Ric Orlando's Vegan Recipes: Tempeh and Cashew Custard Moussaka!

Tempeh Moussaka - Yum!

This recipe makes a big party pan. It is a little work as you have to make all four basic components separately but it is SOOOOOO worth it!

The Layers
4 medium eggplants (preparation instruction in directions below)
1/2 cup olive oil plus more for the eggplant
1/2 cup flour plus more for the eggplant
3 cups raw cashews
3 cups water or more
2 large potatoes, peeled, diced, boiled until soft, and strained well
1 nutmeg
dash Tabasco sauce
Vegan “Parm” (choose your favorite, or mix some up with good Nutritional Yeast)
8 packs tempeh, crumbled
2 large onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped

Greek Tomato Sauce       
2 cans tomato puree
¼ cup onion, minced
2 garlic cloves minced
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of oregano
pinch of dill
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper

Prepping the Components

1. The Eggplant
Peel the eggplant and slice 1/2" thick. Salt it and drain for ½ hour while you prepare the white sauce (custard) and start the red sauce. Then dry the eggplant and shake in a bag with flour and a good grind of black pepper. Brown the slices in a bit of hot olive oil. Be careful with the amount of oil and use only enough to brown a few slices at a time. 

Reserve until ready to assemble.

2. Greek Tomato Sauce
Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add the tomatoes, spices and a splash of water and cook for 30 minutes over medium heat. Reserve.

3. The Tempeh
First, crumble the tempeh.

Then, in a heavy skillet, add some olive oil and sauté the garlic and onions in batches until golden and soft. Remove from pan and reserve. In the same pan add more oil and add the tempeh.
Season with salt and pepper. Sauté until golden brown around the edges and add back the sautéed onions and garlic. Add 3/4 of the Greek tomato sauce and stir in. Cook for a few minutes to combine the flavors.

4. The"Custard"

Put the cashews and water in a blender and whip for 5 minutes until smooth as silk. Add a little more water if needed to obtain the consistency of very thick cream. Add the potatoes to the blender and continue to whip until it is all very smooth. Depending on the size of your blender, you may have to make the cashew cream and then remove some to add the potatoes, and then mix it all together. You need enough custard and you;d best make it very smooth!

In a heavy pan over medium heat, whisk together the ½ cup olive oil and the half cup of flour.  Cook gently for 3-4 minutes, stirring to make a roux.

Add the cashew-potato mix and whisk in well. Simmer for just a couple minutes. Add salt to taste, a good grating of nutmeg and the tabasco. This is your custard!

In a heavy casserole pan, put the cooked tempeh mix.
Now layer the cooked eggplant on top of that.
Add a little more tomato sauce and then top with the “custard”
Sprinkle with vegan “parm” and bake for 40 minutes.

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