Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Tempeh and Broccoli with Galangal Root over Brown Rice Elbow Pasta

I have never cooked with galangal root, also known as "blue ginger" and commonly used in Thai cuisine. I purchased a little piece a little less than an inch long and less than half an inch thick, and, after peeling the skin away, cut it into small cubes, thinking I'd experiment with it in a dish.

I started sauteeing in a cast iron pan with olive oil (I always use extra virgin) about half of a package of tempeh, cut into rectangles maybe 1/2" x 1/2" x 1/4". After four or five minutes, when the tempeh was light brown over medium heat, I added half of a sweet onion, cut into large 1/2" or so chunks.

I let that cook for a few minutes till the tempeh was a little browner and the onion started to clear, then I added two small handfuls of broccoli crowns, and let it all cook for another two minutes or so, letting the broccoli get deeper green. Then I added the galangal root and maybe two teaspoons of pine nuts; being careful not to let the pine nuts get brown, I added a little salt and about 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon or so of tarragon, mixed, and served over organic brown rice elbow pasta by Tinkyada ( . I also put some fermented carrots atop lettuce and served some grape tomatoes.

The main course was surprisingly good! I loved the unusual flavor that the galangal added. I can't think of a good way of describing the galangal's flavor, but it really wasn't like ginger, as I had expected. Maybe after cooking with it more, I'll be more articulate in describing it.

Unfortunately, I ate out again last night. I was excited to have the opportunity to photograph Michelle Obama's talk in Raleigh NC last night. My wife didn't come but said she would eat leftovers; by the time I was done, it was past 10p, and I decided to stop at a Lebanese eatery for a falafel platter and something like kosheri - it was okay but I probably should have just made a quick meal at home.

Full Frame! It was, as always, great. Some of my favorite films included Man on Wire, about a man in the mid-70s who tight-rope walked between the World Trade Center towers for 45 minutes; Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts (I was surprised to see my ex-roommate sitarist Kartik Seshadri in the film several times and even have Philip Glass talking about him!); Good Ol' Charles Schulz about the famous Peanuts cartoonist; Neither Memory Nor Magic, a very touching story about Holocaust victim, Hungarian poet Miklós Radnóti; Flow: For Love of Water (predictably I asked the director why the major impact of a non-vegan diet wasn't mentioned); and A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman about Ariel Dorfman, a kind Duke professor of literature who served a senior position in the Chilean government of Salvador Allende and who was exiled in the coup that brought General Augusto Pinochet to power.

We were at the Festival each night till 10p or later (as late as a bit past 1a). On Thursday, my wife and I went with the director and editor of another great film that I had seen before the Festival, Flying On One Engine, a remarkable film about idiosyncratic humanitarian Dr. Sharadkumar Dicksheet, to eat a quick falafel meal at a nearby eatery. On Friday, I went on my own to Whole Foods, and was surprised that they had good Ethiopian food on their hot food bar, which I enjoyed for dinner. On Saturday, we went with the filmmaker of Salim Baba, which I already described on March 14, to Vita, newly remodeled from Cafe Verde and part of our big annual Thanksgiving bash, where we had a too-hurried delicious pizza dinner. Finally, we had a not so great pasta dinner at George's Garage around 10p after the Festival ended on Sunday.


At Fri Apr 11, 04:04:00 PM EDT, Blogger Wheeler's Frozen Dessert said...

that's a really colorful dish! Looks great!


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