Christmas tree is down and all the house plants are dead. Besides the amazing winter sunrises over the river (red, orange and purple skies) and sunsets over the mountains, things are looking pretty dismal around here. Then I took a drive up to the Boone Street Market in Jonesborough, TN.
Local greens abound! Kale, chard, lettuces, herbs, cabbages and scallions were all in stock to my delight. Hooray for hoop houses! I was also excited to see a local product I have not yet tried, Smiling Hara Tempeh. Although I am quite the omnivore, the quality of the meat I eat and the price tag attached to it are often out of my reach financially. I like to supplement with dried beans, grains and vegetables. Oh, and eggs! Lots and lots of eggs.
Tempeh is usually made by fermenting soybeans so I was very intrigued to see this GMO-free version of tempeh using Black Eyed Peas (which I intend to grow this year) instead of soybeans. The key to cooking tempeh (which I learned in culinary school) is to sort of poach it first. Trust me, once you take the time to perform this extra step you will never turn back.
Black Eyed Pea Tempeh Egg Rolls
1 package tempeh
2 cups water
1/4 cup tamari
4 tablspoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 cup shredded cabbage
2 scallions sliced thin
Egg Roll Wrappers
safflower oil (or your favorite high heat cooking oil)
In a small saucepan combine water, soy, maple syrup and minced ginger. Add tempeh to the pot, making sure it is covered by the liquid. Simmer on low for 30 minutes. Remove tempeh and let cool.
Slice the tempeh into thin strips. Heat the high heat cooking oil of your choice in skillet. Add the tempeh to the skillet until browned and crispy on both sides.
Have all your other egg roll fillings prepped and ready to assemble.
Make sure to have a little cup of water ready as well to help seal the egg roll wrapper. Place the wrapper diagonally and layer the tempeh with cabbage, scallions and matchstick carrots. Fold up once then fold the sides in and brush a little water over the egg roll for the final seam.
Heat oil in a skillet and add the egg rolls, seam side down, one by one. Heat until browned on all sides (about 1 minute one each side). Remove to a towel to drain and cool for a moment before eating.
Peanut Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup tamari sauce
2 tablespoons maple syrup
juice of one lime
1/8 cup peanut butter
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well either with an immersion blender or a whisk.
I can’t wait to experiment more with this local tempeh. I feel lucky to live near such great year round markets and producers!!