Thursday, January 15, 2009
coconut crusted tempeh...
...with black beans and garlicky ginger spinach. that's what dinner was tonight. i knew we had a lot of little things in the fridge that need to be used but the ones that kept popping into my head were about half a can of coconut milk and shedded coconut - both leftover after making dulce sin leche cupcakes (from "vegan cupcakes take over the world" which are delicious by the way). this was my first time coconut crusting and i do think it was a success! i always get jealous of those coconut crusted shrimp options on menus. i added some chili powder to the coconut for a little extra flavor in there. i cooked the components in the following order and - amazingly! - everything seemed to finish around the same time.
for the beans
15 oz. can black beans
1/2 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
salt, pepper and cumin (a generous sprinkling of each)
3 bay leaves
heat olive oil in a pan and cook garlic and onion until onion softens. add bell pepper and cook a minute more. add the salt, pepper and cumin and stir to mix them in. add the tomato and beans (juices and all!) and bay leaves. cook over medium heat until bean juices thicken and cook off a bit. meanwhile.....
for the spinach
1 bag baby spinach (or fresh spinach...i was feeling lazy and didn't feel like getting all the grit off fresh spinach)
4 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 inch fresh ginger finely chopped
heat a bit of peanut oil in a pan and add garlic and ginger. cook for a few minutes before adding spinach (in batches if necessary). cook until wilted. tempeh time!
for the tempeh**
8 oz. tempeh
coconut milk (half a can should do it)
unsweetened shredded coconut (3/4 - ish cup)
cut the tempeh into 4 slices and steam for 10 minutes. ok...so really you should do this first while you're getting your bean things ready.
after steaming, cut each tempeh piece in half so you have 8 good sized slices. put coconut milk in a shallow bowl. in another shallow bowl mix together the coconut and chili powder. dip the tempeh first in the coconut milk and then in the coconut mixture.
cook in a pan with a thin coating of heated peanut oil until golden (a few minutes on each side)
*i added the lime zest to the beans near the end of their cooking time. i'd never done this before but thought it might be tasty. and it was. but i'm wondering if maybe it would have been better finely zested and added to the coconut-chili powder mixture. hmmmm.....
**you could definitely replace the tempeh with tofu, but i like the nuttiness of tempeh and think it was a nice combination with the coconut.