, milk, or 1 egg
  • vegetable shortening or cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1-1/2 tbsp steak sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder

Dried gluten knots and dried mushrooms can be purchased from your local Asian grocery or international foods market.

A word of caution regarding wheat gluten.

Information regarding the consumption of complete and incomplete proteins may be viewed here.

Step One: heat water to boiling

Place the gluten knots in one heat-resistant bowl; the mushrooms in another heat-resistant bowl.

Boil sufficient water to cover the mushrooms and the gluten knots.

Pour the water into both containers; let soak until rehydrated. The gluten knots and mushrooms should soften in approximately fifteen minutes.

Place the softened mushrooms in the blender. One could attempt to mince the mushrooms with a cutting board and a sharp knife, but the stems are a little tough to cut. Blend the mushrooms until they are a nice, more or less uniformly grey fluid. No, the mushrooms will not look appetizing. One might wish to hide this step from mycophobic dinner guests, unless one is a cook with nefarious intentions.

Pour the mushrooms into a mixing bowl. Add rolled oats, soy sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, and steak sauce.

Do not blend the softened gluten knots; slice them into thin strips and add to the liquified mushrooms.

Add soy flour in small amounts and mix; check in between additions of flour to see if the mushroom and gluten mixture has sufficiently stiffened to make patties.

Cooking with code - Why is there information about cryptography in this recipe?

Programming can be much like cooking; one needs to follow certain steps in order to get the results one wants. Likewise, there may be more than one way to program code, to make a vegetable patty, or to paint a picture.

It is our view that any exposure to the underpinnings of such technologies may introduce others, however slightly, to a bit of knowledge that might otherwise remain obscured.

Cooking with code is both an art and a science.

Simple substitution ciphers are a cipher in which one letter from the plaintext is switched to a different letter or symbol in the ciphertext; 'A' might always be switched with 'L', 'B' switched with 'X'. Common examples of this would be the Caesar cipher, where the letter is shifted 3 to the right; ROT13, where the letter is shifted 13 to the right; or the common "decode the secret message" activities found in coloring books.

If one cannot find dried gluten knots, one may try substituting high gluten flour. Add water, and knead until the strands of gluten form. Neither simple substitution ciphers nor substitution of high gluten flour for dried gluten knots will prevent the compromise of confidential data. Should cryptanalysis of any kind be a concern, please enjoy one's double-fried breaded mushroom and gluten knots while one can.

Step Six: heat oil and fry stuff.

Not while reading, of course.

Scoop the gluten and mushroom mix in heaping tablespoons; shape into patties. Coat a pan with non-stick cooking spray. Cook patties on medium heat, 3-4 minutes each side.

Guvf ernqvyl qrpbqrq zrffntr fubhyq uneqyl cnff sbe n zrffntr rapelcgrq sbe frphevgl checbfrf.

Wkh sulru olqh lv urw13 hqfrghg. Wklv olqh lv hqfrghg zlwk d fdhvdu flskhu.

Place water, milk, or 1 beaten egg in a bowl. Soy milk or some other substitute could be used here; it's just for moistening the patties so the bread crumbs will adhere.

Place 1/2" of cooking oil or vegetable shortening in the pan, again on medium heat. Place the bread crumbs on a plate. Dip the cutlets in the bowl of water, milk, or beaten egg. Bread both sides of the cutlet. Fry each side for 2-3 minutes, or until coating is crispy.

Step Seven: bread cutlets and fry again!

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    • Iamsteven LM profile image

      Iamsteven LM 6 years ago

      Informative lens, i think i learned a thing or two, keep up the good work

    • profile image

      NevermoreShirts 6 years ago

      Creative cooking!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 6 years ago

      Nice job!

    • elegiac profile image

      elegiac 6 years ago

      @food monkey: Thank you!

    • elegiac profile image

      elegiac 6 years ago

      @Noctambulant: Thank you for your kind words :-) I like to pretend I can cook, sometimes; it would probably lose much of its fun if I had to do so all the time.

    • profile image

      Noctambulant 6 years ago

      I always enjoy the random diversion in the middle of your recipes...:)

      Do you work as a chef?

    • food monkey profile image

      food monkey 6 years ago

      nice lens!

    • elegiac profile image

      elegiac 6 years ago

      @ananimoss2: Step five actually is step three; skipping steps three and four in name only seemed fitting with the information on simple substitution ciphers ;-)

    • ananimoss2 profile image

      ananimoss2 6 years ago

      Interesting...but why skip step three and four? Thanks for liking my lens, by the way.