Friday, February 10, 2012

Food Network Friday - The Sandwich King's Reuben Meatball Sliders

This week's Food Network Friday features a relatively new member of the Food Network line up: Jeff Mauro, the Sandwich King. I have a warm spot in my heart for Jeff as he is a fellow Illinoisian. I have to admit, I have yet to see his show, but I loved him on the Next Food Network Star. This week we are setting about veganizing his recipe for Reuben Meatball Sliders. Check out the wrap up over at Vegan Appetite.

I know this one was a really fun one for Tami over at Vegan Appetite as I don't think she has met a reuben she didn't love. I, on the other hand, was never a huge fan of corned beef, pastrami or sauerkraut in my younger years. I do have to admit, I am warming up. 

For this conversion I decided to take a little different tactic. Instead of making a veganesque meatball, I decided to use some marinated, breaded and fried tempeh. I attempted to make some rye slider rolls and they didn't work out. I tried a second batch of whole grain buns and topped them with caraway seeds with much better luck. Because I didn't use a rye type bread, I added some ground caraway seeds to the breading for the tempeh. The rest is pretty simple: buns, tempeh, 1000 Isla dressing and sauerkraut. Bam sliders baby! We chowed 'em down at Superbowl half time with some loaded tots (loaded with Teese cheddar, facon bits, grilled jalapenos and green onions). Yep, calorie overload. Delicious calorie overload.

Loaded Tots!

Tempeh Reuben Sliders

Makes 8 sliders

8 oz package tempeh (I used Westsoy this time because it is more square) cut into 8 squares

For the marinade:

6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1-Tablespoons pickling spice
1-teaspoon thyme
¼ teaspoon celery seed
1-teaspoon Louisianna Seasoning (not sauce) If not available any cajun spice can be subbed
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
6 oz. vegan lager beer

For the breading:

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup rye flour
1 teaspoon ground caraway (use 1/2 teaspoon if rye bread is used)
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons marinade
3/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
1 teaspoon tapioca or corn starch

1000 Isla Dressing (see recipe below)
1 - 1 1/2 cups sauerkraut (depending on how much you like)
8 slider buns

Enough oil to come up 1/2 inch in frying pan.

Steam cut tempeh for 10 minutes. In a non reactive glass 8 x 8 or similar size baking dish stir together marinade ingredients. Place steamed tempeh in single layer in the pan with marinade. Marinate for at least 4 hours, overnight is best.

Heat oil to 350 in heavy bottomed frying pan or iron skillet.

Using two shallow bowls prepare your breading station. In one bowl, stir together panko, rye flour, ground caraway and salt. In second bowl stir together marinade, soy milk and tapioca starch with fork until well combined. Place tempeh (two pieces at a time) in soy milk mixture for about 30 seconds to absorb some of the liquid. Dredge in panko mixture until all sides are coated. Carefully slide into frying pan. Do not crowd pan. Fry until crispy and golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Repeat for any remaining tempeh. 

Warm sauerkraut in small saucepan. Slice slider buns. Spray with oil and toast on griddle or saute pan. 

To assemble: Place tempeh on toasted bun bottom. Top with 2 tablespoons or so of sauerkraut and 1 tablespoon 1000 Isla dressing. 

1000 Isla Dressing

Makes about 3/4 cup

1/2 cup Vegannaise or other vegan mayo
2 tablespoons organic catsup
1 tablespoon pimento stuffed green olives, chopped fine
1 teaspoon dill pickle relish
1 tablespoon fresh chives or 1 teaspoon dried.

Mix all ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Let sit for at least an hour before using. Will keep in fridge for about a week or two.


  1. Kim, these look wonderful! Love the breaded tempeh idea.

  2. I never tried breaded tempeh! I'm going to have to give this a go and love the loaded tots!

  3. Love your take on these! So cool.
    And the loaded tots. Perfect!