City Silo in East Memphis.
(We are so excited to see the restaurant in the expanded, former Cosmic Coconut space open in January 2017. It's going to be absolutely amazing! That's all we can say for now. :)
At lunch, during our discussion of one of the dishes, What actually is tempeh? was posed. After explaining the unappealing-sounding truth, that it's whole, fermented soybeans inoculated with a mushroom-like fungus and shaped into a flat, square cake, we talked about how we use it: in stir-fry, raw with sriracha as a snack, and of course, transformed into crispy, sweet, smoky Tempeh "Bacon."
We have about 1,000 recipes on the blog and 200 recipes in our cookbooks, The Southern Vegetarian and The Chubby Vegetarian, but sometimes, we seriously can't believe that we don't have a recipe available for something we've made for years. Meat analogs just aren't the type of thing we promote often, but we do use some of them in our everyday cooking. This homemade fake bacon is begging to be out there in the world and tried out in your kitchen, especially if there are vegetarians in your life who haven't yet found a decent sub for real bacon.
Our Tempeh "Bacon" goes really well with scrambled eggs and another recipe we haven't published, Cinnamon Rolls for Lazy People (crescent roll dough, melted butter, salt, cinnamon, and chopped pecans). It's also perfect on BLTs or as a topping for loaded baked potatoes.
We seem to be on a real breakfast-foods kick lately (see our recent super-easy Cheese Grits recipe below this) since we have a little extra time during the holidays. So, what holiday brunch tradition are you most looking forward to this week?
Old School Tempeh "Bacon"
1 block tempeh
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
3 drops liquid smoke
1 teaspoon champagne vinegar
Cracked black pepper (to taste)
Slice the tempeh longways, about 1/3 to 1/4-inch thickness. Next, cut those slices in half. In a large skillet over high heat, add the sesame oil. Once it shimmers, add the tempeh slices in a single layer. Allow tempeh to cook until browned on one side. Flip the tempeh and continue cooking it. Mix the maple syrup, soy sauce, Worcestershire, liquid smoke, vinegar, and pepper together in a bowl. Pour the mixture over the tempeh and remove the pan from the heat. The sugar from the maple syrup will caramelize on the tempeh, and the liquid will be absorbed. Once this occurs, remove tempeh from the pan and serve alongside your favorite breakfast foods or atop your favorite sandwich. (Makes 4 servings.)