Sometimes I see things and determine to recreate a vegan version, however unlikely success seems. Vegan Clam Chowder is a great example. I’ve had pretty good luck with these vegan versions, as I can substitute things and tweak flavours in my head and translate them to real-life cooking pretty well. Feel free to try this out if you’re feeling adventurous and want a lot of leftover vegan cheddar cheese!
I came across this recipe while reading Jamie’s Dinners. I love Jamie Oliver’s recipes because his style is fresh and simple, and his vegetables and vegetarian offerings are great and easy to veganise. I also might have a huge crush on him, which is a big deal because I generally don’t favour blonds. And I wish that I had an outdoor oven like he does. Et cetera.
The cheddar cheese was the first recipe I searched for out of this bunch, and I used one from Naomi Poe over at the Accidental Vegetarian. Thanks, Naomi! Anyone who knows me knows that I chose her recipe solely because her last name is Poe. I couldn’t get the cheese to firm up quite to grating consistency at room temperature, but it appears to freeze well and has been hanging out in my freezer waiting for me to buy corn chips and make nachos for a few weeks now. I’ll report back on that.
To fix the firming issue, I think that I either should have used agar powder, or I should have let the agar flakes soak in water longer. Or I should have been lazy and bough Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds.
I also threw together a recipe for pickled onions down there. If you haven’t tried refrigerator pickles, then you should (you could start with watermelon radishes!). Basically, anything that can be chopped up or sliced and thrown in vinegar will do. It’ll smell like feet, but it tastes pretty great, and pickled things made great garnishes, accompaniments, or additions to recipes.
You don’t have to make this a double-decker, either, and I wouldn’t recommend it unless you like really messy eating. I love making a mess, so I piled it all on there and grabbed a fork for clean up. Have fun!
Serves: 1, but you’ll have extra cheese, so slice up some more bread to serve more people
1 onion, sliced (red will make a really pretty colour, but I used white)
1 c vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar for flavour, but white also works), or enough to cover the onions in a jar
1/3 c sugar, or 1/3 amount of vinegar used
3″ stick cinnamon
a few cloves
a bay leaf or two
1 T or so whole black peppercorns
1 T or so coriander
1 small dried ancho chili pepper or a dash of red pepper flakes
Blanch the onion in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
While the onion is blanching, boil the vinegar, sugar, and spices in a small saucepan, covered. Clearly you can adjust the spices to you liking or change up the combinations. Once the mixture reaches the boil, reduce heat, keep covered cover, and simmer for 5 minutes or so.
Warning: Don’t inhale the vinegar fumes, and make sure that the mixture stays covered. It won’t kill you (quickly), and I couldn’t find definitive data on the toxicity of the fumes, but you’ll see what I mean. Also, apologise in advance to your roommates for making the house smell like vinegar.
Add everything to the canning jar with the onions and refrigerate. Refrigerator pickles keep for a few weeks, and pickled onions are great as a garnish on soups, sandwiches, hot dogs, etc.
Slice up some hearty bread into your desired thickness. I like mine about 3/8″ thick. Use bread as fresh as possible. You could briefly toast or fry staler bread, but it will make this sandwich even messier to eat, so fresh is best.
Spread mustard or other condiments on your bread of you like. I think that dijon would go well, but I didn’t use any. Cut cheddar slices and layer or spread (depending on consistency) on a slice of bread with cheese. Layer some onions on top of there, carefully place a few crisps on top of that, then top with another slice of bread and repeat. Finish with the last slice of bread and tuck in!
Garnishes: none, I think! It’s a sandwich, so it can hold its own—throw a toothpick topped with coloured cellophane in there if you’re feeling fancy.
Goes well with: the crisps in the sandwich, other pickled things (like watermelon radishes!), or tomato or other soup