Thursday, September 20, 2007

Italian Wanna-Be's Sandwiches

Alex, the chef at the Palatino hotel in Rome where my parents go on their tour, would probably come up with something like this. But this is vegan!

You'll need:
About 1 of those long, skinny wheat baguette loaves (which also make great garlic bread, by the way). Depends on how large of a crowd you're feeding, though.
1 recipe (or less, depending on size of crowd) of cheese recipe below
A bunch of basil leaves, enough for one per mini-sandwich you're preparing
Roma (or other small) tomato slices
Olive oil

Step 1: Prepare "mozzarella" cheese!
2 c. water or plain soymilk (I use water)
1/2 c. nutritional yeast flakes
1/3 c. quick-cooking rolled oats
1/4 c. sesame tahini
1/4 c. kuzu, arrowroot, or cornstarch (I've been using arrowroot powder)
3-4 T. fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 t. salt

Lightly oil a 3-cup mold, loaf pan or small bowl. Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into saucepan and stir over medium heat until very thick and smooth. Pour into prepared container, and cool uncovered in fridge. When completely cool, cover and chill overnight (although, I admit to making this in the morning or afternoon and serving it in the evening.) To slice, turn out of the mold and slice with an oiled or water-moistened knife. This cheese is extremely sticky and barely holds together, but is wonderful for these sandwiches. We've also tried them instead of the casein-laden fake cheese from the store on mini-pizzas. Mmmmm, good!

Step 2: Prepare tomatoes.
Slice tomatoes, not too thinly, not too thickly. Place in a bowl and drizzle olive oil over them, and add some crushed garlic to the mix. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Let marinate about 15-20 minutes.

Step 3: Slice bread. I like to make my slices about 2"x3" or so.

Step 4: Assemble sandwiches!
Slice cheese into semi-thin slices and place on top of bread slices. Then put a basil leaf down, and top with a tomato slice about the size of the top of the sandwich. You can drizzle leftover olive oil and garlic mix from the bowl over the tomato, but don't drench the sandwich! You want people to be able to eat it like finger food.

Zucchini Patties

9 c. grated zucchini (Mom and I use the food processor.)
4-6 c. quick oats (depening on how dry the zucchini is)
10 t. chicken style seasoning
2-3 t. salt
5 t. nutritional yeast flakes
4 chopped onions (I do mine in the food processor)
2 c. cashew pieces
1-3 c. breadcrumb-stuffing mix (Mom and I use Pepperidge Farm kind)

Mix everything together.

Warm up your waffle iron. Some types of waffle irons have reversible plates which turn into flat grills instead of the indentations for waffles. If you have one like that, use the flat side and drop your patty mix by ice cream scoop full into the waffle iron. Cook for approx. 10 minutes (depends on the iron's temperament.)

GREAT for potlucks. And this is a really good way to use those huge, overgrown zucchini from the garden...