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Thread: Friday Dinner

  1. #1
    Bob Terwilliger Guest

    Default Friday Dinner

    Lin wanted to try vegetarianism for a couple weeks, and as part of the
    experiment she brought home some tempeh. The lemons I'd been preserving for
    the last several weeks were ready, so I decided to make a tagine. Lin
    doesn't like cous-cous, but I wanted something like it to accompany the
    tagine. I'm also trying to keep my carbs low by eating whole grains, so I
    decided to make a millet risotto-cum-pilaf to accompany the tagine. And
    since we had a couple lovely bunches of Tuscan kale which needed to be used,
    I figured I'd include kale in there also.

    _Cradle of Flavor_ has the better part of a chapter devoted to a discussion
    about tempeh, and one of the things mentioned is that it's usually
    deep-fried to bring out its flavor. So I cut open the package of tempeh
    (which looks a lot like congealed oatmeal), cut it into cubes, deep-fried in
    batches until golden, and let rest on paper towels. When it was all cooked,
    I used the still-hot oil to deep-fry a handful of almonds.

    There was a package of sliced cremini mushrooms in the fridge; I put those
    into a pot along with some olive oil and salt, and started cooking them over
    low heat while I washed and cut up the kale. The prepared kale went into the
    pot along with some more salt, a couple cloves of smashed-and-chopped
    garlic, and a splash of balsamic vinegar. The pot went onto a back burner at
    low heat.

    I chopped up an onion and started cooking it in a pot along with some olive
    oil and salt over medium-high heat along with about a cup of the millet.
    When it started smelling toasty, I added water and a chopped roasted red
    bell pepper. That got covered and left over low heat.

    I sliced a pretty big onion and some kalamata olives. A wedge of preserved
    lemon had its pulp removed, then the remainder was finely minced. The
    tempeh, onion, olives, preserved lemon, and half a can of diced tomatoes
    went into the tagine along with some olive oil, and the tagine was covered
    and brought to a medium-low heat. After a few minutes, I tasted the tagine
    and added some fig syrup (from girl and the fig in Sonoma).

    I grated a whole bunch of Parmesan cheese; part of it went into the kale,
    the remainder went into the millet. When the millet was done, everything
    else was ready. After the millet was plated, I sprinkled it with the
    deep-fried almonds.

    So dinner was:
    tempeh tagine
    millet pilaf with roasted red bell peppers and almonds
    kale with mushrooms, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and Parmesan

    We accompanied the meal with a "Mountain Red" wine from a local winery; it
    went very nicely. (The winery's description is, "A conglomeration of Merlot,
    Zin, Barbera, and Cab Sauv all make up this toasty oak and bright fruity
    wine.")

    Everything was good. Lin was a bit surprised to discover that she liked the
    millet. Given that she doesn't like cous-cous, polenta, or grits, I was a
    bit surprised too. (The leftover millet was formed into cakes and pan-fried
    at breakfast the next morning. It was very good like that, too.)

    The main criticism I had was that I should have cut the cubes of tempeh
    somewhat smaller; they were just a bit too much of a mouthful. (Of course, I
    don't have the cavernous maws sported by Sheldon, Peter, or PVC; it would
    have been fine for any of them.) This was my first time cooking with tempeh,
    and while it wasn't *bad*, I don't see it replacing meat in my repertoire
    once the vegetarian spell has passed. (In particular, I think the tagine
    would have been better with lamb.)

    Bob


  2. #2
    Christine Dabney Guest

    Default Re: Friday Dinner

    On Mon, 25 Jan 2010 01:19:28 -0800, "Bob Terwilliger"
    <virtualgoth@die_spammer.biz> wrote:


    >Everything was good. Lin was a bit surprised to discover that she liked the
    >millet. Given that she doesn't like cous-cous, polenta, or grits, I was a
    >bit surprised too. (The leftover millet was formed into cakes and pan-fried
    >at breakfast the next morning. It was very good like that, too.)


    That's cause she hasn't had any of those things "our"
    way....LOLOLOLOL.

    I could fix some Israeli couscous that would have her begging for
    more...

    Christine, escaping this cold weather and heading back to the bay area
    this morning (17 degrees here now).

  3. #3
    TammyM Guest

    Default Re: Friday Dinner

    Bob Terwilliger wrote:
    > Lin wanted to try vegetarianism for a couple weeks, and as part of the
    > experiment she brought home some tempeh.


    How did Lin like tempeh? I know she isn't fond of tofu, just wondering
    how the tempeh went over? I ***love*** tofu, but haven't found a dish
    in which I really like tempeh. Admittedly, I've only had it maybe 4-6
    times though. I figure that's more than enough for a verdict!

    > After a few minutes, I tasted the tagine
    > and added some fig syrup (from girl and the fig in Sonoma).


    Given that many of us wouldn't have fig syrup in our pantries, how do
    you think pomegranate molasses would work?? Or perhaps saffron syrup (if
    a restrained hand is used)? I only happen to have saffron syrup because
    the sound of it intrigued me whilst at The Spanish Table, so I bought it
    :-)))

    > This was my first time
    > cooking with tempeh, and while it wasn't *bad*, I don't see it replacing
    > meat in my repertoire once the vegetarian spell has passed.


    Yes, that pretty much sums up my feelings about tempeh too. Just not
    worth it, to me.

    The millet and kale dishes sound very nice indeed!

    TammyM

  4. #4
    Kalmia Guest

    Default Re: Friday Dinner

    On Jan 25, 5:04*am, Christine Dabney <artis...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

    > I could fix some Israeli couscous that would have her begging for
    > more...


    So, lady, can we hear the recipe, please?

    I like couscous as an easy and quick side and believe it shud be in
    everyone's cupboard.


