Friday, April 9, 2010

The Return of Food Network Fridays - BBQ "Pork" Panini Sandwich

It has been a bit of a hiatus for Food Network Fridays. This is a little challenge started by the one and only Tami Noyes of American Vegan Kitchen (AVK) and Vegan Appetite fame. A few of us goofy food obsessed types go about converting a Food Network recipe to a much more kind vegan version. It is a lot of fun to see what all of the fantastic cooks whip up.

This week we converted this BBQ Pork Panini Sandwich from an episode of Down Home with the Neelys.

I started off yesterday with a test recipe from the upcoming Vegan Bakesale by Carla Kelly of The Year of the Vegan. Her recipe for what she calls plain bread was hailed by my number one taste tester, Fred, as the best bread he has ever had! It was darn good. Because I had my sights set on this conversion, I made the bread into French-style torpedo rolls. It had to bribe Fred not to eat all of the rolls so that we could eat them with this today.


This morning when I got home from another graveyard shift (yuck), I whipped up another tester from Julie Hasson's upcoming Vegan Diner: Smoky Sandwich Spread. This cheesy, creamy, tasty spread stood in for the cheddar in the original recipe.

For the "pork" I used Tami's Beefy Seitan recipe from AVK. If you don't have her book yet, there is something seriously wrong with you. Go buy it!

I bring you my version of

BBQ Porque Panini Sandwich



Makes 4 Sandwiches

3 tablespoons Earth Balance, softened
2 large cloves garlic, minced
12 oz Beefy Seitan roast
Rub - Recipe below
1 cup BBQ Sauce - Recipe Below
4 French-style sandwich rolls
Smoky Cheezy Sandwich Spread (or your favorite vegan cheddar)
4 large dill pickles, sliced length wise

In a small bowl, blend the Earth Balance and garlic. Set aside for later use.

Coat seitan roast with rub. Save remaining rub in airtight container for later use. Let rub soak into seitan for at least and hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In covered casserole, bake roast for about 20 minutes. Roast will be warm, but not hot. Slice as thinly as you can and return to the pan with 1 cup of the BBQ sauce. Bake for 10-15 more minutes until heated through and sauce becomes a little sticky. Remove from oven and set aside while you prepare the sandwich.

Preheat Panini press or griddle depending on what you are using. I used the griddle on my stove and a big old cast iron pan for the press.

Butter the outsides of the bread with the Earth Balance mixture. Spread a thick layer of cheezy spread on top piece of bread. Working quickly set the bottom piece of the bread on the press/griddle. Top with pickle slices and seitan (divided into four equal portions). Grill on each side for about 2 - 3 minutes until bread is golden and crunchy. Slice at a diagonal and serve with a little extra BBQ sauce for dippin' if that is your style.

Fred likes more pickles and less meat on his. This is a very flexible recipe, so add and subtract the ingredients to fit your taste.

Happy FNF!

Dry Rub

1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Can store in airtight container for future use.

Smoky BBQ Sauce

Makes approx 4 cups

2 teaspoons canola oil
3/4 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 medium)
3 cloves garlic minced
1 - 15 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes (do not drain)
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (leave seeds intact)
1/2 cup cider vinegar
6 oz can tomato paste**
2 teaspoons vegan worcestershire sauce
5 Tablespoons chili powder (hot if you like a very spicy sauce)
3 teaspoons celery salt
1 Tablespoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon prepared mustard
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
2 tablespoons toasted yellow mustard seeds*

In medium saucepan, saute onion and garlic in oil over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. While they are sauteeing puree diced tomatoes and chipotle together making sure chipotle is chopped fine. Pour mixture and remaining ingredients into saucepan. Bring to simmer and turn heat to low. Simmer on low for at least 30 minutes.

This sauce is even better if you can let it chill overnight in the fridge to intensify the flavors.

* Some people like thinner smoother sauce. For a thinner smoother sauce, add 1/2 cup of water and puree all ingredients except for the mustard seeds. Add seeds and then simmer.

** I have to indulge myself in a little rant here. I get so miffed when recipes call for 2 Tablespoons or less than a whole can of tomato paste. I know this has to happen sometimes, but it irks me to no end to have this small amount of tomato paste sittin' in the fridge. I purposely developed this recipe so that you, my dear reader, will not encounter this common cooking irritation. Boooooya!