I got this excellent Cuban recipe from Food Network magazine...and no, I didn't substitute the tofu for something else. Their recipe called for it! Although I was a little skeptical about the combination of the ingredients, these sandwiches were so good last night that we're having them again for lunch today. YUM.
If you want to make these sandwiches vegan, it's as easy as not using the cheese. Enjoy!
1 small onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1.5 T. extra-virgin olive oil
juice of one orange
1 14-oz. pkg extra-firm tofu, well drained (Not the silken kind. I like to freeze my tofu for 24 hours, then thaw it. It improves the texture.)
4 small hoagie rolls, split (Please use real bread, not the awful eternal-shelf-life bread.)
1/4 c. yellow or stone-ground mustard
1.25 c. shredded cheese (The recipe called for Swiss, but I used mozzarella. Use whatever you like. If making vegan sandwiches, omit cheese.)
2/3 c. chopped roasted red peppers, drained
1/2 kosher dill pickle, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
In a shallow dish, combine the onion, garlic, olive oil, and orange juice to create a marinade. Set aside.
Squeeze the excess moisture out of the block of tofu. Lay the tofu on a cutting board and cut into 8 equal slices. Add the slices to the shallow dish of marinade, turn to coat, and marinate 5 - 10 minutes.
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Turn the tofu to coat again, then add to the hot skillet. Cook until golden, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer the tofu to a plate, then pour the marinade into the hot skillet. Cook, stirring, about 4 minutes, then remove from heat.
Spread the cut sides of the rolls with mustard and sprinkle with the shredded cheese (if using). Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
Sandwich the prepared rolls with peppers, pickle, onion mixture, and tofu. Working in batches, add the sandwiches to the hot cast-iron skillet, then top with another heavy skillet to flatten. Cook until golden brown and the cheese melts (if using cheese), 2 - 3 minutes per side. Serve warm.