07 April 2013

Gourmet for A One

This was so gourmet I impressed myself. The pomegranate molasses elevated it from ordinary to extraordinary. Granted, the butternut squash tasted a tad bland with all the other spices going on, but you say "reduction" and "seared" and all else is forgiven. It's not a true reduction, but it's viscous enough to be like one.

Seared Tempeh with Sesame Pomegranate Molasses Reduction, Braised Greens, and Butternut Mash

  • 2 8-ounce packages of tempeh (I used the plain soy and flax flavours; make sure it's GF.)
  • 1 quart water
  • 2 yellow onions, half-mooned
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced thin or pressed
  • pinch Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon GF tamari
  • 4 cups dandelion greens or other bitter greens, ribboned
  • 2 cups roasted butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

  1. Cut tempeh into four triangles per 8-ounce block. In a medium saucepan, bring water and tempeh to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Drain water and set pan aside.
  2. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Dry sauté onions and garlic with the pinch of salt until they begin to brown and turn translucent, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Clear a space in the centre and add the spices. Toast the spices for thirty seconds before stirring to incorporate. Add the vinegar and deglaze the pan, scraping up the browned bits. Cook for a few more minutes until the vinegar is mostly evaporated and the onions have softened. Scrape the onions into a large bowl and return the skillet to the heat.
  3. Add the oil, tamari, and molasses to the pan and arrange the tempeh triangles in the pan. Sear over medium-high heat for about two minutes. Turn over and sear the other side until the oil mixture has mostly caramelized on the bottom of the pan. Remove the triangles and place in the bowl with the onions. Return the skillet to the heat.
  4. In the medium saucepan, combine squash, maple syrup, and spices and heat through.
  5. Add the dandelion greens and a few tablespoons of water to the skillet. Scrape up the sesame oil sauce and cook the greens until wilted.
  6. To assemble: place about 3/4 cup of squash on each plate. Add a third of the dandelion greens. Layer with a third of the onions. Finally, top with one or two triangles of tempeh to each diner. Serves three.

Or it's dinner for one person three times. If I had a restaurant, I would charge USD $22.00 for it.
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