Saturday, September 21, 2013

Bangin' Tempeh Quesadilla

So I had added Quesadillas to the "how in the world do I get a good photo?!" list... but then a certain good blogger friend posted a quesadilla recipe with a beautiful photo, so I guess it's just me. I think it's time I look into good photography classes, or you know, don't take them on the floor while my husband holds the dogs and kid back. PLEASE don't let the bad photo make you question the deliciousness of this 'dilla... it's amazing!

When Taco Lu first opened, I was pregnant. Tacos sounded amazing, and the fact that they had tempeh on their menu made me love the place before even stepping foot into the restaurant. We made the trek over to the beach one night, fought off everyone and their mom for a parking spot, and got a table after a 30 minute wait. As I excitedly ordered my tempeh tacos, the waiter told me they didn't have tempeh, they were out. Talk about a hormonal melt-down over something that wasn't THAT big of a deal (but come on, tempeh has a long shelf life and you can keep it on hand!) So I didn't even order dinner. I watched JJ eat, and then we left. And I swore off the place for 2 years.

When we found out we were moving, I felt like I should give the place one more chance because all of my friends and coworkers love it, and they even moved into a bigger restaurant location since their popularity soared. So we went, I got this quesadilla, it was amazing, and now I cry knowing it's 2k miles away. Our servers kind of seated us and forgot about it, so I was like oh geez, here we go again, but then they brought out a free bowl of queso (that Violet bathed herself in.) So while Taco Lu hasn't been the most dependable place service wise, the food is so good that I'd be willing to overlook it.

This quesadilla was spicy, fresh from the slaw, earthy from the tempeh, and bound together with tons of melty cheese. It wasn't exceptionally complex, but it was amazing. I tried re-creating it here, and it was almost as delicious as the Lu's!

Bangin' Tempeh Quesadilla
inspired by Taco Lu, makes 4 large quesadillas

4 large flour tortillas
1 8 oz, pack of tempeh, sliced into 16 thin strips
1/4 c. sweet thai chile sauce
2 tbsp. sriracha
4 oz. shredded monterey jack cheese
1/2 lb. green cabbage, shredded
1/4 red onion, finely sliced
1 lime
1/2 c. reduced fat sour cream
2 chipotles in adobo

In a shallow dish, whisk together chile sauce and sriracha, gently coat tempeh strips and set aside to marinate.
Toss green cabbage with onions and juiced lime in a small dish.
Blend sour cream and chipotles, or finely minced chipotles and mix with sour cream.
Heat skillet over medium-high, spray with nonstick spray, place tempeh slicess in pan, cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip, be careful they don't burn! 
Remove tempeh and place on a plate.
Clean out skillet, and heat over medium.
Preheat oven to 300*
One at a time, lay tortillas out, slather with chipotle sour cream, then place in pan, sprinkle cheese around the whole tortilla, then arrange 4 slices of tempeh in one half, and a sprinkle of the cabbage slaw on top of the tempeh. 
Cook for 2 minutes open, then fold the tortilla over and press.
Cook for another 2 minutes, then gently flip and cook another 2 minutes until golden brown.
If desired, place on a cookie sheet and into the oven to stay warm while you cook the remaining quesadillas.
Slice into fourths and serve.


Joanne said...

Awww thanks for the quesadilla photo shout out! I always have a seriously hard time with them. I think the only saving grace of those was that the filling was not quite so brown/beige. But I'm loving this tempeh idea!! I've never thought to stuff it into a taco before!

Leah Rose said...

So I can't believe you are from Jacskonville. I love your skyline recipe and have been using it for over a year. My husband and I are vegetarians from Cincinnati. Anyway, I have been making a different version of the bangin tempeh taco at Taco LU and was typing it in to look at different recipes and when I saw your post, I couldn't believe you were talking about Taco LU (My personal favorite restaurant in Jax). Anyway, how fun that you are here. Our best friends are local organic farmers so we are into that scene. Anyway, I add mayo to the Thai chili sauce and it rocks. Now we are also gluten free so any recipes would be great! Thanks! - Leah