Tuesday, August 31, 2010

This Week's Menu

So I was having a discussion the other day with a vegan friend about what to do with tempeh, and both of us agreed that we like tempeh when other people make it, but not when we cook it ourselves.  Why is that?  Do the fermented soy properties somehow magically transform in the hands of another?  Alas, while I cannot solve that mystery, I did come up with a recipe idea for this week's meals:  Deconstructed Tempeh Reuben with Oven Roasted Potatoes and Stringbeans.

This delectible dish is made the same way you'd make a reuben, only without the toasty bread.  First, I panfried some thinly sliced tempeh in a hot pan with a little olive oil, sea salt and fresh black pepper.  After a few minutes when the tempeh gets golden on one side, flip each slice over, and add enough oil to coat the pan again with a little more salt and pepper.  When this side crisps up nice and brown, transfer the tempeh to a dish and spread each slice with about a teaspoon of either Dijon or stoneground mustard.  Then you'll start assembling stacks.  Take one slice of tempeh, top with about a tablespoon of Eden Organic sauerkraut, add another slice of tempeh, then top with more sauerkraut.  If you like things spicy, you can throw down a little horseradish in each layer for good measure.  These stacks go nicely with some thinly sliced oven-roasted potatoes and green beans fresh from the garden.

I was on a green bean kick this week since they're abundant this time of year.  One of the other meals was a luscious Gado Gado, which is an Indonesian peanut sauce made with coconut milk, spiced with chili powder, and stirred together with cauliflower, potatoes and grean beans.  It's topped by fresh carrot, cucumber, red onion, and mung bean sprouts.  A little squeeze of lemon juice brightens the flavors and brings it all together.

The third meal this week was Three Sisters Salad with Baby Spinach and Cherry Tomato Gremolata.  The three sisters are beans, squash, and corn, and they make a perfect little family since they're all in season right now and look so pretty.


Nicole said...

I definitely agree with you about the tempeh! I absolutely love tempeh when ordered in a restaurant or made by a friend, but I just can't get it right.

Mary Lawrence said...

I get some good ideas for cooking tempeh from other people, then I try to replicate them at home. This recipe came out similar to the Tempeh Reubens at the Shoreline Diner in Guilford (I think the trick is the sauerkraut & mustard combo - deelish!).

Mary Lawrence said...

oh, yeah, and the fact that the tempeh is fried in lots of olive oil!

Anonymous said...

Tempeh can be a little tricky to cook. I like it steamed and then tossed with herbs to make "tempeh cakes" They resemble crab cakes and are just like the "real ones". The taste and texture are yummy.