Sunday, June 3, 2007

Curry Tempeh with Green Beans in Garlic Butter and Cucumber Salad

Sometimes when we are cooking, we don't know what we'll be eating until dinner is ready. This evening, I started putting together a cucumber and tomato salad and was washing some green beans when Pedro walked into the kitchen. He asked what he could start cooking. I suggested that he do something with tempeh and shitake mushrooms. As I went about preparing my green beans and making the dressing for the salad, Pedro decided on how to prepare the tempeh dish. He didn't use a written recipe, he just improvised. It turned out delicious! At dinner he explained how he made his dish. This is not a formal recipe, but it will give an idea:

Curry Tempeh with Shitake Mushrooms and Peas

1 can of coconut milk, minus one cup (which Pedro thoughtfully reserved for me to use in another recipe I'm planning to make)
1 teaspoon of Thai red curry paste (you can find Taste of Thai brand at grocery stores)
1 or 2 teaspoons of maple syrup
1 to 2 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds
1 package of tempeh, sliced
1 small package of fresh shitake mushrooms, stems removed, wiped clean
1 cup of frozen peas

1. Whisk together the coconut milk with the curry paste and syrup. Stir in the sesame seeds, a dash of salt, the tempeh, mushrooms and peas.
2. Heat a skillet over medium high heat until the pan is very hot. Pour in the coconut milk mixture and saute until the mushrooms and tempeh are cooked and the peas are defrosted. Serve.

And, for what it is worth, here is how I made the green beans:

Green Beans with Garlic Butter

1 pound of fresh green beans, washed, trimmed and sliced
1 tablespoon of organic unsalted butter
4 cloves of garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

1. Boil water in a saucepan. Add the green beans and simmer until tender to your liking. Drain the beans from the pan.
2. Melt the butter in the hot pan and add the garlic. I have an electric stove, so I just put my already hot pan on my still hot, but turned-off burner, and this is enough heat to do this. Saute until the butter is well flavored with the garlic, but be careful not to burn the garlic. Stir in the drained green beans. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve.


Diana Troldahl said...

Kathleen, I know tempeh can be stored in the freezer, but can a prepared tempeh dish be frozen without losing quality?
I make Eric Oscar's lunches in batches and freeze them ahead, and I've been wanting more vegan variety.

Kathleen said...

Hello Diana! Thanks for visiting my blog! I think the tempeh would be fine in the freezer.

I try not to eat too many meals out of the freezer these days, whereas I used to eat reheated frozen lunches daily. I find that once in a while, it's fine. There's something about the life energy of the meal that is lost after being frozen. So, if i reheat a frozen serving of something, let's say soup, for instance, I try to add something fresh to it. Fresh lemon juice or some chopped parsley or green onion or something...