Sautéed Tempeh with
Technicolor Roasted Salsa Serves 4
The blend of peppers in this salsa lends an array of flavors — smoky chipotles, sweet bells and spicy poblanos. Mexican limones have a more intense citrus flavor than regular limes and mango adds a pleasant sweetness.
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
4 3-inch squares of tempeh
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
2 chipotle chiles — if using canned chipotles in adobo, skip soaking step and use 1 tablespoon sauce in marinade
1 red or orange bell pepper
1 large poblano chile
4 large Roma tomatoes
8 cloves garlic, skins left on
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup juice of Mexican limones
(or regular limes)
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 small ripe mango, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1. Coat tempeh with lemon juice in a shallow container. Combine cumin and chile powder, rub into tempeh cutlets and return them to lemon juice. Set aside.
2. In a sauté pan, quickly heat chipotles until softened and aromatic. Place in a bowl, cover with boiling water and soak for 20 minutes.
3. Roast bell pepper and poblano over low flames in a sauté pan on stovetop, turning as the skin blisters. Watch that the flesh doesn’t burn through. When the skins are uniformly charred, enclose peppers in a plastic or paper bag to steam. This will help loosen the skins and cook peppers a bit more. When peppers are cool enough to handle, peel the skins off. Don’t rinse under running water, or you’ll wash away the wonderful roasted flavor. If your fingers become sticky and covered with ash, rinse them as necessary. Stem, seed and dice peppers. Set aside in a bowl.
4. Roast tomatoes and garlic in sauté pan over medium heat. Turn garlic often. Remove when soft. Discard burned garlic; there’s no masking its bitter flavor. Peel garlic and put in a food processor or blender. The tomatoes should be allowed to char on all sides. Add them to the processor with the garlic.
5. When chipotles are soft, remove stems. For less heat, remove seeds and ribs as well. Wear rubber gloves if your hands are sensitive. Refrain from touching your eyes or other mucous membranes; remember, they’re jalapeños. Blend these with garlic and tomatoes to desired consistency. Add to roasted pepper and chile with remaining ingredients.
6. Gently remove tempeh pieces from lemon marinade. Sauté or grill over medium heat until warmed through. Mix remaining marinade into salsa, taste and adjust seasonings. Serve tempeh topped with salsa. Salt to taste.
Variations: Instead of tempeh, use Chilean sea bass, shrimp or chicken breast.