BBQ Sandwich with Polenta Fries

Every few weeks when we grocery shop, Funk will toss some fake chick’n strips in the cart. I’m not a huge fan of these, as they’re pretty processed, but he likes them for their convenience and will incorporate them into a quick meal when I’m off kitchen duty. But when I got an email in my inbox from Vegetarian Times for Carolina-style Barbecue Sandwiches, I made an exception for the chick’n strips.

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The sauce is an interesting combination of condiments, and it was sizzling hot-spicy and almost smokey. I imagine it’s what you’d find at a nice southern BBQ…not that I’ve been. I have sauce to spare, and no idea what to do with it. Any ideas?

Below is the VT recipe with my tweaks:

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cup no-salt-added ketchup, such as Heinz *
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard – I used a chipotle mustard we had on hand
  • 3 Tbs. dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs. molasses
  • 2 tsp. Louisiana-style hot sauce – I used sriracha sauce
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt *
  • 12 oz. seitan, cut into thin strips
  • 4 hamburger-style buns – I used whole wheat English muffins

*I used regular ketchup, and didn’t add the 1 tsp of salt.

Bring vinegar, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, molasses, hot sauce, black pepper, and salt to a simmer in saucepan over medium heat. Cook 5 minutes. Transfer 1 cup sauce to bowl, and set aside. Add seitan to saucepan, and cook 10 minutes. Divide among buns. Serve with pickle chips, coleslaw, and extra sauce, if using.

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On the side, I made polenta fries. These are new-to-me, and now they’re a new favorite side dish. So easy and delicious. I used a prepared polenta round, and sliced it in half, then sliced it into “French fry sticks” about ¾” thick. I placed them on a baking sheet, sprayed them with a spritz of cooking oil, and sprinkled them with salt and pepper. Then I baked them in a 450 degree oven for 40 minutes, flipping them halfway through.

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They turned out slightly crispy on the outside, and piping hot and soft on the inside. Delicious! I dipped them in some leftover BBQ sauce. In the future I might make these with dried herbs or some truffle salt.

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I also whipped up a fresh green salad using lettuce from our AreoGrow. Look how big and bushy it grows! And it tastes so amazingly fresh. Five-star dinner, all around.

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7 Comments

  1. Funk
    Posted May 28, 2011 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    These fries were freakin awesome!!!!

  2. Posted May 29, 2011 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    These fries look so good. Never thought of using the prepared polenta to make fries! I’ll be trying these soon.

  3. Posted October 13, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    I adore the color combination of that salad and surely healthy the way it looks and definitely not offer me sagging and white spots on skin.

  4. Posted December 30, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Janel,
    I love polenta and french fries, and before today I would have never thought to make polenta fries. I cannot wait to try this out. Thanks for the post!
    – Patricia –

  5. Janel
    Posted December 30, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    I have a thing of polenta in the kitchen – thanks for reminding me I want to make the fries with them!

  6. Posted January 28, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Wow! what a great alternative to french fries. I can imagine they taste similar to yuca fries. Polenta is not on the shopping list.

  7. Janel
    Posted January 29, 2012 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    I’ve never had yuca fries but they’re a fun alternative to french fries!

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