  5. #5
    Christine Dabney Guest

    Default Re: Friday Dinner

    On Mon, 25 Jan 2010 07:27:29 -0800 (PST), Kalmia
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On Jan 25, 5:04*am, Christine Dabney <artis...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:
    >
    >> I could fix some Israeli couscous that would have her begging for
    >> more...

    >
    >So, lady, can we hear the recipe, please?
    >
    > I like couscous as an easy and quick side and believe it shud be in
    >everyone's cupboard.


    Not really a recipe. Just cook it like risotto....add parmesan at the
    end.

    Christine
    --
    http://nightstirrings.blogspot.com

  6. #6
    sf Guest

    Default Re: Friday Dinner

    On Mon, 25 Jan 2010 01:19:28 -0800, "Bob Terwilliger"
    <virtualgoth@die_spammer.biz> wrote:

    >Lin wanted to try vegetarianism for a couple weeks, and as part of the
    >experiment she brought home some tempeh. The lemons I'd been preserving for
    >the last several weeks were ready, so I decided to make a tagine. Lin
    >doesn't like cous-cous, but I wanted something like it to accompany the
    >tagine. I'm also trying to keep my carbs low by eating whole grains, so I
    >decided to make a millet risotto-cum-pilaf to accompany the tagine. And
    >since we had a couple lovely bunches of Tuscan kale which needed to be used,
    >I figured I'd include kale in there also.


    Have you ever tried substituting quinoa for couscous? I haven't but
    always think it would make a great substitution.



    --
    I love cooking with wine.
    Sometimes I even put it in the food.

  7. #7
    barbie gee Guest

    Default Re: Friday Dinner



    On Mon, 25 Jan 2010, sf wrote:

    > On Mon, 25 Jan 2010 01:19:28 -0800, "Bob Terwilliger"
    > <virtualgoth@die_spammer.biz> wrote:
    >
    >> Lin wanted to try vegetarianism for a couple weeks, and as part of the
    >> experiment she brought home some tempeh. The lemons I'd been preserving for
    >> the last several weeks were ready, so I decided to make a tagine. Lin
    >> doesn't like cous-cous, but I wanted something like it to accompany the
    >> tagine. I'm also trying to keep my carbs low by eating whole grains, so I
    >> decided to make a millet risotto-cum-pilaf to accompany the tagine. And
    >> since we had a couple lovely bunches of Tuscan kale which needed to be used,
    >> I figured I'd include kale in there also.

    >
    > Have you ever tried substituting quinoa for couscous? I haven't but
    > always think it would make a great substitution.


    is all quinoa kind of crunchy?
    I have some red quinoa but find it too have to much crunchiness for my
    tastes with all that hull on it.


  8. #8
    sf Guest

    Default Re: Friday Dinner

    On Mon, 25 Jan 2010 20:56:09 -0600, barbie gee <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >
    >
    >On Mon, 25 Jan 2010, sf wrote:
    >
    >> On Mon, 25 Jan 2010 01:19:28 -0800, "Bob Terwilliger"
    >> <virtualgoth@die_spammer.biz> wrote:
    >>
    >>> Lin wanted to try vegetarianism for a couple weeks, and as part of the
    >>> experiment she brought home some tempeh. The lemons I'd been preserving for
    >>> the last several weeks were ready, so I decided to make a tagine. Lin
    >>> doesn't like cous-cous, but I wanted something like it to accompany the
    >>> tagine. I'm also trying to keep my carbs low by eating whole grains, so I
    >>> decided to make a millet risotto-cum-pilaf to accompany the tagine. And
    >>> since we had a couple lovely bunches of Tuscan kale which needed to be used,
    >>> I figured I'd include kale in there also.

    >>
    >> Have you ever tried substituting quinoa for couscous? I haven't but
    >> always think it would make a great substitution.

    >
    >is all quinoa kind of crunchy?
    >I have some red quinoa but find it too have to much crunchiness for my
    >tastes with all that hull on it.


    Haven't tried red quinoa, only the regular kind. Can't say I've even
    seen it, although I have recipes that do call for it.

    --
    I love cooking with wine.
    Sometimes I even put it in the food.

  9. #9
    Bob Terwilliger Guest

    Default Re: Friday Dinner

    Tammy wrote:

    > How did Lin like tempeh? I know she isn't fond of tofu, just wondering
    > how the tempeh went over? I ***love*** tofu, but haven't found a dish in
    > which I really like tempeh. Admittedly, I've only had it maybe 4-6 times
    > though. I figure that's more than enough for a verdict!


    I gave her a bit of the deep-fried tempeh to try before the rest of it went
    into the tagine with the other ingredients. She liked it better than tofu,
    but worse than roast beef -- an evaluation with which I completely agree!


    > Given that many of us wouldn't have fig syrup in our pantries, how do you
    > think pomegranate molasses would work?? Or perhaps saffron syrup (if a
    > restrained hand is used)? I only happen to have saffron syrup because the
    > sound of it intrigued me whilst at The Spanish Table, so I bought it :-)))


    Um... Have you tasted your pomegranate molasses? The fig syrup was intended
    to add sweetness, but the pomegranate molasses I have is not very sweet at
    all, so it wouldn't have worked all that well (at least for my personal
    tastes). Saffron syrup might have been very good in the tagine, but since I
    don't have it, honey would have been my second choice.


    Bob


  10. #10
    Bob Terwilliger Guest

    Default Re: Friday Dinner

    sf wrote:

    > Have you ever tried substituting quinoa for couscous? I haven't but
    > always think it would make a great substitution.


    I thought about using quinoa as an accompaniment for the tagine, and we do
    have a box of it, but I just liked the idea of millet better.

    Bob


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