Philly’s Phinest: Tempeh Diablo Hoagie Seared by Go Back to the Zoo and Circle

With the Phillies opening the 2012 baseball season today (against those lowly, cross state rivals the Pirates) I figured it was about time for another installment of Phillies Phinest. This one comes courtesy of the Reading Terminal Market which occupies about a block between Arch and Filbert and 12th and 11th Streets. The Reading Terminal Market offers a large variety of food stands, from Amish run breakfast bars to Indian kitchens, from Chinese take out to sugar shacks from…I’m sure you get the point. Nestled amongst all of those stands is a sandwich shop called Carmen’s, that serves cheesesteaks and hoagies. One of those hoagies is called the Turkey Diablo. Featuring cheese, lettuce, turkey, peppers and tomatoes I can only imagine how hot this thing is. Another hoagie shop in town, Primo Hoagies, also has a Turkey Diablo. Their version features cheese, lettuce, turkey, tomato, mayo and a Diablo spiced sauce.

Long ago, I left turkey behind. Needing something to replace it for a homemade version of the Diablo sandwich I went down the long list of meat substitutes. Tofu? Too squishy. Seitan? Too chewy. Jack Fruit? Uh, no. Meat crumbles? Too dark. Finally I settled on tempeh. It offered more substance than some of the other fake meats but didn’t go over board in its chewiness. Basically you could stick it in the sandwich and have it not stand out too much.

Tempeh Diablo Hoagie
(printable version)

For the diablo sauce:
-14.5 ounces chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
-1/4 cup minced garlic
-6 tomatoes
-1/4 cup Vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce
-1 bottle of Guiness

For the sandwich:
-1 package of tempeh, sliced into sticks
-2 cups of Diablo Sauce
-pepper jack cheese
-romaine lettuce
-fresh hoagies (sub) rolls

1. Place the chipotle peppers, garlic, Vegetarian Worcestershire, tomatoes and beer in a food processor. Process until smooth.

2. Pour the sauce into a pan and heat until the sauce begins to bubble. Take 2 cups and reserve the rest.

3. Combine the two cups of Diablo sauce and temper in a large bowl. Cover and allow to marinate for thirty minutes.

4. Pour the  sauce and tempeh in a cast iron skillet. Heat until the sauce has greatly reduced so that it binds to the tempeh (I went about 15 minutes).

5. Construct the sandwiches by toasting a hoagie roll and then topping it with pepper jack cheese and lettuce. On top of that add the Diablo tempeh. Give the sandwich hell!

*Put the leftover Diablo sauce on cauliflower, pasta, rice, sandwiches, salad, whatever you think needs a slight kick.

A nice baseball themed song would work well with this recipe but since none will ever top “My Oh My” I took a different approach. Since baseball officially began with a two game series in Japan I figured the best way to go was to import my music. That’s why I turned to the Netherlands. Here is where Go Back to the Zoo reside. Go Back to the Zoo is a rock group that reminds me a lot of the Strokes in their straightforward approach to music making.  They’ve created a following for themselves in their home country with the release of their album Benny Blisto. Now they are setting their sights overseas. Their new track “Electric” comes from the aforementioned Benny Blisto:

Circle is an Australian import that is ready to release their debut full length studio album (they had perfected the art of bedroom recording and wanted to try something different). Their first single from it,  “Fashion Me a Drum,” is a dense, soaring foray into the heartbeat (and cell phone) of electro-pop music. With prominent vocals and girl/guy chorus this track sets the stage for what one hopes is a truly magical album.

The songs brand new video:

Let’s play ball!

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