Thursday, January 1, 2009

"Enjoy Every Sandwich" (Veggie Reuben)

2008 brought a number of changes for me. One of those changes has been the way I feel about this blog, which began as a way of sharing my enjoyment of vegetarian food, but has recently come to feel like an obstacle to that enjoyment. I like taking pictures, but it can be tiresome to have to photograph everything before eating it. Finding the time to compose regular posts can be a challenge, and, while I have a pretty diverse eating pattern, sometimes I'd like to eat nothing but quesadillas for a week without worrying about what blog readers might think.

In short, I need to step back, heed the late, great Warren Zevon's advice, and enjoy every sandwich. This blog will continue, but posting will be less frequent: perhaps once a week, perhaps once a month.

Although Warren was not vegetarian, his song titles lend themselves quite naturally to conversations about vegetarian living. For example:

Q: Did your family agree to forgo turkey at Thanksgiving?
A: No, Momma Couldn't Be Persuaded.

Q: How did I goof up such a basic recipe for mac and cheese?
A: Accidentally Like a Martyr.

Q: I thought this green chili was vegetarian, but I just bit into a piece of pork!
A: Don't Let Us Get Sick/Poor Poor Pitiful Me.

Q: What if we add some red pepper flakes to that?
A: Genius.

Warren might have preferred something from the Pioneer Chicken Stand, but I'm starting 2009 with a veggie reuben. In this version, cabbage and onion are sautéed in a blend of canola oil and caraway seed, then stacked, with baked portobello, dressing and Gruyere cheese, between slices of rye bread. Somewhat messy, but worth it.

Best wishes for 2009, and enjoy every sandwich.

Ingredients (for 5 sandwiches)
10 slices rye bread
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
1 teaspoon caraway seed
1/2 head cabbage, washed and chopped
1 onion, washed and sliced into thin strips
5 portobello mushrooms, washed, gently dried and stems removed
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
black pepper to taste
5 ounces Gruyere cheese
"Russian" dressing (recipe below)

To Make the Cabbage Mixture:
Heat 1 tablespoon oil and caraway seeds in a large fry pan over medium heat.
Add the cabbage, onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Cook, stirring only occasionally, until the cabbage and onions are browned (see photo above).
Remove from heat.

To Make the Baked Portobellos:

Preheat oven to 375 F.
In a medium bowl, blend together 1/4 cup canola oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste.
Cut each portobello cap into 5-6 thick strips.
Toss with the oil mixture.
Lay the portobello slices in single layer in a baking dish (the mushrooms will release moisture when cooked, so I recommend a baking dish over a cookie sheet).
Bake 15 minutes.
While the portobellos are baking, place a wire rack on a counter or table, with a cookie sheet underneath.
Remove from oven.
Use a spatula/turner or tongs to remove portobellos from the baking dish and place on the wire rack to drain.

"Russian" Dressing
In a small bowl, combine:

1/3 cup mayonnaise/canola mayo/soy mayo
1 roma tomato, washed and finely chopped
1 scallion, washed and chopped
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon honey
black pepper to taste

To Assemble the Sandwich:

Lay two slices of rye bread on a baking sheet.
Top the first slice of bread with 1/5 of the portobello slices, and the second with 1/5 of the cabbage mixture.
Place thin slices of Gruyere on top of the portobello and the cabbage mixture.
Broil until the cheese is soft and bubbly.
Remove from oven.
Place the portobello slice face up on a plate.
Top with "Russian" dressing.
Place the cabbage mixture slice face down on top of the portobello and dressing.


Kitt said...

One of those sandwiches is for me, right?

Happy New Year! Post what you want, when you want. It's all good.

Beatrice said...

Of course. And the next time you make homemade ice cream, you'll save a bit for me, right?

Happy new year!


Dine With Donna said...

I will miss your dedicated effort with postings to your blog. I too know the effort of frequent postings to a blog. I travel frequently and have "my cookbooks" with me and ready when I am asked to preform in the kitchen! Know your frequency will be missed.

Beatrice said...

Thank you, Donna.

I'm looking forward to seeing your photos of Italy!


veggie belly said...

Thats a great looking sandwich! I love your blog and recipes no matter how infrequently you post :)

Happy new year!

Beatrice said...

Thank you, Sala! Happy new year to you, too.


Chris said...

The best thing about the panini press is that it does all the portobello cooking and cheese melting for you. I think it would take a lot of the effort out of this dish and make the bread nice and toasty.

Great blog :)

Anonymous said...

Looks soo yummy
Got to try this