Megan's Tempeh Reubens

Quick Weeknight Meals Recipe Contest 2009

Recipe: Tempeh Reubens
Category: Vegetarian
How long does it take? 30 minutes, tops. Often more like 20.
Name: Megan
Why is it a favorite meal? It feels so special, and yet it is insanely simple. Like any really good sandwich. It also needs no accompaniment, but goes great with my other favorite weeknight quickie--sweet potato fries.

Tempeh Reubens
Makes 2 sandwiches.
Easily doubled (or more), and actually quite good for repurposed leftovers the next day (this tempeh makes a nice side with rice and vegetables, too).

For the tempeh:
1 8oz. package of your favorite tempeh
1/4 c olive oil
1 T toasted sesame oil
1 T tamari
1/4 t paprika
1 dash chili flake
1/4 t thyme (fresh or dried)
1 medium garlic clove, crushed or minced

you'll also need sauerkraut and cheese to complete this sandwich, and exactly how much of each depends upon both your appetite and your personal favorites. I like about 1/3-1/2 c sauerkraut and 1-2 slices swiss cheese for each sandwich.
For the dressing:
1/3 c mayo (ok to sub vegan mayo)
1 T ketchup
1/2 T Annie's Goddess Dressing (optional)

Heat 1 T olive oil in your favorite skillet. Whisk together the olive oil, sesame oil, tamari, spices, herbs, and garlic. Cut tempeh into pieces about the size of a pack of playing cards, and then split them so they are about 1/4 inch thick. Dip the slices into the marinade (just turning to coat them--don't let them sit or they turn crumbly), then place into hot oiled pan and cook on medium high heat for 3-4 minutes on each side.

When tempeh slices are golden, whisk 1 T water to your leftover marinade, and pour the mixture into your skillet. Lower the heat. Cover and cook for 1-2 minutes more, then remove the lid and allow the tempeh to crisp up for just another minute. Set it aside and make the dressing.

To make dressing, stir together the mayo, ketchup and Goddess Dressing, if using. These sandwiches also taste fine with good mustard and mayo, but the dressing really makes it feel like an event.

Now assemble the sandwich: Heat skillet (a clean one) on medium heat. Take 2 pieces of your favorite sandwich bread, and butter one slice. Slather about 1 T dressing on the inside of each piece of bread. Top the unbuttered bread with 2 pieces of tempeh. On top of that, spread out your desired amount of sauerkraut and top with your preferred amount and type of cheese. Place the buttered bread on top of your sandwich filling and drop about a small pat of butter into your warm skillet. Place the sandwich on the melting butter, unbuttered bread side down, of course, and cook, uncovered, for about 2 minutes. Using a spatula and some courage, flip the sandwich and allow the other side to brown.

Serve sliced in half with a little extra dressing.

Thanks Megan, and good luck! Readers, give Megan a thumbs up if you like this recipe!

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