I realize that summer and BBQ season are over.
I was cooking the other day and I was pulling spices out around this one, when I realized that I’ve never even opened it. I got this spice blend over the summer when Penzey’s sent me a coupon in the mail. This spice blend was free if I spent a couple of dollars. I needed a few things, so I figured “why not?”
I opened up this blend for the first time and smelled it. There was something about it that reminded me of bacon. Maybe it was the smoky flavor. I decided that I needed to figure out something to use this spice blend with.
According to the website, BBQ 3001 is made up of: paprika, black pepper, salt, mustard, nutmeg, citric acid, garlic, allspice, sugar, ginger, thyme, sage, white pepper, red pepper, cinnamon, natural smoke flavoring and vanilla beans.
I decided on trying something out with tempeh. The Penzey website has a recipe for making tofu with it, but I wanted to try tempeh because I remember seeing recipes around for tempeh bacon. I wasn’t going for a bacon substitute, but it seemed like it would be something that would taste good.
First I steamed the tempeh for 20 minutes using my electric steamer basket. I love that thing!
If you don’t know what tempeh is, here is a picture of the brand that I use and how to cut it up:
This image was taken from yourveganfriend.com. I completely forgot to take a picture of the tempeh before I started…
I cut the tempeh after I steamed it. Once the tempeh is cut up, I sprinkled a generous amount of the BBQ 3001 over them:
I lined a pan with a thin layer of canola oil and heated it up over medium heat. Once the oil was warm enough I put the tempeh into it, spiced side down. I added more spice to the side that was not face down in the oil. I didn’t keep track of how long it took to cook, I just kept checking on them and once they had browned I flipped them.
I had to fry up my tempeh slices in two batches, and I have to warn you that the second batch didn’t look as pretty since the oil started to turn black. They still cooked up well and tasted just fine! I just needed to mention it because it doesn’t look very pretty while they are cooking. However as you can see in the picture they don’t look too dark:
I also made some baked french fries and roasted cauliflower to round out the meal:
The only part I am stuck on is a good sauce to go with these tempeh bites. I don’t often make my own sauces, so I wasn’t sure what to try with this. I went simple this time and tried them with both ketchup and Grillmates Brown Sugar Bourbon BBQ sauce. The BBQ sauce brought out the sweeter flavors in the spice mix, and went really well with the somewhat nutty tempeh. The ketchup brought out the more savory flavors in the spice mix, and for me this was the preferred way to eat these tonight. I’m not big on sweeter flavors in my dinners. Sweet flavors should be for dessert! 🙂
Both sauces were really good and worked well with these, but they weren’t quite perfect. Do you have any ideas of what would go well with my BBQ 3001 Tempeh Bites?