Monday, 12 May 2014

Smoked Tofu/ Tempeh and Cashew Cheese Muffuletta for British Sandwich Week -vegan, yeast free




This week is British Sandwich week, so I thought I'd post a sandwich to celebrate! Sandwiches originate from England, but are now found in many different forms all over the world as they make the perfect portable meal or snack. Now I love a recipe with a history, so I chose the muffuletta for my project. It originates from Central Grocery in New Orleans (though I'm not sure when) and was invented -and first eaten- by Italian immigrants. It makes use of the muffuletta, a traditional Sicilian sesame seed bread made in 10" round loaves, filled with pickled vegetables ("Giardiniera"), sliced olives. cheese and ham. Of course here I'm using cashew cheeze spread for some tangy, cheesy creaminess and grilled smoked tofu and/ or marinated grilled tempeh for the "meat". This sandwich is a lovely combo of textures and flavours: creamy, crunchy, fluffy, tangy, salty, smoky and aromatic. Instead of yeasted bread, I used sesame soda bread (quick and easy!) and I made four individual rolls, but you could make two traditional-shaped loaves and split them in half to serve four people.


You might need to scoop out some of the bread to get all the fillings in!
First, make the pickles:
140g finely sliced veggies (peppers, carrot, cauliflower etc.)
2-3 tsps seasalt
1 tab dried oregano
1/2 tsp compound hing
  • Put everything in a glass jar, cover with cold water and leaved in the fridge for several hours or overnight.
The next thing you need is 4 heaped tabs sliced pitted olives

Tofu:
I made my own smoked tofu with 1 1/2 l soya milk. adding the following after curdling and draining but before pressing  :
a pinch of compound hing
1 tsp seasalt
1 1/2 tabs sweet smoked paprika
1 tab tamari sauce (It doesn't come out as firm as you have to break the curds up so press longer and heavier than usual.) Slice carefully and grill until firm.
Or you can buy smoked tofu, cut it into 8 slices and grill it. I like Taifun's smoked tofu with almonds and sesame (Waitrose stock it).

Tempeh:
If using tempeh, slice and marinate it in smoked paprika and tamari sauce before grilling. That way it doesn't dry out.

Cashew Cheeze Spread:
200g cashews
5 tabs lemon juice
2 tsps brown rice miso
3 tabs water
  • Mix all to a spreading, peanut butter-y consistency. (I used my hands to get the mix even.)
Bread:
If you're lucky enough to live somewhere where you can get it, then buy yourself a muffaletta loaf. If not, try this quick and easy yeast free bread:
2 cups wholemeal bread flour
1 cup plain white flour
5 tsps baking powder
2 rounded tabs sesame seeds (plus more for sprinkling on top)
50ml olive oil
water to mix (I used 3 cups; add yours gradually because absorbency depends on the exact type of flour you use.)s

  • Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl then rub in the oil.
  • Mix in the water until you have a slightly moist dough that holds its shape but may be a little sticky. You need to add a decent amount of water to keep the finished bread light.
  • Shape (with wet hands) into 4 individual rolls or 2 large ones on an oiled and pre-warmed baking tray. Make them a bit taller than you want as they will most likely spread when baking. Sprinkle generously with sesame seeds.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or so in an oven preheated to 180C. They should be slightly brown on top but not overdone. The bread will be quite crusty on the outside but soft inside. IT does have a pleasnt, subtle sesame flavour we liked very much.
Assemble your sandwiches:
When the bread is cold (they could crumble otherwise), carefully split the rolls and slather with a generous amount of cashew cheeze. In fact, be generous with everything! If your rolls have come out very domed, you can pull out some of the bread to make room for more fillings. I put the pickles and olives on top of the cheeze to stick them down, then added the tofu and some tempeh as well. Press the rolls down gently to hold everything together then slice them in half from top to bottom and serve.


Want to join in our YogiVeg sandwich celebration? -Just link your own sandwich recipes below. Remember the definition of a sandwich is so much more than just a filling between two slices of bread: you don't even have to have bread- I have seen some delicious-looking portobello mushroom burger buns, for example. Or what about grilled cheese? Quesadillas? Wraps? Raw sandwiches, ice cream sandwiches? Or perhaps you could vegan-ise some old favourites such as egg and cress, cheese and pickle, BLT or club sandwich. It's a creative fiesta! (Please remember to only link vegan recipes though.)
Check out a couple of our examples:


Banh Mi



Quesadillas