le weekend ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

04 April 2008

le weekend

IT IS THE WEEKEND! Or "le weekend", as they say.

Look what we had for dinner last night!

Tempeh stirfry

peanut oil/other oil good for hot hot heat
something with which to deglaze (dry vermouth)

The marinade (noun: marinade; verb: marinate) is really variable, so I'm just going to give basic instructions first, then come back to it.

Cut a block of tempeh into maybe half-inch thick squares. Stick it in marinade for an hour or so, turning as necessary to get all surfaces fully soaked. Marinade is the key! Leave it more than an hour if you have the time.

Get out vegetables and cut them up. Use whatever you want for stirfry. I had a head of broccoli, a zucchini, half a red pepper, a small sweet orange pepper, and some smashed garlic.

When tempeh has marinated long enough, warm a good sauté pan on medium-hot. Add some peanut oil and swirl it around. Then add in the tempeh. The pan should be hot enough that things sizzle. Cook to brown on one side, then turn.

While the tempeh browns, stick your vegetables in the leftover marinade to absorb as much as possible. When you turn the tempeh, throw all the vegetables on top. Turn the heat down to medium and cook, stirring every once in a while, for about ten more minutes, or until all your vegetables are cooked. Deglaze the pan with vermouth: i.e., pour in some vermouth and stir to get all the delicious brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Leave the pan on the heat another minute to cook off the alcohol.

Now you are done. Eat with lots of rice.

Ok, marinade.

Here's what I used:

olive oil
soy sauce
house of tsang "classic stir fry sauce"
rice wine vinegar
powdered ginger
sesame oil

I used roughly equal amounts of the first three, and less of the rest. Put as much of each as you want in a bowl/mixable dish and amalgamate with a fork. That's all.

You can do anything you want with this marinade. Rough guide: use equal parts soy sauce and olive oil, then add vinegar and possibly mirin to taste. Since I was using the tsang sauce, I used sesame oil as well. You could just use more olive oil. It's really flexible, depending on what you want and have.

Other options:
- use teriyaki (which is based on soy anyway) instead of soy sauce; use less mirin.
- add a lot of chili sauce for hot hot marinade.
- crush fresh garlic and/or ginger and add it.
- experiment with hoisin sauce for sweet marinade.
- use other oils, like peanut or sesame, instead of olive.
- don't use tempeh at all, but tofu, vegetables, meat, or whatever sounds good.

Also, look what I brought home from work today!

We had an open house, and guess what was left from the buffet? Yes. All the vegetables. They sat in the refrigerator all day. I was apparently the only one eating any at all, so I threw everything into a bag and brought it all home.

Vegetables! What will I do with them?

(Eat them.)

I also brought some of the flowers that would die anyway over the weekend.

There are some grape tomatoes hiding in the vegetable bag. I love grape tomatoes. John made me a really, really good dinner with some of them the other day, but we forgot to take pictures! It was tragic. I wanted to write about it! "Too bad I can NEVER MAKE IT FOR YOU AGAIN," says John. NOOOOOO!

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