I love a good reuben, and I like the veggie kind even more. I tried experimenting with some of the makings of a tempeh reuben this morning (planning on taking the samminch to the wikinic before I remembered that the ‘nic is a potluck). I figured I wouldn’t have to wait as long for it to marinate if I used my favorite toy, the pressure cooker.
I love my pressure cooker. Stuff comes out of it tastier than if you’d cooked it the regular way, much quicker, and with less heat.
I consulted the Everything Vegetarian Pressure Cooker Cookbook to get a vague sense of how long to pressure cook the tempeh, since the actual recipe I was using didn’t come from there. This is a decent cookbook, and offers some counterevidence to my previous assertion that any vegetarian cookbook that includes Morningstar fake meat crumbles as an ingredient in any recipe belongs in the garbage.
In any event, noticing that all the recipes had the tempeh in the pressure cooker for 20 minutes, then to some other cooking method, and noticing that there appeared to be a lot of liquid left after 20 minutes, I decided to let my tempeh go an extra seven minutes, which turned out to be time enough to prove that the pressure cooker I saved from the dumpster was not a newer, safer model, but an older, explodier one.
After cleaning up the walls and floor as best I could – I opened the cooker, whose only malady appeared to be a blown gasket – and found the tempeh still a little undercooked. I put it in the toaster oven for a while, and prepared a thousand-island dressing by mixing a crushed tomato with some lemon juice, salt, and vegenaise (why spell it this way? Neither “vegan” nor “mayonnaise” suggest the second ‘e’.).
The dressing was good, and the tempeh was fine. This was an experiment, so I didn’t have everything I needed – without sauerkraut and rye it’s hard to tell if what you have is enough like a reuben, but I would say the tempeh failed to take on enough of the marinade, even for all its exploding off the stovetop.
And after all that, I realized I needed to fix something appropriately communal for the wiknic. So now I’ down a pressure cooker, and basically nothing to show for it.