Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Vegan Cuban

Full disclosure: My only exposure to Cuban food has been at the Mexican/Cuban/Spanish restaurant Country Flame in New Orleans. I've been there twice, so you can see I'm a bit of a novice. But I do follow foodie news, and I know Cuban sandwiches were all the rage a few years back.

Having never had a traditional, meaty Cuban, I wasn't sure what to expect from the Cubano Sandwich from Terry Hope Romero's Viva Vegan. But you can't go wrong with homemade steamed seitan, vegan ham, vegan cheese, sweet pickles, mustard, and Earth Balance on French bread:

I didn't have a sandwich press, so I stacked another pan on top of the sandwich while it was in the cast iron skillet. And then I stacked a giant can of tomato juice on top of that. The result was a crispy, pressed sandwich loaded with protein and cheeze. That's right up my vegan alley!

By the way, Romero suggests her steamed seitan recipe as the base for many of her dishes, and I highly recommend it. It may be the best (and easiest) seitan recipe ever!

What do you do when a recipe calls for seitan? Do you buy pre-made seitan or make your own? What's your favorite seitan-makin' method?

23 comments:

amymylove said...

viva vegan is my fave way to make seitan! the red seitan i think needs to be steamed like 15 minutes longer though than directed...

how weird, i made this sandwich for the first time this week as well, pretty darn good, but just a little too full of "meat and dairy" for my tastes... i like veggies on my sammies!

Nikki said...

Seitan is one of those things I've been meaning to make. Once I get around to it, I'll use the Viva recipe. BTW, any sandwich with a pickle on it belongs in my mouth. Yum.

T said...

I always found this whole Cuban sandwhich phenom funny, since no one eats them in Cuba. Still, it looks delicious!

I've had a few seitan disasters (like dissolving in the broth, or not coming together at all) and now I have cold feet... next time I'll try Terry's recipe!

Elisabeth said...

I use the "Vegan with a Vengeance" boiled recipe usually. Occasionally it goes a bit sloppy so I spread it on a baking sheet and er, bake it. Still comes out alright....

Rick said...

we don't buy seitan anymore due to health concerns, but when we did we bounced back and forth between making our own at home, and buying pre-made stuff. there's a really awesome brand from my home state here that only makes it to our local food co-op, it's called Ray's Seitan - try to find it, it's awesome.

vegan.in.brighton said...

I'm another Viva Vegan seitan lover, I usually make the white seitan. I think there's a recipe for a Cubano Vegano sandwich in there, whatever it's called it was delicious!

Leah (The Kind Weight Watcher) said...

Hi, Bianca! First of all, I'm sorry that I didn't make it out to Imagine last night. I really thought that yesterday was Tuesday for most of the day... it's been a crazy short week with the long weekend.

Plan to see me there next Wednesday! :-) I'm looknig forward to meeting some more vegetarians and vegans from the area, should be fun.

Anyway, I will buy pre-made seitan because I'm just not that adventurous in the kitchen yet.

laceylovesfood said...

I just avoid seitan. I've never had any that I thought tasted good and I've tried so many recipes. I just don't eat it :/

Helen said...

I made homemade seitan buffalo wings and tempeh buffalo wings for the superbowl last year. Right out of the pan, the seitan wings were awesome, if a bit too spongy. But they definitely did not keep well. I've had some great seitan at restaurants, but never perfected it at home.

VeganLinda said...

I love make steamed seitan. We used to have to make it from flour and killed off two kitchen aide stand mixers, back 15 years ago. So glad vital wheat gluten came to the rescue. I just bought that cookbook, now I know what my first recipe will be.

Jess - The Domestic Vegan said...

I LOVE homemade seitan. I used to think I didn't like seitan the first few times I tried it, but it turns out I just don't like storebought seitan. Upton's Naturals is the exception to that because their seitan is AWESOME - but the Whitewave stuff & a few of the other brands are nast, IMO.

Plus, homemade seitan is so much cheaper & healthier!

Nick would LOVE this sandwich. I need to cook from "Viva Vegan" more.

sara said...

the viva recipe is so easy and good! although sometimes i switch it up and make the veganomicon seitan cutlets -- baking it gives it a tougher texture that i like.

i don't think i've seen vegan ham around here. what brand did you use?

Liz said...

I never liked cubans when I ate meat, but then again, I never really liked meat. I've also always been just so-so about seitan, but your sandwich looks good, and I never made my own, so maybe it's time to try

Get Skinny, Go Vegan. said...

I quit seitan :(
Sadly! But hubby loves ALL that stuff!
Keep flirting with this book.
Are the recipes easy to make?? Was thinking about giving it to a "Vegan Flirt".

and_i_say said...

I don't really like boiled seitan (eg "Vegan with a Vengeance" recipe), but I do enjoy it boiled when it has another flour, like chickpea flour, in it (eg "Quick & Easy Vegan Celebrations" tourkey cutlets). My go-to seitan recipe though is the cutlet recipe from "American Vegan Kitchen." You make 10 cutlets and cook them in the oven in broth. They have mashed up chickpeas and soy flour in them, so they're not as chewy/soft as boiled seitan. They keep well in the freezer too. I really like a lot of baked and steamed recipes from FatFreeVegan.com and VeganDad.com.

Leslie R. said...

I always use the recipe in Yellow Rose Recipes. It's easy and yummy :)
That Cuban looks great- I haven't ever had one either.

Erin said...

Mmmm cubans! I love a Cuban made with Tofurkey slices.

Funny, I tried the steamed white seitan from VV and it turned out totally squishy and doughy and not edible. I've heard recommendations from you and plenty of others though, so maybe I did something wrong.

panda with cookie said...

I love making seitan. I do boiled from Vegan with a Vengeance and baked from Joni's Burger book. I also recently made one from Vegan Diner that is great.
I should get my Cuban on and make this.

holy moly said...

I'm torn between Viva Vegan and Jenn Shaggy's chicken seitan recipe. They're both sooooOoooo good!!!

I could never buy seitan after learning how easy it is to make yourself!

Sheridanna said...

I don't really like the pre-made seitan we've bought. We usually bake it when we make it! I really like it that way - chewy, yet with a slight crust on the outside. We make philly cheeze "steak" sandwiches with it! YUM! I definitely want to try steaming it next time we make it!

foodfeud said...

I honestly don't eat or make seitan that often, but I would much rather make my own than buy it. I usually steam it sausage-style. I would definitely trust Terry on Latin food, and I'll trust you on digging Terry's seitan!

Lindsay said...

I thought that Cubans were a thing of the past for me...can't wait to try this recipe!!!

Tender Branson said...

Cubans are sort of a big deal in Tampa and I've always contemplated what a vegan one would entail. I always make my own seitan using post punk kitchens recipe.