I decided to make another vegan reuben sandwich (again) after spotting and picking up some garlic sauerkraut at Whole Foods this weekend. What differs from the last version is the addition of homemade vegan cheese instead of Daiya, which offered a new texture and richness that complemented the other sweet, briny, crispy, gooey, salty and spicy elements here perfectly. I love the sloppy look and feel of this sandwich, and mopping up the extra sauce and sauerkraut between bites is the best part of eating this.
for the cheese:
1/2 can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 tsp coconut vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp agar powder
1/2 TB tapioca flour
for the sandwich:
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 TB olive oil
1 package of Smoky Maple Bacon Marinated Tempeh
a few dashes of liquid smoke
a few drizzles of raw agave syrup
rye or pumpernickel bread, sliced
1 TB Earth Balance spread
prepared raw sauerkraut
4 TB Vegenaise, mixed with 1 TB sriracha
To make the cheese: Combine all of the cheese ingredients small saucepan. Whisk briskly continuously until the mixture comes to a small boil and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove it from the heat and transfer it to a small pyrex dish. Allow to chill and slightly set for about 20 minutes.
In a dry skillet, lightly toast the cumin seeds over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Set aside.
Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan over medium heat. Add the slices of tempeh and saute until nicely browned, about 5 minutes for each side. Before removing the tempeh to cool, sprinkle with a few dashes of liquid smoke and drizzle with a little agave syrup.
Melt a little of the Earth Balance over a clean skillet. Place the bread on top and allow to toast for a few minutes. Flip it over, then spread some of the cheese over the top. Allow the other side to toast. Flip the bread over again so the cheese makes contact with the pan and slightly melts for 20 seconds or so. Remove from the pan.
To assemble the sandwich, lay several pieces of the tempeh on the bread. Top with sauerkraut and sprinkle with the toasted cumin seeds. Top with the sriracha-Vegenaise dressing. Serve warm.