Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Food Porn and the perpetual pursuit of the perfect brussel sprout


I am going to be evil for a second and post a bunch of pictures of wonderful things that I cooked while I was in Seattle & SF, including Thanksgiving dinner, but not post their recipes. Ok, ok, I apologize. I'll post the one I made today because it was so damn delicious and I am always trying to cajole people into eating brussel sprouts (and I gave the info for to the ones that aren't original). I just don't really have the time as I am packing up to head back home to Seattle after more than 3 months of working in Atlanta. I am excited, I think. I am not sad to leave Atlanta, but I am not dying to get back "home". I really feel like "home" is something I have internalized so much more in the last year that I have become comfortable and felt rooted even when I just had a backpack full of stuff and shoes on my feet. Its a nice feeling, but at the same time when you don't feel driven and compelled to be in a specific place, you have so many options open to you. And when you have infinite options yet haven't really followed your own heart or been guided by your own desire for a long time, it is hard to know which way to go or whether to just stay put. I am excited to see how things unfold. I am off on a new journey in a lot of ways and as the new year comes swiftly towards us, I am looking forward to it with great zeal.

Delicious Food from Squid & Ink in Seattle. A must get: Fried Pickles! They are delicious

Thanksgiving:

Roasted Garlic Vegan Mashed Potatoes

Amazing homemade gluten free gravy

Homemade cranberry sauce with nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon

Vibrant Green Beans with Shallots : Good enough, I would have gone without everything else just to have room to eat more!

Rice Bread Stuffing

Turkey


Homemade Spelt Bread

Homemade Spelt Bread

Mashed Potatoes w/ sauteed red cabbage, shallots and garlic

BBQ Brussel Sprouts w/ Tempeh, Apple and Persimmon

BBQ Brussel Sprouts w/ Tempeh, Apple and Persimmon

The idea for these brussel sprouts came to me in several parts and through many test kitchens. I tried a Brussel Sprout and Apple recipe from 101cookbooks and found it absolutely delicious and thus knew the apples would do well. However, the BBQ tempeh part and the persimmon parts came later when I was waiting with my friend Lauren for a pickup order for her at a restaurant and a BBQ'd chicken pizza went by. I thought suddenly thoughts about the brussel sprouts and apple flavor combo and how it would absolutely pop with a good BBQ element. I decided that a homemade baked tempeh with a BBQ glaze would do perfectly and the persimmons would freshen the dish amazingly.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup Amy's organic BBQ sauce
1/4 Agave sweetened ketchup
about 2.5 TBSP low sodium soy sauce
2 TBSP roasted & minced garlic

1 package garden veggie tempeh
1 pink lady apple, diced small
1 persimmon, diced small
2 cups shredded brussel sprouts
2 tbsp earth balance spread or olive oil, divided
2 tbsp Amy's organic BBQ sauce
salt and pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. On the stove top, bring enough water to a boil to steam the tempeh. When the water is boiling, steam tempeh for 2-3 minutes until it softens up a bit. While that cooks, combine the BBQ sauce, ketchup, soy sauce and garlic in a small bowl, stirring to combine. When the tempeh is tender and pliable, remove from steamer and crumble into a bowl, it should be smallish pieces about the same side as the dice you will do on the fruit. Pour the sauce mixture on top and stir to combine. In a small baking dish or aluminum foil mock baking dish, pour the mixture and spread until in a thinnish layer. Bake for 10-12 minutes while you cut up your fruits and veggies. You can cook it longer, but I was getting too excited to wait. You are baking it to help intensify the flavor and remove some of the liquid. Remove from oven and divide in half, saving half for later. In a skillet over medium high heat, heat 1 TBSP of earth balance or olive oil. I had to use earth balance as I was out of olive oil. Put half of the tempeh (half of the original amount, i.e. what you didn't save for later!) in the pan and cook until it starts to brown and get crispy, 8-10 minutes, it really depends on how long you baked it for. I am pretty sure as I develop the recipe further, I will find a better balance. The only benefit of baking, then crisping is that you can make extra baked tempeh for another recipe for later. Once the tempeh starts to get some crispy bits, add the apple in and saute for another 2-3 minutes, just until the apple is cooked through. Salt and pepper to tast. Remove the tempeh apple mixture from the pan and set aside on a plate. Heat the second TBSP of oil in the same skillet, no need to wash it and saute the brussel sprouts until they start to get crispy and tender, about 4 minutes. Add the tempeh and apples back and toss to combine. Heat another minute. Add diced persimmon and the remaining 2 TBSPs of BBQ sauce and cook 1 more minute until everything is warm. Salt and Pepper more to taste. Plate and top with avocado.

Serves 2 with a side of mashed potatoes or better yet, maple smashed sweet potatoes or chili spiced sweet potato fries. Or serves 1 as a single dish (if you are a hungry runner). Use the leftover BBQ baked tempeh to make a sloppy joe or as a stuffing for a stuffed bell pepper with cheese (or vegan cheese) and rice. Ummmm the possibilities.

Oh yes, in the new year look for my blog to blossom into an out and out website with searchable recipe index and all sorts of good stuff!

3 comments:

  1. The food all looks fabulous! I like brussel sprouts with just salt so I expect I would love your recipe.

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  2. Yumm! I just read Plenty, that book by the couple in Vancouver who did the 100-mile diet for a year and what I liked best was the author talking about always moving around and I thought of you and me. I'll emai you more about it. Good read. I've been putting pears (instead of apples) in stuff too, which is just lovely. I bet you could make a mean recipe with pears and our beloved brussel sprouts.

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  3. I'm also in love with Brussel Sprouts. My fav way to cook them (in the fall) is with sweet onions in apple cider with a little balsamic or apple cider vinegar and apples. I throw some basic apple spices in there with salt and its absolutely fantastic.

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