I’ve mentioned before that I love lying in bed early on Saturday and Sunday mornings watching Rachael Ray. Sometimes I’ll even nip down beforehand and take a cup of tea and crumpets and marmite up with me. Bliss. Anyway I was lying in bed a few weeks ago and she was making this Reuben Mac n Cheese. I know that Tami, who invented FNF, is even more obsessed by Reubens than I am, and we’re both pretty keen on mac n cheese, so I suggested this for a future FNF.
I didn’t do a bad job of veganising this, and I enjoyed it a lot, but I know how I’d try it again another time. I also did a very easy vegan version of the salad Rachael served on the side by using vegan mayo.
My main problem was not giving enough thought to how I’d do the corned beef. If I was doing it again I’d try this recipe from Vegan Dad (or wait and see what the other FNFers come up with!). I didn’t really have time to make anything from scratch though, so I used a loaf of red seitan from Viva Vegan and gave it a quick marinade in a mixture of no beef stock, allspice, smoked paprika, juniper and vinegar. It didn’t really penetrate it enough though, so although the (briefly fried) seitan added a nice texture to the dish it didn’t add much flavour wise.
The other thing I’d do differently I even thought of when I first saw the recipe, then forgot to do it! Ages ago I made a “gruyere” dish from Artful Vegan and I was planning to do something with white fermented tofu in this dish to replicate the gruyere flavour. But I forgot, so if anyone else wants to be brave enough to try it please be my guest!
I halved the recipe, but I kept the pasta, rye bread, “butter”, parsley, paprika and sauerkraut amounts as per the recipe. Instead of making a bechamel I used the cheese sauce from American Vegan Kitchen but took out the herbs and used some dried dill instead. So I mixed up the cooked pasta, the sauerkraut (I didn’t rinse it, just put it in the bottom of the drainer and drained the pasta right on top of it), the sauce and the seitan. Then I added 1 tbsp sour cream, just to loosen it, and 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard. Then I topped it with the rye toast breadcrumbs mixed with parsley, paprika and some Cheezly mozarella. Grilled until the cheese melted, and served with the salad.
The picture isn’t the best, but it was certainly very tasty and with a few tweaks I could get it better. Can’t wait to see what the others come up with!