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Hellacious Parm Hero

This is probably our most-requested dish to make with our crispy seitan cutlets. And this is hardly a recipe, but mostly just guidelines for how to pile hot, gooey, savory things on top our our delicious seitan. Traditionally, this grinder (or hoagie, or sub, or hero...) is made from breaded and fried chicken breasts. But you've got our wicked tasty, hand-battered, southern-fried seitan, so grab those babies instead! It's perfect comfort food for good devils.

We learned some things while putting this dish together. First, the interwebs is split down the middle in terms of the primary cheese used in a Parm sub. Call me a stickler, but Parmesan should make an appearance on a Parm sub. Lots of recipes omit the Parm entirely and use only mozzarella. Or provolone! Holy hell, what's a devil to do? We used a mix of all three, and we encourage you to use your favorite(s) in proportions to your liking.

Second, we surveyed you devils on Instagram about your favorite plant-based cheeses. We got lots of responses, because there are happily lots of options out there today. Our service menu at Bartleby's Food is soy-free and nut-free, so we're tipping our horns to these brands that follow suite:
  1. Violife. All products are 100% vegan, and free of soy, nuts, gluten, and lactose. In this recipe, you might like the Mozzarella Shreds, Smoked Provolone Slices, and Parmesan Wedge. The wedge is just as sturdy as the animal-milk version, and made perfect shredded bits in our box grater. 
  2. GOOD PLANeT. Non-GMO and allergen-free. On your Hellacious Hero, try their shreds of Mozzarella or Smoked Mozzarella, or Parmesan. You could also layer down slices of Smoked Provolone.
  3. Daiya Foods. The Mozzarella Shreds are free of dairy, gluten, soy, and nuts.
  4. Follow Your Heart. Double check the labels on the product lines, but some cheese variations are soy-free as well as dairy-free.
  5. Thrive Market. Vegan Parmesan-Style Cheese Alternative.

​A printable PDF version is available here. Stay well and eat wickedly, dearest demons.
Things arranged in bowls," a Bartleby's At Home still life. This tidy table scene belies the mess we made while cooking.
 
notes:
  • Total Time: 40 mins (Prep: 10 min, Cook: 30 min)
  • serves 2 hungry devils (with marinara sauce leftover)
  • mix and match whatever plant-based cheeses you like, or use our guidelines below

Your mama would be proud of this.
Gimme a toasty bun already!
ingredients (marinara sauce)
  • 2 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 15-oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
ingredients (assembly)
  • 2 Bartleby's Crispy Seitan Cutlets
  • 2 6-inch hoagie rolls, split lengthwise
  • 2 TB of plant-based
  • butter, softened
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 C plant-based soft, mozzarella-style cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 C plant-based Parmesan-style cheese, shredded
  • 4 slices plant-based Provolone-style cheese
  • a few sprigs of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
tools
  • conventional oven (or toaster oven) and stove top
  • baking sheet
  • medium pot (2-3 QT capacity)
  • knives for chopping veg and slicing rolls; box grater for grating cheese; heat-safe spoon for stirring sauce; spatula or flipper for maneuvering cutlets and sandwiches on and off the baking sheet

    Question: Does a true devil eat the Hero whole or cut it in half?
    directions
    1. Preheat oven to 350°. Gather and prep all your ingredients!
    2. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and onion, and cook for about 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the crushed tomatoes, pepper flakes, and oregano. Reduce the heat to low, and let the sauce simmer, uncovered for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce will thicken and darken. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
    3. While sauce is simmering, reheat the frozen cutlets. Place seitan on an ungreased baking sheet on the center rack. Bake cutlets 10-17 minutes, flipping about halfway through. They should be heated through to the center, and the hand-battered coating should start to sizzle and crisp up. When cool enough to handle, slice the cutlets in half crosswise.
    4. Spread softened butter generously on each half of the hoagie rolls, and toast in the oven, cut side up, until golden brown and crunchy, about 3 minutes. Rub toasted rolls with the unpeeled garlic clove (it's fancy and adds a savory layer).
    5. Assemble the hero sandwiches. You're the #SauceBoss, so really do what you want here. But we layered mozzarella and Parmesan first, followed by the crispy seitan cutlet pieces, then marinara sauce, slices of provolone, and an extra sprinkle of oregano. Place open-faced sandwiches into the oven until the cheese has melted, about 3 minutes. Finish with extra Parm, parsley, and pepper flakes. Serve, and stuff yer face.