Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tempeh Provenҫal

Tempeh is a fermented soybean cake that has its origins in Indonesia. And its much tastier than that sounds.

See? It boasts a higher protein, dietary fiber, and vitamin content than its cousin tofu, as well as a firmer texture and stronger flavor.

I made this recipe for Tempeh Provenҫal from Vegetarian Times, and its pretty good. A few changes I would make for the next time:

- Double the sauce recipe (at least!). Its tasty, but there was just about enough there for the two of us.- I don't know what tempeh they used, but mine did not turn out all pretty and golden like their picture. I think pan-frying rather than baking the tempeh would be good, to give it a crisper texture. And cut the tempeh into six thinner pieces instead of four.

- VT suggests serving it atop rice, but I used polenta instead and think it was a good choice. The soft polenta is a nice contrast to the crisped tempeh and slightly chunky sauce.

- I also sprinkled some blue cheese crumbles over the polenta to add an earthy flavor to the dish, which went well with the tangy sauce.

The recipe itself was straightforward, though I was doing a few different things all at one at the end:

Cut your tempeh and put in a baking dish. Bring 1/2 cup white wine, 1Tbsp. herbes de Provence, 1 Tbsp. oil, a couple cloves of crushed garlic, and a dash of pepper to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour it over the tempeh and stick it in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight to marinate.

When its ready, put the tempeh on a baking sheet (reserve the marinade) and bake in a 400°F oven for 15 minutes, then flip and bake for another 15 minutes.

While the tempeh is baking, strain the marinade into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and add a chopped red bell pepper. Simmer 5 to 7 minutes, until the pepper is soft and the liquid is nearly absorbed. Then add 1/4 cup tomato sauce, 2 Tbsp. drained rinsed capers, and a pinch of sugar. Season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 10 minutes over low, until the sauce is thick.

While the sauce is cooking, I whipped up some quick polenta: Bring 2 cups water + 1 cup milk nearly to a boil. Slowly add 1 cup polenta in a steady stream while whisking, so you don't get clumps. Cook for 10 minutes or so, stirring often, until thick and creamy. Polenta will set up quick, which isn't a bad thing. By the time I got our meal on the table, after plating and taking pictures, it was no longer porridge-like, but still yummy.

The pepper sauce and polenta should finish up at just about the same time. Add 1/2 cup chopped basil to the sauce (I didn't have any on hand), and plate.

I served mine with some roasted Brussels sprouts. This is a hearty meal!

1 comment:

Run Lori Run said...

Ah ha, a tempeh recipe to try. I am just not a big tofu fan because of the consistency (I don't like eggs for the same reason). This may work for me... Didn't you suggest Quorn to me? Well my daughter LOVES the stuff!! Thanks!