You guys, I haven’t abandoned you. Seriously. I have been working like a madman the last couple of weeks trying to get Bake it Pretty set up all bakery-style and hire somebody to work with. So, suffice it to say that I’ve been busy. On that note, I haven’t made anything new and blog-worthy in a while. Luckily, I have a very small stash of stuff that I have made previously that I can blog about. So today we’re going to talk about one of my old standbys.
Two years ago, I had a big brunch party for my birthday. It was awesome. Lots of friends came, and lots of people brought really amazing vegan food. Moreover, several of my very very non-vegan friends had the opportunity to try really excellent vegan food for the first time.
So I made scrambled tofu, cinnamon rolls, roasted potatoes, and tempeh sausage pastry puffs. The recipe for the latter came from the amazing book Vegan Brunch by the amazing author Isa Chandra Moskowitz. You may have realized by now that I am a huge devotee of Isa. Her cookbooks are remarkably readable, and her recipes are often spectacular. I highly recommend her books in general, and I very highly recommend this book in particular. For whatever reason, it seems not to have gotten as much praise as her other more popular books. But there are some incredible recipes in here, and it’s absolutely worth buying.
Anyway, on my brunch day, I made these pastry puffs. And they are as easy to make as they are delicious and impressive. If you wanna make Tempeh Sausage Pastry Puffs, you’re gonna need:
8 ounces tempeh, crumbled
1 package vegan puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator overnight
1 cup vegetable broth
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red bell pepper, diced as finely as you can
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
So you’re going to:
1. Combine vegetable broth, soy sauce, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Add the tempeh and marinate for one hour (or longer if you want). Drain, reserving the marinade.
2. With a mortar and pestle, grind your fennel seeds until there are no whole ones left. This takes a while, and some elbow grease. But stick with it. Once the fennel is all ground, add the remaining spices and grind a few more times to make sure everything’s all fragrant.
3. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Preheat a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Add the red bell pepper and onion, and saute until the onion is translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and spices, and saute another 3 minutes.
4. Add the drained tempeh to the pan, and cook for about 15 minutes. If the mixture starts to stick, add a splash of marinade at a time to unstick everything. Keep a close eye on it to make sure the mixture doesn’t burn.
5. Now we’re going to prepare the pastry. If you haven’t worked with puff pastry before, don’t worry: It’s totally easy. So what you do is unfold one pastry sheet, and cut it into nine pieces. Arrange them on a greased cookie sheet about an inch apart. Thoroughly spray the tops of each pastry square with nonstick cooking spray. Repeat with the other pastry sheet.
6. Now place a heaping tablespoon of the tempeh mixture in the center of each square.
7. Bake at 400°F for 18 to 20 minutes, until the pastry is super puffy and golden brown on top. Yum.
So we made these for Easter, along with our Cinnamon Rolls. Mmmmm . . . so much bread. We actually made these because my mom, having had them at my birthday party a couple of years ago, now requests them whenever we’re all having brunch. Even my super-omni, sausage loving stepdad is crazy for our crazy fermented soy sausage pastries. And that’s impressive.