Saturday, January 16, 2016

Cook: Skillet Tempeh Tortilla Pie

I'm walking through an extremely carbonated food desert this morning when an unmarked van pulls up beside me. The back door slides open and I see this guy on the floor with a bunch of boxes. He motions to me to approach him. As I get closer he says "Bro, you planning on making something with tortillas later?" I thought for a moment and then responded with "I can. Why, what did you have in mind?" He blades one of the boxes and pulls out a package of corn tortillas. "One dollar." I look around at my current situation and realize that no food desert is going to provide me with corn tortillas for a dollar. So I purchase two.

Fast forward to this afternoon. I'm in the process of making a quesadilla for Z-Bot when it flashes across the police blotter that a 34-year-old delivery driver in Stockton, California went to the authorities claiming that he was robbed at gunpoint by two Hispanic males. The goods they made off with? Twelve boxes of tortillas.

At that point "I Can See Clearly Now" the Jimmy Clif song from Cool Runnings started playing in my head. I needed to come up with a dish that used a f***ton of tortillas, quick. My stash was hot. This is what happened next:

Skillet Tempeh Tortilla Pie
(printable version)

For the sauce:
-olive oil
-1 onion, roughly cut
-3 tsp. cajun seasoning
-2 tsp. cumin
-1 tsp. oregano
-1 1/2 tsp. salt
-4 cloves of garlic, roughly cut
-1 1/2 cups of veggie broth
-56 ounces of diced tomatoes

For the pie innards:
-8 ounces tempeh
-1 cup of frozen corn
-handful of greens
-2 Tbs. taco seasoning
-12 corn tortillas

1. Sauce: Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and saute for 10 minutes, until translucent and starting to brown. Reduce the heat to low and add the spices and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes. Add the veggie broth, and tomatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes. You want the sauce to be a deep red color. Remove the mixture from the heat and place in a blender. Puree it. Set aside.

2. Tempeh: Coat the tempeh with taco seasoning. Cook the tempeh in the same pan as the tomato mixture was in. You want to cook it until it begins to brown. Flip and repeat. At this point, pour in the set aside sauce, corn and greens and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the tempeh from the heat and break it into small chunks with a fork.

3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Dip four tortillas not the sauce and place on the bottom of a cast iron skillet. Add a bit of the tempeh mixture. Spread it out so that it covers the tortillas. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and tempeh until all the tempeh mixture is gone. End with a layer of tortillas on top. Place them in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve hot. Eat it quickly. You don't want the police to catch you with any evidence.