Monday, December 6, 2010

A Feast Fit for A Joe

Chiptole Chile-Rubbed Southwest Tempeh with Fiery Sweet Potatoes, Wilted Red Miso Kale with Cherries and Slivered Almonds

     I got a chance to go back East for Thanksgiving, but more importantly to see my first (and second) Frames show. I stayed at my friend's house, who is an amazing and creative chef. From Coconut Bacon to Beer Battered Avocado Tacos to his seitan recipe that launched me into the cooking world, Kevin can hold his own in the kitchen. His cooking experiments are documented at, along with another awesome friend and chef.  Kevin also has a pretty good selection of cookbooks. While he was cooking up our Thanksgiving feast, I sat there and made a list of recipes that I wanted to steal. Here are the results:

Tahini-Mustard Dressing
     Bottled salad dressings are not only expensive, they're not that exciting. I think I've made the Vegan ranch from one of my favorite restaurants, NJ's Veggie Works (RIP) for years. Lately, I've been making the Russian Dressing from the Tempeh Reuben in Vegan with a Vengeance.  The two recipes are awesome so I don't stray far from them, but decided to give the Tahini-Mustard dressing from The 30-Minute Vegan. It's simple with ingredients already in your pantry and the results were great; a thick dressing with a nice robust flavor. I will definitely add this to my dressing list. Pictured with a simple garden salad with organic romaine lettuce, carrots and a few sprigs of cilantro.

Wilted Red Miso Kale with Cherries and Silvered Almonds

     While in Philly, we visited Mi Lah. It's an all vegan restaurant that was started from a chef at Horizon's (hands down the best vegan restaurant in the country). It has a stellar brunch (think beer battered seitan over Belgian waffles). Unfortunately, the owners fired the staff and chef and the food wasn't as great. The one highlight was miso kale. At Whole Foods, I saw this recipe and had to give it a whirl. It was a lighter version of the Mi Lah's but still pretty good. I left the ribs on because I like the texture that it brings to the dish. I would definitely make this again but I would leave out the onion or half the onion since it didn't really add to the dish. I would also use dried or fresh fruit. I used frozen cherries and they just fell apart. Oh and red miso was substituted for the white miso because that's what I had one hand.

Fiery Sweet Potatoes
     I know what to do with potatoes but when it comes to sweet potatoes I'm at a lost. I've tried several times to make baked sweet potatoes fries, but each time they either burn or come out limp and flaccid. This was an excellent recipe and the broiling at the end makes for an interesting crust. I would make this again but would double the curry paste, eliminate the Earth Balance and replace with an equal amount of coconut milk, and try maybe using less sugar. It was a tad sweet, not that I cared. 
Chiptole Chili-Rubbed Southwest Tempeh
     I've made the Macadamia Crusted Tofu (looks like the recipe was taken down) and Szechuan Tempeh and Veggies from the 30 Minute Vegan/ Vegan Fusion people several times and was impressed every time. So it was an easy choice to buy their cookbooks, The 30-Minute Vegan and  The 30-Minute Vegan's Taste of the East. The first entree I tried was the Chiptole Chili-Rubbed Southwest Tempeh. I'm not sure if I missed poured or used a smaller pan but the marinade nearly covered the tempeh, which caused difficulty in putting in the rub. I ended up saving half of the rub and after removing the tempeh from the dish, I rubbed it into the tempeh and cooked it for 10 minutes along with the sweet potatoes. Overall, a decent recipe, but when I make it again I would eliminate the tomatoes and onion on top (they didn't seem to add anything to the dish), blend the chiptole peppers into the marinade.
   After removing the tempeh from the marinade and adding more rub. I kinda wish there was a little marinade left over that I could drizzle over the tempeh.

Coming up next: Homemade Pumpkin Spiced Ice Cream with Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce.

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