Sometimes, as a vegetarian, I crave the non-replaceable meat things: bacon, fried chicken, honeybaked ham…but I don’t indulge these cravings. Sometimes I really miss bacon and eggs – and I attempted to satisfy that craving in this tempeh bacon eggs benedict.
My dear friend got me a marvelous cookbook for Christmas: Southern Girl Meets Vegetarian Boy by Damaris Phillips. Though my situation is not quite hers (Southern Vegetarian Girl Meets Gun-Toting Carnivorous Maryland Boy), I love being able to indulge my Southern food cravings without sacrificing the flavor. I find myself buying Southern cookbooks and thinking to myself, I can make these vegetarian, but I often don’t make the effort. Luckily, Mrs. Phillips has gone through the trial-and-error process for me.
I wanted to try out her tempeh bacon – I’ve never quite been able to find a sufficient meat substitute for bacon – and was pleased with the results. I think if you slice the tempeh as thinly as possible, it almost recalls that fatty part of bacon.
I decided to make my eggs benedict with the bacon added – usually I forego the “meat” all together and add some kind of green and or tomatoes.
I’d advise getting up early to make the bacon unless you don’t mind waiting an hour for breakfast – with the marinating and cooking, it takes about that long (especially if your cast iron needs seasoning, as mine does…)
First, marinate the tempeh in a combination of soy sauce, liquid smoke, and hot sauce. I used Crystal hot sauce, and if you fear some heat, it does not transfer into the “facon.”
Next, fry it in butter – super key to the closest bacon taste you can get.
Dice up some small cubes of butter to add in if your skillet gets dry. Phillips suggests flipping the facon with forks, as it is delicate. The facon in the center of my skillet cooked faster, so keep an eye on them!
While the bacon cooks, poach some eggs. I have these little “poachies,” but you can simply slide eggs into simmering water as true chefs do. I didn’t want a runny yolk, so I broke the yolks and cooked mine all the way (that is perhaps a benedict sin…)
I also made my version of hollandaise sauce – it is easily vegan with a plant milk – but today I made mine with cow’s milk.
Assembly required, once everything is done. It’s not the prettiest – a blogging sin, I suppose…
Though the facon is rather pretty…
As I mentioned, there was some uneven cooking…
As the facon recipe is not mine, you will need to refer to the aforementioned awesome cookbook for it (you can also find the recipe in the Google Books Preview, but really at $2.99 on Kindle, it is a steal and totally worth it.)
Tempeh Bacon Eggs Benedict
Serves one, but there is enough sauce and bacon for more…just use more eggs and muffins!
- four slices tempeh bacon
- See link for recipe book/Google book for recipe in the “preview.”
- 4-6 TB unsalted butter
- two eggs
- one English Muffin, toasted
- nutritional yeast sauce (hollandaise)
- 1/2 cup milk of choice (sub almond milk for no-dairy, or other plant milk)
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 small garlic clove, chopped
- 1/2 tb dijon mustard
- dash of cayenne pepper
- salt to taste
- Slice tempeh very thinly and marinate in soy sauce (I use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, a pantry essential), liquid smoke, and hot sauce for 30 minutes.
- In a cast iron skillet, melt 2 TB unsalted butter over medium heat and wait until it sizzles.
- Carefully place marinated tempeh into the butter and cook for about four minutes on each side, until very browned and crispy. Flip using two forks to minimize breakage. Check occasionally to ensure you are not undercooking/overcooking (my skillet had an uneven heat distribution).
- Remove to a rack to dry.
- Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan, stirring until smooth.
- Heat over medium until the mixture bubbles.
- Remove from heat (do not boil) until ready to use.
poached eggs method
Honestly, I don’t poach in a chef-y way. Refer to this post, or be lazy and use “poachies” as I did.
Place two strips of facon on each muffin half, and top with eggs and “hollandaise.”
Add greens of choice, pan-fried tomatoes, or anything else your heart desires.