Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Roasted Tempeh "Sausages": Recipe

This recipe makes really awesome tempeh "sausages" which compare to the Morningstar Farms or other grocery store brands, but it usually works out to be a fraction of the cost. (I love those pre-packaged veggie deli meats, but they're just waaaay too expensive. I mean, shouldn't they cost LESS than meat???!)

The spice mixture is very amenable to experimentation and substitution. I tend to like things on the spicy side. These are great tucked into a biscuit or crusty French bread with melted cheese and spicy brown mustard. Jeff and I also made the most awesome dish, with little slices of this sausage, chopped tomatoes, feta cheese, parsley, lemon and toasted walnuts tossed with fresh pasta. It's amazing how resourceful we can get when the the fridge starts to empty out and we have to turn to whatever's in the pantry... That's my favorite kind of meal: an unexpected (and delicious) discovery made from the wierd odds and ends we've got on hand.

Roasted Tempeh Sausage

1 package tempeh (10-14 oz)
2 Tbsp. veggie or olive oil
1/2 cup red wine
about 1/2 tsp each of:
powdered garlic
ground mustard powder
dried oregano
red pepper flakes
dried marjoram
dried thyme
dried basil
dried rosemary
sea salt

1. Turn the oven on to a very high temp, at least 450. If your oven can go higher--or has special convection or roasting features, this would be a great time to use them.

2. Cut the tempeh into strips or cubes or patties, whatever shape you want your sausage to be in. Be sure to cut them somewhat small. The more surface area they have, the more spices they'll absorb and the more roasted flavor they'll get in the oven.

3. Toss the tempeh in a roasting pan with about 2 Tbsp of oil (until it's well-coated. Be generous) and then add the spices, tossing again to coat well and evenly.

4. Put the pan in your very hot oven. Keep an eye on it and toss the tempeh frequently with a wooden spoon. It should not take long to brown the tempeh, about 10 minutes. It will smell awesome.

5. When it's good and brown and smelling incredible, go ahead and gild the lily by pouring half a cup of red wine into the roasting pan. It will sizzle and turn an awesome smell into a sublime one.

6. Stick the tempeh back in the oven and roast until most of the wine has absorbed.

7. Serve with biscuits or crusty French bread and hot mustard.