Food Network Friday – BBQ pork panini

Wow. It’s been ages since I posted, thanks to someone stealing my handbag with my camera in. So I was delighted when when Tami announced a new Food Network Friday because it was just the inspiration I needed to start blogging again.

If you haven’t been following, we pick a recipe from Food Network and veganise it. This time it was a BBQ pork panini from chefs I don’t know, The Neelys. Maybe they’ll come to our version of Food Network soon? I’m getting fed up of the same few programmes all the time.

I thought for quite a long time about how to create the pork. I was planning to use a sort of tempeh bacon, but then I remembered that I’d wanted to try some seitan in my food smoker for ages, so I decided to go down that route instead. I made some seitan, using the recipe for red seitan which will be in the brilliant forthcoming book Viva Vegan. Then I smoked it using hickory for about 25 minutes.

I was horrified at the amount of white sugar used in the original recipe, and anyway my seitan log was smaller than their enormous piece of pork. My rub was 1tbsp sugar, 2 tsp hot smoked paprika, 3 tsp onion powder and 1/2 tsp dried sage. I rubbed it into the seitan with a bit of olive oil and left it for about an hour. Then I baked it for about 25 minutes, turning once. This is how it looked out of the oven:

I sliced it up and then used vegan versions of cheese and butter and proceeded with the recipe as written.

As previously, I used this as a way of trying another recipe by The Neelys, so to serve with the panini I veganised this recipe for fried potato salad. It was very easy to do by using vegan mayonaise – and I used green onion instead of red as that’s what I had. I should take this opportunity to warn people that dijon mustard in England seems to be a lot hotter than it is in America. I found this out when recipe testing but forgot when I made the salad so the mustard dominated a bit.

The pork sandwich was a triumph. Smoking the seitan worked beautifully and the rub gave it a nice crispy edge. I’d definitely make seitan that way again. The salad was good – I never met a potato salad I didn’t like, but I think you could get the same effect by oven roasting the potatoes and use a lot less oil.

Thanks for hosting Food Network Friday Tami. It’s such a fun way to try new foods and think about flavour combinations!

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