Grilled tempeh roll-up with biker barbecue sauce

Easy rider: Biker Billy likes Harley’s and grilling — tempeh, mostly. Photo courtesy of Biker Billy

It’s likely that our meat-eschewing friends won’t want their dinner straight off the grill, especially if said grill is covered in animal products, right? Here’s an idea, via Biker Billy, for a meatless meal made entirely in a skillet.

Top of the Hill tempeh roll-ups
(Makes 1 serving)

3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
8 oz plain tempeh cakes, cubed
1 small green pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 small sweet onion, sliced into thin strips
Splash of a good quality soy sauce
1 (10-inch) tortilla
Barbecue sauce to taste (we use traditional tomato-based sauce with a moderate kick and a smoky top note — recipe for homemade sauce below)

Optional add-ons:
Shredded cheese
Salad greens
Black beans

Heat the oil in a medium sauté pan over a medium-high heat until hot but not smoking (sesame oil has a low smoke point, so be careful not to burn it). Add the tempeh, peppers and onion and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the onions soften a little. Add splash of soy sauce — it can be salty, so go lightly. In another preheated pan (a large flat skillet works best), lightly toast the tortilla. Thirty seconds per side should be enough.

Carefully remove the tortilla and lay on a flat surface. Spoon the tempeh sauté onto the tortilla. Top with barbecue sauce and/or your favorite toppings.

Roll into a log, remembering to tuck in the sides.

Biker barbecue sauce
(Makes about 2.5 cups)

What is summer without motorcycling and barbecuing? But as every motorcycle enthusiast has an opinion on bikes and roads, every barbecue fanatic strongly prefers certain marinades and sauces. This sauce is my favorite and I enjoy it on everything from burgers to vegetables.

2 dried, long cayenne peppers, stemmed and crushed
1 ancho pepper, stemmed and torn into small pieces
1/2 cup boiling water
1 small onion, quartered
3 tsp crushed garlic
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
2 T Liquid Smoke
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
2 T olive oil
1 cup thick tomato puree
2 T distilled white vinegar

Place the cayenne and ancho peppers in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Briefly chop the onion in a blender or a food processor equipped with a chopping blade. Add the cayenne and ancho peppers and water and puree for 1 minute. Add the crushed garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, black pepper, Liquid Smoke, molasses, olive oil, tomato puree and vinegar.

Puree for 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth.

Place the puree in a small saucepan over medium heat. When it begins to simmer, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often. Cool before serving. The flavor improves if the sauce is refrigerated overnight.

Adapted from recipe with permission from Biker Billy’s Roadhouse Cookbook, published by The Globe Pequot Press. Sauce recipe reprinted with permission from Biker Billy Cooks with Fire, published by Whitehorse Press, copyright Bill Hufnagle.

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