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Or Hoagie, Hero, Grinder, Po'Boy, Spiedie
To me, a sandwich on a long slender hunk of bread was always called a “sub,” short for submarine sandwich, and named for its shape. They have many other names; hoagie, grinder, hero, po’ boy, wedge, gondola, torpedo, zeppelin, sarnie, bomber, spuckie to name a few.
The one above was last night’s dinner. What can I say, I had a craving. Here’s how I made it, but there’s no “recipe” for a sub. You put on it everything you love! And if you’re educated about nutrition it’ll include a generous helping of green leafies besides lettuce.
Here’s what went into the two I made for dinner last night.
1 big loaf of French bread*
1/3 cup vegan Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup tamari (vegan soy sauce)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
two large portobello mushrooms
1 large red onion, in ultra thin slices
1 large red pepper, in thin slices
3 leaves kale (I used lacinato) chopped and massaged
big handful baby spinach, chopped
a few leaves of romaine lettuce, chopped
a few drops of balsamic vinegar
2 tomatoes, sliced
First, put on Black Cat by Janet Jackson, and let your music source play “songs like it” to get through the entire 35 minute prep time. Crank the volume loud. I can get my entire day’s exercise in while making this meal. You cannot keep both feet on the floor with this song playing. Your brain will ensure you take frequent dance breaks around the kitchen. I suggest having a wooden spoon handy for a microphone so you can sing the chorus.
Black cat, nine lives, short days, long nights, livin’ on the edge, not afraid to die.
Heartbeat, real strong, but not for long, better watch your step boy, you’re gonna die.
Here’s the video, because you’re going to want to work in some of Janet’s moves like I do. You’re welcome.
*Cooking time might be quicker without the dancing.
Now let’s cook!
Whisk together the Worcestershire, Tamari, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, and liquid smoke.
Slice the portobellos and spread them in a shallow dish. (I use a rectangular pyrex cake pan with a cover that fits.) As you proceed through the rest of the steps, pause every ten minutes or so to stir and flip those mushrooms, gently so as not to break them up. This is just to ensure all parts of them have time to absorb the liquid. I usually let them soak about 30-35 minutes, but honestly an hour would be better.
Now, while the mushrooms soak, put an excellent skillet onto the burner and let it get good and hot while you slice the onion and pepper into long, thin strips.
This is a great time for a dance break.
When the pan will cause drops of water to bead up and dance, dump the onions and peppers into the pan. Adjust the heat to just above medium and use a non-metal spoon or spatula to stir and stir and stir. Keep them from sticking. The onions will get brown and translucent. When they look about done, add a few spoonful of the marinade from the still-soaking mushrooms to deglaze, stir frequently.
You can drop a lid onto the frying pan to finish up the peppers.
This is a great time to put your second excellent skillet on to heat up.
Next, wash the kale and spinach and chop it. I scrunch the bunch together on the board, slice through the pile, then push it together and slice in the other direction. After three rounds of this it’s good to go. Scrape the greens into a bowl and shake a few drops, maybe up to a teaspoonful of vinegar on them.
Now, plunge your clean hands into that bowl of greens, gather them up and squeeze, release, gather, squeeze, release. Repeat until you become aware the greens are kind of shrinking into a smaller mass. They’ll also get shiny.
You can dance while massaging kale. Actually, you can dance the entire time, with practice.
Stir the peppers & onions. if they’re done, turn them off.
Drop the mushrooms into a single layer in the second sizzling hot skillet. They should siss when they hit the pan. Adjust heat to just above medium and LEAVE THEM ALONE.
Save the excess marinade.
Chop the lettuce like you chopped the other greens. No vinegar or massage needed. Scrap it into the bowl of greens and stir them together.
Slice a tomato or two into thin slices.
Wait until the mushroom pan is dry and the shrooms are getting cooked on the bottom, and then flip each one of them over. At this point, the pan was very dry so I added a couple spoonsful of the remaining marinade. It instantly deglazes and bubbles up, turning the mushrooms a deep, rich brown.
Let them cook on the second side for a little bit, until the juice is about gone, then pour the cooked peppers and onions into the mushroom pan. Add any remaining marinade liquid and cook for a few more minutes, just to let the flavors all blend and cook any excess liquid away.
Slice your sub roll or French bread open and spread with your favorite mustard or healthy spread.
Layer the mixed greens, then the tomato slices, then the mushroom-pepper-onion mix.
Eat with care and plenty of napkins in your lap.
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