Best week ever! Back on the mean streets of NYC. I got in early Wednesday before my client; I’m trying this new thing where I get there early so the hungry client doesn’t have to ask, “Where is the food?”
I had a couple of ideas to try out at the new cooking environment, the Gramercy Park Hotel (PS: If you’re vegan and stay there, don’t order room service because no care was paid to cross contamination.)
Luckily I travel with my road kit of herbs, spices, and salts because yes, I watched the line chef go from raw meat to the salt container on several occasions. I just kept my space clean and worked amidst the not so hushed questions:
“Is he the new guy?”
“No, he’s a private chef for a rock star.”.
“Ohhhhh he’s a private chef excuse me.”
Yes that conversation actually happened, but I didn’t pay them any mind. I was focused and wanted to mix things up a bit as I usually do and being on my old stomping grounds didn’t hurt. I like to make the first meal a little extra impressive. After a long plane ride and checking into a hotel, you should be blessed with a nice meal. So this is what I made.
Pan Seared Tempeh & Cauliflower Steaks
2 tablespoon cooking oil (I use grape seed)
1 package soy tempeh, cut 4×2 and fillet
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
¼ cup fresh leeks, cut in wheels
Juice of two lemons
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dry basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Sea salt to taste
2 tablespoon water
Step one: Preheat oven to 250, combine ingredients for marinade in a bowl, add tempeh and allow to marinade for 25-30 minutes. Remove once done.
Step two: In a medium skillet over a medium high flame, heat oil until hot. Place tempeh in skillet and sear on both sides. Once done, set in oven to keep warm and in the remaining oil, sauté leeks aldente and move on to the cauliflower
2 tablespoon cooking oil (grape seed oil)
2 cauliflower steaks
½ teaspoon chili flakes
2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
½ sea salt
Step one: In a medium skillet over a medium high flame, heat oil till hot. Place cauliflower steaks in the skillet and sauté. Add oregano and paprika and chili flakes, until the steaks are brown on either side.
Step two: Sprinkle yeast on steaks, coating both sides evenly and salt to taste.
Plating: Put the remaining marinade in your skillet and heat until it starts to simmer.
On a plate, place your cauliflower in the center and then place tempeh on top followed by leeks, using a spoon drizzle the warm marinade over the stack and top with a sprig of fresh thyme. Serve hot.