This story all started a few weeks ago when my friend, Jarrett, told me that she learned to make mojitos for a bartending class she was taking. I told her that’s a coincidence, because I just so happen to love mojitos ever since my honeymoon visit to Miami…
Jarrett said that she’d have to have us over some time to test out her skills. I just didn’t expect her to plan such an extensive, delicious meal to go along with the drinks. I should have guessed… She is an all-around awesome hostess and cook.
When planning the menu, Jarrett said that Cuban sandwiches and black bean soup were obvious choices. When she was telling me about it, I didn’t think anything of the meaty entrée — as a dinner-party guest with dietary restrictions, I’m fine with whatever the host is willing and able to make. I just figured the black bean soup would be good enough! However, Jarrett’s never one to turn down a good challenge, so she looked up some variations of vegetarian Cuban sandwiches and ultimately settled on seitan, which she’s never cooked and I’ve never eaten.
With neither of us knowing what exactly to expect, it was a little bit of an adventure… With more delicious results than I even imagined.
Jarrett, her boyfriend, Dan and I all got to build our own sandwiches, so that we could add more of less cheese/mustard/pictures/pork/seitan.
Then, Jarrett pressed the custom sandwiches on a panini press and served them up. Seitan and extra pickles for me!
Not only had I never tried seitan, but I never had any kind of Cuban sandwich. I was absolutely blown away. In fact, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them since then.
So, what’s a girl to do? Make some of my own!
Vegetarian Cuban Sandwiches
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Keywords: grill sandwich entree vegetarian seitan pickles Cuban
Ingredients (serves 2-4)
- 8-oz. package of seitan
- 2 T olive oil
- 1/4 C natural orange juice
- 1 t garlic, minced
- 1/4 t oregano
- Pinch onion powder
- Salt and pepper
- Whole-wheat submarine bread
- Yellow mustard
- Provolone cheese
- Pickles, sliced
In a large, non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil to medium-high. Stir in the orange juice, garlic, oregano and onion powder. (Be careful of the hot oil mixing with the liquid!)
Drain the seitan from the package liquids. Separate into pieces. Place the seitan pieces onto the hot skillet. Allow it to saute for 1-2 minutes, flip the pieces and cook for another couple of minutes, until glazed on both sides.
Heat a grill press or panini maker to medium-high.
Slices the sandwich bread in half. Spread with mustard, then layer on cheese, pickles and cooked seitan.
Place the sandwiches on the heated grill, press down firmly for 1-2 minutes, until toasted. Flip and repeat, if applicable.
Slice the big ol’ sandwiches in half and enjoy!
The first thing I notice about these sandwiches is the perfectly crusty, crunchy bread and the classic combination of pickles and mustard. That alone would be a perfect sandwich for me — seriously, I’m weird like that.
But, with the seitan added in there, it’s a real meal.
Of note: For Dan’s sandwiches, I flash-sauteed a few slices of natural ham deli meat. He loved it – but probably less than Jarrett’s slow-roasted pork shoulder. I’m not offended.
Also of note: The mojitos that Jarrett originally invited us over for were equally amazing! What drink do you think I should tell her I’m a fan of next? Maybe Bellinis so I can have a full Italian meal?
Have you ever had Cuban sandwiches? How about vegetarian Cuban sandwiches? Have you ever had seitan?