Monday, June 22, 2009

tempeh reubens with carmelized onions

Tempeh reubens are my favorite thing at my favorite hippie restaurant that is (sniff) closing for the summer but (yay) apparently reopening in the fall. I hope these are still on the new menu.

When I saw the recipe in Vegetarian Times, I knew I had to try it -- it's a fair amount of work for a sandwich, but this makes tons of leftovers and it's sort of different and good.


Russian dressing:

4 Tbs. eggless mayonnaise [yeah, no. I used light mayo.]
1 Tbs. tomato paste [I used ketchup, which maybe wasn't ideal, but I wasn't going to open a can for 1 T.]
1/4 cup minced dill pickle [I used sweet pickle relish. there is only so much effort one can expend on making a condiment, and buying and mincing a dill pickle is way beyond however much effort that is.]
2 Tbs. minced red onion
1 tsp. Dijon mustard

Tempeh reubens:

1 8-oz. pkg. tempeh
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs. tamari or low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbs. black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
1 Tbs. caraway seeds
2 1/2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
4 cups thinly sliced onions
Salt to taste
1 1/2 cups sauerkraut, drained and rinsed (I omitted but I'm sure it would be good if you liked saurkraut)
4 to 6 slices hearty whole grain bread (we had sesame rolls)
1 bunch arugula, stemmed, rinsed and dried


1. To make Russian dressing: Mix all ingredients in bowl until thoroughly combined. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.
2. To make Tempeh Reubens: Using sharp knife, cut tempeh crosswise at 45-degree angle into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Combine 1 1/2 cups water, vinegar, tamari, peppercorns and caraway seeds in large saucepan. Add tempeh, spooning mixture over it. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
3. Meanwhile, heat 1 1/2 Tbs. oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onions and salt, and cook, stirring often, over medium-low heat about 10 minutes, or until juicy. Increase heat to medium, and cook 5 minutes more, stirring often, until well browned. Remove pan from heat.
4. Heat remaining 1 Tbs. oil in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and add tempeh slices, in batches if necessary. Cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
5. Warm sauerkraut in saucepan over medium-low heat.
6. To assemble sandwiches, spread each bread slice with 1 heaping Tbs. of Russian dressing. Layer bread with arugula, tempeh, sauerkraut and onions. Serve warm, either open-faced or topped with another slice of bread.

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