Chef Jimmy Gentry of Paradox Catering & Consulting sent us a great recipe for Tofu Pastrami Microwave Sauerkraut and Horseradish Mustard that he'd been making for his vegetarian and vegan clients. It looked delicious, so it got us to thinking; if you can pastrami meat and tofu, what else can you pastrami?
Portobello mushrooms immediately came to mind. Their meaty flavor and firm texture make them a shoo-in for this role. We used Chef Gentry's pastrami cure, sauerkraut, and mustard to create one great-tasting pastrami sandwich from portobello mushrooms -- you could surely do the same with tofu or anything else for that matter.
This version is vegan, but if you'd like a little cheese, go ahead and add a few slices of swiss, and while you're at it, a smear of good olive-oil mayo. This is a recipe we bet you'll make again and agin.
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 to 4 medium portobello mushroom caps
6 to 8 slices marble rye (toasted)
Microwave Sauerkraut (recipe follows)
Horseradish Mustard (recipe follows)
Make the pastrami cure in a medium bowl by mixing the pepper, coriander, paprika, salt, and garlic together. Drizzle the olive oil over the mushroom caps so that they're evenly covered. This will allow the cure to stick to the mushrooms. Liberally coat each mushroom with the cure on both sides and place in a covered container in the fridge for at least two hours or up to 24 hours.
Preheat your outdoor grill to high. Grill mushrooms gill-side-down for 4 minutes, flip, and grill the smooth side for 4 minutes or until nicely marked and the mushroom is soft and pliable. Depending on the thickness of the mushroom, this could take longer. Place mushrooms back in the covered container and back in the fridge to cool.
Slice thin strips on the bias or diagonally to create larger "cold cuts" from the mushroom. Serve on marbled rye with Microwave Sauerkraut and Horseradish Mustard and pickles. (Makes 3 to 4 sandwiches -- depending on how high you stack 'em.)
This is the fastest way to make great-tasting sauerkraut this side of opening a jar lid. Fermenting a big batch on your kitchen counter can take weeks; this takes 4 minutes.
1 medium head purple cabbage (cored, thinly sliced)
1 medium white onion (thinly sliced)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1/8 teaspoon cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
In a large microwave safe bowl, mix the cabbage, onion, vinegar, caraway, sugar, and salt until well incorporated. Cover and microwave on high for 4 to 5 minutes. Let it sit, still covered, until it's cool to the touch and most of the brine has been absorbed. Refrigerate until ready to use. Keep it covered in the fridge for up to a week.
3 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons lager or porter beer
In a small bowl mix the mustard, horseradish, and beer. Set aside until ready to use.