Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tempeh Tacos with Kale and Chili Paste

Tempeh Taco w Kale n Chili paste

So this photo is not great because you can't even see the tempeh, but I have to get back to my HW, no time for a fancy photo shoot. This was based on the Veganomicon recipe, which is supposed to have cabbage and not kale, pickled jalapenos instead of garden mutt-peppers (look like jalapenos, taste mostly like a bell pepper), and also some lime crema but I only had 1 lime. Sigh. I did happen to have two starting to get wrinkly ancho chilis, 1 red hot pepper of some type, and two itty bitty green hot peppers of some other type. I roasted them all in my toaster oven (I love you toaster oven), 10 mins on each side at 350. Then I put them in the seed grinder and pulsed and shook that think around until they were all blended. I hate cleaning that thing though, I'm sure you do too.

It was late and I didn't feel like busting my butt to bike to WF before it closed (I guess I could have biked to harris teeter but it never occurs to me - plus the roads are scarier to get there). We were also out of corn flour, so I decided to make some wheat flour tortillas. I used the joy of cooking recipe (except I didn't have vegetable shortening so I used 2TBS earch balance + 2 TBS oil), and you end up with a VERY wet dough. Its hard to knead. I added flour but then gave up and then just massaged the mass of wet sticky dough thoroughly stuck to my hand. After 4 mins "kneading", I then separated them out into their litle 8 balls, and let rest overnight b/c I didn't need the tacos until today.

Today I took the very wet balls out of their little plastic wraps, and had to add a lot of flour to the surface of them and the cutting board to roll them out properly. It was hard to get them round but I'm not picky. The instructions say to use a pizza stone or an inverted baking sheet. I used the inverted baking sheet. It worked much better once the baking sheet was warm in terms of cooking in a decent amt of time and not being raw in the center like the first ones, but it was hard to get the tortills onto the hot surface laying flat, because they are so thin and flexible, the tortillas kept folding up on top of themselves and were tricky to flatten out without making holes in them or burning myself on the baking sheet.

So, was it worth it to make my own tortillas? Well, they certainly weren't gummy, which I find most white flour tortillas to be from the grocery store. However, I try to buy whole wheat tortillas which aren't gummy, which is much easier than making my own. At least I know I can do it, if for some reason elecricity becomes really cheap and tortilla-making machine labor very expensive and it makes financial sense to make my own tortillas.

Back to the tacos themselves. I marinated the tempeh overnight and then fried it up in the morning. I had sliced the kale thinly and put with the salt and vinegar overnight. However, Kale is not cabbage, and really it doesn't do too well raw. At least not curly Kale. It was still very raw. I sauteed it for a few mins to get it soft enough for the tacos.

To assemble, I slathered a tortilla with the chili paste, added the tempeh, and topped with the kale. It was pretty good, but I wished I'd put more chile powder in the marinade. I wanted more spice. Also I kind of wished I had salsa or that lime I would have needed for the lime crema.

Next time I will try to make this with cabbage, because I love the cabbage slaw I used to get from the El Salvarean place which unf. closed down. I also made a double recipe since I had a ton of kale, which possibly is calling out to be eaten with some chickpea cutlets (also from V-con). We'll see how my HW goes...