Well, maybe not. But it did get to 73 degrees here today and should again tomorrow. Nice since we have been quite cold for the past two months. Having lived here for 12 years, I know not to complain about cold . 73 seems like a nice compromise. So, we are having vegan picnic fare tonight, French Potato Salad and Vegan Reubens.
French Potato Salad is often made with beef consomme but that is the only animal product and is easily left out. The key to a good salad is to marinate the potatoes while they are hot in white wine. The wine permeates the potatoes and adds a nice flavor. There are tons of Vegan Reuben recipes out there. I have been following a site dedicated to Vegan Reubens by a guy in Portland. He searches out restaurants and does reviews. Some of them sound pretty tasty. Some not so much. The thought of a Reuben made with tempeh makes me want to gag. I did make vegetarian Reuben's a couple of weeks back with Russian Dressing and Swiss Cheese that turned out nicely. I substituted VERY thinly sliced portobello mushrooms that had been sauteed first. They turned out great. The mushrooms gave them a meaty taste. Tonight we try with Vegan Mayonnaise and soy cheese. I have been warned about soy cheese but rumor has it that Daiya Vegan Cheese is best sub for dairy cheese. Can't seem to find it here in Dallas though. The soy "cheese" I did use tasted great and melted nicely.
French Potato Salad
3 Russet Potatoes
3 Cloves Garlic minced with the back of a French knife with sea salt
1/2 Teaspoon ground Black Pepper
1/4 Cup Dry White Wine
1/4 Cup No Chicken Broth
2 Shallots finely minced
7 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
2 Tablespoons Tarragon Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar
Chopped Herbs to Garnish
Cut potatoes into 1 1/2 " chunks, cover with water and bring to a boil. Simmer until just cooked. Drain and peel, or not. Place in a bowl with the garlic and ground pepper and pour over wine and stock. The potatoes will absorb the wine and stock within a few minutes. Shake or whisk the olive oil, vinegar and mustard and stir GENTLY into the potatoes. Add shallots and herbs and serve warm or at room temperature, not cold.
1/4 cup drained Sauerkraut
2 Portobello Mushrooms
4 slices Pumpernickel slathered with margarine or olive oil on one side
4 slices vegan cheese
1/2 cup Vegan Mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons ketchup
2 Tablespoons sweet pickle relish
Blend "Russian" Dressing ingredients and set aside. VERY thinly slice mushrooms and saute until they have given off all of their liquid over medium heat and are browned. Place 2 slices cheese on dry side of 2 slices of bread, layer with drained sauerkraut, mushrooms, and a good slathering of dressing. Top with the other slice of bread and saute in a well seasoned HOT cast iron skillet or griddle for about 4 minutes on each side until nicely browned and the cheese is melted.It helps to weigh them down with a plate with a weight on top
Close your eyes and imagine it's spring. Imagine you are at Wolfies or the Carnegie Deli. I know from Wolfies!