Friday, February 22, 2013

Portobello and Seitan Sausage Sandwich

After having enjoyed Taft Foodmasters' Seitan Gyro, I wanted to make something using their other flavor of seitan as well. Taft Foodmasters' has been serving the wholesale market for a few years and recently decided to start selling their seitan in the retail market, which is great news for consumers. They make their seitan by hand, then season it using the finest blends of herbs and spices.  In this recipe, I use their Seitan Sausage to make a Portobello and Seitan Sausage Sandwich with caramelized onions and a modified version of my favorite pumpkin seed pesto sauce (from The Native Foods Restaurant Cookbook).

It took many iterations to find the best way to make this sandwich as I found the Seitan Sausage slices to be have a very strong fennel flavor. Ultimately, I decided to only use one slice on each sandwich so it wouldn't overpower the other flavors. This seitan is strongly flavored with lots of spices including salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, fennel seed, paprika, turmeric, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme. It would be a great addition to a hero sandwich, melt, or pizza pie.

Portobello and Seitan Sausage Sandwich
Serves 8

Ingredients for Sandwich
  • 1 red onion, sliced thinly
  • Olive oil
  • Salt 
  • 8 portobello mushroom caps
  • 1 package Taft Foodmasters Seitan Sausage 
  • Fresh loaf of bread, thinly sliced
  • Vegan mayo
  • Micro greens or arugula
Ingredients for Pumpkin Seed Pesto
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, raw or toasted
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
Start by making the caramelized onions as this process will take the longest. Coat a thick-bottomed saute pan with olive oil and heat to medium high. Add the sliced onions and stir to coat with oil. Spread them out evenly over the pan and let them cook, stirring occasionally.  You may need to reduce the heat to medium to prevent the onions from burning or drying out. After 10 minutes, sprinkle salt over the onions. Add water to the pan as needed to keep the onions from drying out.
Let them cook for 30-60 minutes total, stirring every few minutes. Once the onions start sticking to the pan, allow them to stick and brown a little, but stir them before they burn. After the first 30 minutes, you may want to lower the temperature a little more and add a little more oil. You will need to stir them every minute or so towards the end until they are a rich, brown color.

While they are cooking, you can make broil the mushrooms. Preheat the broiler. Line a large baking sheet with foil. Brush both sides of  mushrooms generously with olive oil. Then, place the mushrooms, dark gill side up, on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Broil mushrooms about 5 inches from the heat source until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Turn them over and broil until tender, another 7 minutes.

In another skillet, heat up the sliced seitan using oil or cooking spray. Heat both sides for a couple minutes.

To make the pesto, just puree all ingredients in the blender.

Grill the bread, if desired.

Finally, to assemble, put mayo on one side of a slice of bread. Then, top in the following order: 1 seitan slice, 1 mushroom cap, pesto, caramelized onions, and greens. Either top with another piece of bread or eat open-faced.

Enjoy the flavors of the broiled portobello mushroom and spicy seitan with the rich pumpkin seed pesto and caramelized onions. Yum!

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