Friday, December 28, 2012

50 States of MoFo: South Dakota: Tempeh Chislic and Apple Kuchen

South Dakota is one of the most beautiful states I have ever visited, and I hope life takes me back there one day.   I was there for a brief time, and I don't have any helpful food memories so I had to do a little research.

Chislic - fried meat on a toothpick - appears to be uniquely South Dakotan, in name if not in concept.  As we've done a lot of gluten/seitan during this project, it seemed time to break out the tempeh.   I looked at a number of online recipes for chislic marinade (such as this one) before stirring together something which I hoped would work well with the tempeh.

1. Cube an 8 oz block of tempeh, and steam the cubes. You can steam the cubed tempeh in a saucepan with a little water and lemon juice (and maybe a dash of salt) for about 15-20 minutes.  Or put your water, lemon juice, salt, and tempeh in a micowave-safe dish, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on high for 5-6 minutes.   Both methods work!  You can probably skip the steaming, but I thought it would promote better absorption of the marinade.

2. Make the marinade by stirring together: 1/4 c vegan worcestershire, 1 T brown sugar, 1/2 t liquid smoke, 1/4 t black pepper, 3/4 t Lawry's seasoned salt, 1/2 t onion powder, 1/2 t garlic powder, and 1 1/2 t chili powder (hot or mild as you see fit).  Taste and adjust the seasonings to suit yourself.  Toss the tempeh in the marinade and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.   

3. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a cast iron skillet.  Fry the marinated tempeh cubes until well-browned on all sides.  Serve with toothpicks, with saltine crackers, hot sauce, and garlic salt on the side.

The chislic made a very pleasant snack dinner.  I think I will make tempeh this way again, and perhaps toss it into a salad.

We also made the official state dessert of South Dakota, which is kuchen.  There are a number of quasi-similar baked desserts which go by that name.   Helpfully, the South Dakota Secretary of State has provided a recipe for authentic South Dakota apple kuchen, in the 2011 South Dakota Legislative Manual.   We put it through the veganizer, and here's the result:

1. Preheat the oven to 450 F.   Grease and flour a 9x13" baking pan.

2. Make the crust:   Place 2 c all purpose flour, 1/2 c unrefined sugar, 1/2 t vanilla, and 1 c vegan margarine in a food processor.  Process until combined, and press into the prepared baking pan.   Bake 12-15 minutes until it looks baked, but not really browned.

3. Lower the oven temperature to 350 F and make the filling:  Mix together 1/4 c plain unsweetened soy yogurt and 2 T ground flaxseed, and set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine:  16 oz vegan cream cheese (homemade or store-bought), 3/4 c unrefined sugar, and 1 t vanilla.   Beat until well combined, and then beat in the yogurt-flax mix.  Pour into the baked crust.

4. Make the topping:  Stir together 2 T unrefined sugar and 1 1/2 t cinnamon, and set aside.  Peel, core, and thinly slice 3-4 Granny Smith apples.   Place the apples on top of the filling, and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.   Bake 30-40 minutes until nicely brown and set.

Not diet food, but very tasty!

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