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sandwich

I’m coming back with an important update. The vegan kitchen of Dr Caligari is temporary leaving Berlin and moving to Krakow until the end of the year. If you have any suggestion about the city and Poland in general, don’t esitate to leave a comment.
I decided to publish this sandwich because today it wil be my lunch auf der Autobahn. Despites it is very simple to make, even if the endless list of ingredients should suggest quite the opposite!
I tried tempeh for the first time more than one year ago with great expectations, but…it really disgusted me! Maybe because I forgot it on the fridge for weeks and ate it raw in a sad salad? Anyway, since I’ve realized it needs a marinate I could not imagine a sandwich without it! The marinate you find here is just a suggestion, you can use wathever you want, but please, let the tempeh marinate overnight, or at least a couple of hours. You can also use another kind of dip instead the hummus, like baba ganoush, guacamole or aioli.
Ok, it’s better if I stop writing and pick up my stuff, Krakow is waiting!

Ingredients (makes 3 sandwiches)
3 sandwich breads
12 slices tempeh
1 tomato
lettuce

For the marinate
1 star anise
2 bay leaves
1 garlic clove finely sliced
½ tsp toasted Szechuan peppercorns
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 stalks lemongrass finely minced
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp sesam oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sake
1 tbsp mirin
1 tsp rice vinegar

For the hummus
100 gr dried chickpeas (or 250 gr canned chickpeas)
1 tsp bicarbonate
2 garlic cloves
¼ tsp cumin
1 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
juice of 1 ½ lime
parsley finely chopped
pinch of salt

For the caramelized onion
4 red onions
75 gr brown sugar
15 ml apple vinegar
extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of salt

The day before prepare the hummus, if you use dried chickpeas. With the canned ones you can make it jump this step. As I wrote before I suggest to prepare the marinate the day before as well, in order to get a more flavorful tempeh.

Start the hummus soaking chickpeas with 1 tsp bicarbonate and twice the volume of cold water for at least 12 hours, then cook them in cold water with a pinch of bicarbonate until tender. It takes about 2 hours. Let chickpeas completely cool in the coocking water. Drain well, peel them and reserve the cooking water.

If you use canned chickpeas you can start making the hummus from this step. Combine chickpeas, garlic, tahini, salt and lime juice in a food processor, and blend until smooth. Add cumin and stir with cooking water, if it is necessary to get your fovorite texture. Finally add extra-virgin olive oil and parsley finely chopped.

For the marinate, toast Szechuan peppercorns, then crumble. Peel outer layer of lemongras and mince slightly. In a freezer plastic bag combine Szechuan pepper, lemongrass, star anise, bay leaves, garlic finely sliced, brown sugar, lime juice, sesam oil, soy sauce, sake, mirin and rice vinegar. Add tempeh and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, better if overnight.

For the caramelized onions, cut red onions into thicky slices. Heat extra-virgin olive oil in a pan, add onions and stir for 4-5 minutes on medium-high heat. Add brown sugar, reduce the heat and simmer until soft and caramelized. It takes about 20 minutes. When onions are brown pour apple vinegar to deglaze the pan. Set aside.

For the tempeh, heat a pan and brown the slices with the marinate until crispy and sticky, after taking off star anise and bay leaves.

Now it’s time to assemble the sandwiches! Spread a generous layer of hummus on each bread slice, place a few slices of tempeh, caramelized onions, tomato and lettuce.

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When I baked my first bagel I was wondering how to fill it, then the image of Oedipa eating parmigiana sandwiches on the lake came to my mind. I really don’t know why I related Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 to a bagel, but it sounded so good. And it tasted too.
This bagel is rich and voluptuous. A touch of pornography in my kitchen.

Ingredients

5 bagels (recipe here)
cream (I used Tofutti)

For melanazane alla parmigiana
1,5 kg aubergines
1 onion
1 clove garlic
750 gr tomato puree
2 tbsp tomato paste
extra-virgin olive oil
fresh basil
1 tsp sugar
salt

Remove the stalks from the aubergines and cut them lengthways into 0,5 cm thick slices. Place them in a colander with coarse salt between the layers and a weighed down between plates. This will allow to discharge from the bitter juices. Set aside for at least 1 hour.

Meanwhile prepare the sauce. Heat extra-virgin oil in a pan, add onion minced and garlic and gently sizzle for 5 minutes. Add tomato puree, tomato paste, salt and sugar and simmer at the lowest heat for at least 1 hour. When ready turn off the heat and add basil. Stir well and set aside.

Squeeze out the aubergines, wash them to remove the salt and dry carefully. Now it would be time to fry the aubergines. I prefer to bake them in oven, therefore brush each slice with extra-virgin olive oil and place them on a pan with parchment paper sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes until tender and the surface gold and crispy. Turn the slices and bake the other side for 5 minutes.

Remove basil and garlic from the sauce. Put a few spoonfuls of it in a pan and cover with a layer of aubergines. Repeat this sequence adding fresh basil to each layer and finish with tomato sauce. Sprankle with breadcrumbs and bake at 200° for 40 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool completely. Then slice it into pieces.

Cut the bagels in half. Spread the cream, place a piece of aubergine parmigiana and top with the covers of the bagels.

I’m a big fan of bagels since I saw them for the first time in a picture. Yesterday I planned to cook a specific dish but I missed some essential ingredients. It was holiday in Berlin and all the markets were closed. I looked at my fridge and there was a little lonely block of fresh yeast, then I thought: bagels! I suddenly turned on my new oven and started kneading. Following the recipe of Marc Grossman in “Bagels comme à New York” I’ve got the perfect one.
I simply ate them with tofu cream and veggie but I’m thinking about possible new versions…

Ingredients (5 bagels)

For the bagels
375 gr Manitoba flour
12 gr fresh yeast
2 tsp salt
1 pinch of cornstarch
190 ml warm water
15 ml extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp agave sirup
black and white sesam seeds to garnish

For the poaching liquid
2 l water
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp agave sirup
1 tbs salt

In a bowl whisk together the Manitoba flour, salt and cornstarch. In another bowl melt the fresh yeast into warm water and then add extra-virgin olive oil and agave sirup.
Add dry ingredients to the wet and start mixing. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Cut it into 5 pieces. Roll each piece into a sneak about 25 cm long. Form into a circle around your fingers, overlapping ends and pinch firmly to seal.
Place the bagels in a pan between two oiled parchment paper sheets and allow to reise in a warm place for two hours.

Preheat the oven to 220°.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the cornstarch, agave sirup and salt. When the pot is boiling drop the bagels one at a time and let them cook for a minute. Using a spatula turn them upside down, cook another 30 seconds and place them onto a pan. Brush each bagel with extra-virgin olive oil and garnish with black and white sesam seeds.
Reduce the heat to 200° and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the pan, wait a couple of minutes and fill your bagels with whatever you want.

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