Sunday, March 29, 2009

Maple Garlic Tempeh Balls

Spring is slowly coming to the North which means it is maple syrup time! Of course, we had to pack up the kids and head out to the local sugar shack. We hiked through the forest, checked out the 70 kms of piping bringing sap to the shack, made maple syrup taffy, bought maple sugar candy, and loaded up on syrup. There is nothing like breathing in the sweet air of the sugar shack while being surrounded by dozens and dozens of bottles of syrup. We left on a serious sugar high. Tonight's recipe is a take on honey garlic meatballs. Some recent comments on my tempeh meatballs made me rethink the recipe to make them a bit firmer.

Makes 25 tempeh balls
- 1 8.5 oz pkgs tempeh
- water
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp Montreal Steak Spice
- 1 small onion, coarsely grated
- 1 garlic clove, finely grated
- 1/3 cup instant oatmeal
- 1/3 cup vital wheat gluten
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp instant tapioca
- 1 tsp ground fennel seed
- 1 tsp sage
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp parsley
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp HP sauce, or BBQ sauce

- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- dash of hot sauce
- salt to taste
- 1 tbsp cornstarch

- 2 green onions, finely chopped

1. Cut tempeh into 4 pieces and place in a sauce pan. Add enough water to cover the tempeh, along with the soy sauce, salt, and steak spice. Bring to bubbling then simmer for 10 mins. Remove from water and let cool.
2. Grate tempeh and mix with onion, garlic, and the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well with your fingers and knead for 1 min.
3. With wet hands, form into 25 balls. Let rest for 5 mins to firm up.
4. Heat a thin layer of oil in a non-stick frying pan over med-lo heat. Add meatballs and cook for 15 mins, turning regularly, until browned all over. Remove from pan.
5. Whisk together sauce ingredient and add to pan. Bring to bubbling and simmer for 5 mins, letting sauce thicken and garlic cook. Add meatballs and turn to coat. Cook for a few mins more to heat through. Right before serving, sprinkle with green onion.

Sap on its way to the sugar shack.