Tempeh Hot Brown Sandwich
with green beans / mint julep
- Tempeh - 8 oz , 1/2" / 1.3 cm thick strips (sub extra-firm tofu)
- Water - 1 cup
- Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
- Soy sauce, low-sodium - 2 Tbsp
- Vinegar, apple cider - 1 Tbsp
- Garlic powder - 1 tsp
- Cumin, ground - 1/2 tsp
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
- Cheese, white cheddar - 1 cup + 1 cup , grated
- Parsley (opt) - 1 Tbsp , chopped
- Butter - 2 Tbsp
- Flour, all-purpose - 1 Tbsp
- Milk - 1 cup
- Nutmeg, ground - 1/8 tsp
- Tomatoes, medium - 1 , thinly sliced
- Foil - for roasting
- Bread, sandwich - 4 slices (sub any hearty sliced bread)
- Green beans, fresh - 1 lb , trimmed
- Oil, olive - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Salt - 1/4 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
- Lemon juice - 2 tsp
- Mint, fresh - 20 leaves , plus more for garnish
- Lemon juice - 2 Tbsp
- Maple syrup - 1 Tbsp
- Seltzer - 3/4 cup
- Bourbon - 1/2 cup
- Ice - for serving
Tempeh - Slice tempeh into 1/2” / 1.3 cm thick strips. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Steam tempeh - Combine tempeh and water in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with a paper towel. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Drain off water. Dry tempeh by spinning in a salad spinner or patting very dry with paper towels. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Marinate tempeh - Whisk together first portion of cooking oil, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic powder, cumin, salt (portion for sandwich), and black pepper (portion for sandwich). Add tempeh strips and turn to coat. Marinate for at least 20 minutes and up to 2 days. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
Green beans - Trim green beans. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Cheese - Grate cheese. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
Parsley - Chop parsley. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
Make sauce - Place a small saucepan with butter over medium heat. When butter is melted, sprinkle flour over top and whisk until no dry spots remain, 1 to 2 minutes. Working slowly, add in milk while whisking. Bring to a simmer, whisking continuously until sauce thickens, ~5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let sauce cool for about a minute (this will help prevent clumping). Whisk in first portion of cheese and nutmeg. Cover and refrigerate. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
Tomatoes - Cut into slices (you want 1 large slice or 2 smaller slices / serving).
Heat oven to 425F / 218C. Set out two sheet pans. Line one of the sheet pans with foil (to make clean-up easy).
To make mint julep, muddle / mash mint leaves in the bottom of a pitcher or large glass jar. Add lemon juice (portion for mint julep) and maple syrup and mash again to combine the flavors. Gently stir in seltzer and bourbon. Taste and adjust with more syrup if you’d like it sweeter, more seltzer if you’d like it milder, or more bourbon if you’d like more of a kick. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
When oven is heated, toss green beans with olive oil, salt (portion for green beans), and pepper (portion for green beans). Spread out on the sheet pan without the foil. Transfer to the oven and roast, shaking the pan halfway through cooking, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add second portion of cooking oil and then tempeh slices (discard marinade). Sear tempeh on both sides until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes total. Set aside.
When green beans are done cooking, squeeze lemon juice (portion for green beans) over top. Set aside, covered to keep warm.
Turn on the oven’s broiler.
Spread sandwich bread out in a single layer on the foil-lined pan. Toast bread under the broiler until golden brown, flipping to toast both sides.
Top toast with tempeh slices and tomato.
If sauce was made ahead, reheat in the microwave and whisk well. If it is too thick to easily pour or spoon over bread, whisk in some milk.
Spoon sauce over top of each piece of toast (don’t worry if it’s messy, that’s where the foil comes in handy). Top with second portion of cheese.
Return sandwiches to the oven and broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly, 2 to 4 minutes.
Fill glasses with ice and pour mint julep over top. Garnish with extra mint leaves.
Serve sandwiches with parsley on top and green beans on the side. Enjoy with mint julep!