Fennel Pollen Grilled Tempeh

Since my spice cabinet is filled with Savory Spice Shop herbs and spices, it is always a fun endeavor creating something vegetarian for dinner. I’m interested in Fennel Pollen lately, so I thought I’d make a tempeh dish featuring this “spice of the angels.”
I didn’t really measure anything for my marinade, but it was basically
  • 1 TB dehydrated onion
  • 1/2 TB garlic powder
  • 1/2 TB dried parsley
  • 1/2 TB smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1 tsp whole fennel seeds
  • a pinch of fennel pollen
  • 2-3 TB olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • a splash of worcestershire
Mix that up, and pour it over some temepeh.
I let mine sit for an hour or so before grilling. Then, I opened my last jar of pickled onions from last summer’s crop. My pickled onions are so delicious- they’re not just any old pickled onions- they’re olive oil pickled onions, which means they have a coating of olive oil over the top which kept them from spoiling all winter (they did not withstand a boiling bath or any heated canning process). The olive oil mixes with the vinegar to create a salad-dressing-like flavor effect (or profile?).
I’ll be making twice as many pickled onions this year… But, first, back to my grilled tempeh. Grill it for a few minutes on each side. Easy.
I served mine with some grilled ciabatta, smoked provolone, olive oil pickled onions, and Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Ketchup, which is, quite frankly, the best ketchup.
So, go grill some tempeh and enjoy a meatless BBQ. Wash it down with a beer cocktail!

Top of the Hill Grill West

Living in the Gunbarrel neighborhood of Boulder has it’s benefits.  You get more house for your money.  You have impressive views of the Flatirons and the front range.  But, it has a lot of drawbacks- You are a few miles from downtown Boulder, and bus service stops earlier than most would prefer. So, going out on the town for dinner and drinks tends to become a planned event, not just a spur-of-the-moment “hey, let’s go downtown.”
But, as my first sentence said… there are benefits to this area, and food trucks are one of them!  My new favorite truck in town is Top of the Hill Grill West.  These guys are cool, and their food is fantastic.  Their dad’s Vermont restaurant, Top of the Hill Grill, conveniently provided the inspiration for Boulder’s best mobile BBQ joint. They set up shop across the street from me at Asher Brewery, so I just walk across 63rd St and order.
Let’s just take a minute to acknowledge this menu: Veggie Burger, Vermonster (available in veggie option), and Tempeh Wrap sit amongst the Steak and Cheese, Half Chicken, Pork, and Ribs offerings.  I like that.  I like that a lot!

I didn’t try the pulled pork sandwich, but was told a whole stream of positive, mouth-watering words about it.  But, I did eat some of these perfect fries. 

The half-chicken falls off the bone.  Go get a half-chicken! I can’t wait to get another. It’s that good!

Here’s my Vermonster wrap.  I was so impressed with this wrap because as a home cook who makes tempeh at least once each week, I have pretty high standards for tempeh.  Top of the Hill Grill West makes the best tempeh Vermonster and you should go try one. 

I also scarfed down their chipotle brownies, and though I offer no photo here, they look like delicious brownies.  You can use your imagination on the photo, but not the flavor.  Chipotle brownies are a really fitting dessert for a BBQ meal.
For updated info on where Top of the Hill Grill West will be parked and serving food, visit their Facebook Page.

Baked Tempeh Patties

Tempeh really makes a meal. Here are some simple baked tempeh patties.

Ingredients:
  • 1 package tempeh, ground in food processor
  • 1 TB granulated onion (I buy mine at Savory Spice Shop)
  • 1/2 TB garlic powder (again, from Savory)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 cup ketchup
  • 2 TB Worcestershire
  • 1 TB olive oil
Mix that all together and form small patties. Bake at 375 on lightly oiled (or parchment paper lined) baking tray for 15-20 minutes, flipping them after 10 minutes or so.
I like to top patties with Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Ketchup.

Tempeh Burgers with Crabapple Mushroom Sauce

Well, Ollin Farms never disappoints! They have crabapples, which I find pretty cool. I picked some up at the market and headed over to my friend Chad at Hazel Dell and asked for mushrooms for a crabapple sauté.

Chad recommended a 1/2 pound mixed bag of small cremini and shiitake mushrooms. Chad knows best…
I got them home and had a plan: Tempeh burgers topped with a crabapple mushroom sauce. Perfect.
I got started on my tempeh burgers and made them according to my recipe. Then, I assembled the crabapple mushroom sauce.
First I sauteed 1/2 of a local sweet yellow onion in 1 TB olive oil and 1 TB butter until they started to turn golden brown.
Next, I added the mushrooms, which I had sliced, and let them start to cook on medium-high for 10 minutes or so in the butter-olive oil mixture until they were nice and soft. I added a little sea salt, tossed them a bit, and added 3 crabapples, chopped into small chunks.
After adding the crabapples, lower the heat to medium. The apples will start to release juice and make a crabapple-mushroom gravy-sauce.
I made some quick vegetarian maple beer baked beans, grilled a zucchini and yellow squash, grilled some tempeh burgers, and topped them with shaved parmesan and my crabapple-mushroom sauce.
Delicious.
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