Thursday, January 11, 2007

Tempeh Paprikash...C'mon Loyal Readers. Try something NEW!

I would guess that the majority of our readers here, including my beloved KinderhookChef have never tried Tempeh. Perhaps you have never even heard of it. Tempeh is a soy/rice product used in hard core vegetarian and vegan cooking. It has a great texture, but can be a little bitter if not sauced properly. It can be found in the refrigerated "health food" section at regular grocery stores. There are a few different varieties of Tempeh. I prefer the Soy kind but any of the varieties will work here and they are similar. Don't get one of the pre-spiced kinds.
This recipe is the BEST tempeh I have ever had. It was incredibly delicious and healthy. If you are adventurous, try it. You will be surprised.

4 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup olive oil
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 cup apple cider
1 T smoked Hungarian paprika (Spanish Paprika) or regular paprika
2 tsp. salt (OPTIONAL)
1 T caraway seeds
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
6 garlic cloves
2 X 8 ox pakcages tempeh, diced into 1 inch pieces
3 large Spanish onions, sliced thin
1 1/2 tsp hot Hungarian Paprika
6 oz (1 can) tomato paste
2 T cornstarch
4 T cold water

1. Preheat oven to 400

2. In large saucepan, bring vegetable broth to a simmer. Turn off heat; cover to keep warm.

3. In medium bowl, combine oil, vinegar, cider, 1 T paprika, salt if using, 2 tsp. caraway seeds, 1/2 tsp. dried thyme, 1/2 tsp. pepper and 1 T garlic. Add diced tempeh and toss to coat. If time allows, put the tempeh and marinade into the fridge and let it sit for a couple of hours. (This makes a big difference in the flavor of the tempeh. Also, I tried to substitute apple juice for apple cider and it wasn't as good.)

4. In large, shallow baking dish, place tempeh with liquid in single layer. Bake, uncovered, until all liquid has been absorbed, about 25 minutes. Check often to make sure the liquid does not burn. When you check, flip the tempeh squares. (You can remove this from the oven when done, let it cool, cover it with foil and refrigerate it until you want to complete the recipe. Or, you can use it right away.

5. Meanwhile, in large Dutch oven, combine onions, garlic, 1 1/2 tsp hot paprika, remaining caraway, thyme and pepper and 1 cup of the hot broth. Cover and cook over medium heat until onions are softened, about ten minutes. Add tomato paste and stir well, Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, about ten more minutes.

6. In small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in cold water. Add to hot broth. Stir with a whisk. Increase heat and return mixture to a simmer. Cook, whisking, until mixture thickens, about 2 minutes.

7. Add thickened broth to pan with onions and stir until mixture is well blended. Add prepared tempeh to pan, along with any of its remaining cooking liquid; stir well.

Serve by itself or over egg noodles with some sour cream or plain yogurt stirred in. YUM.

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