It’s the return of Food Network Friday! After a brief hiatus that went a little longer than planned, Amy M. challenged us to veganize this panini from an episode of the Neely’s. Originally made with dry rubbed pork, the sandwich is really just protein, dill pickles and cheese on a bun spread with garlicky butter and barbecue sauce that is pressed in a panini press. Somehow when it’s on the plate, the sandwich becomes a bit of a trickster. Just when you start thinking that it’s a hearty rustic sandwich, the next bite has you thinking it should be served in a gourmet sandwich shop with a side of pomme frites. It’s complex and delicious, and most of all, not what I expected.
Here’s Amy’s version, complete with recipe since Amy is blogless. I love that she opted for tofu and her dry rub sounds full of flavor. Thanks for using the Cheezy Mayo from American Vegan Kitchen, Amy! Here’s the write-up in her own words.
Liz, from Cooking the Vegan Books is always up for a challenge. That’s fairly obvious since she gave us the toughest challenge to date, Kedgeree. For this sandwich, Liz brilliantly smoked the seitan and now I’m anxious to try that method. Be sure to see her blog for the recipe, as well as the info on the side dish.
If you’ve followed this blog for more than 10 minutes, you could probably guess that I’d choose seitan for the protein in this sandwich. I planned to make my own bread for this but changed my mind when I found the ideal panini bread at Wegman’s this week. If you have a store by you, check out their ciabatta baguette! Like Liz, I balked at the amount of sugar in the original recipe and cut it way back. My photo is on top; here’s my recipe.
BBQ Seitan Panini Sandwich
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
3 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of black pepper
8 ounces seitan, cut thinly
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise*
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 dill pickles, sliced thinly lengthwise
1/4 cup shredded cheddar style vegan cheese
1/4 cup barbecue sauce, warmed
1 14-inch ciabatta baguette or bread of choice
In a shallow 9 X 13-inch rimmed baking pan, combine the dry ingredients up to and including the black pepper. Add the seitan slices to the pan and toss them to coat with the seasoning mix. Set aside for 1 hour or longer. When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. and add the broth to the baking pan. Roast 10 minutes. If using a panini press, begin heating it.
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise with the garlic. Slice the bread and spread thinly on the inside bottom of the baguette. When the seitan is done, layer it on the bread, followed by the pickles and cheese. Spread the barbecue sauce on the inside of the top baguette. Put the tops on the sandwiches and cook in the panini press until done, about 10 minutes. Slice and serve.
*The original recipe called for butter mixed with garlic. While I love garlic butter as much as the next guy, the reduced fat vegan mayo is way lower in fat and so good in sandwiches. Also, I keep going back and forth on whether I like to butter the outside of a panini or not. I’m not sure it makes a big difference to the taste or texture. However, it does make the sandwich look more like a panini, and in this case I didn’t butter the top and you can tell.
If you were up for this week’s challenge, be sure to comment to this post. Feel like you’d like to join in another time and have a great idea for a recipe? Just email me. Thanks to Amy for suggesting this incredible sandwich that I know I’ll be making again. This was an awesome challenge and I’d love to eat at both your tables.
Coming next week: a cookbook giveaway!
4/10: Late Breaking FNF news! Here’s a sandwich from Kim, aka Veg in Training. I think she broke her personal best in using tester recipes. Her delicious looking version uses gorgeous torpedo rolls from Carla (upcoming Vegan Bake Sale), Julie’s smoky sandwich spread (upcoming Vegan Diner), the seitan from American Vegan Kitchen and…..her own fantastic sounding barbecue sauce. Hey, Kim, I’ll cook you breakfast after your graveyard shifts if you’ll cook me dinner!