The first two times I guested on Doug Benson’s Dining with Doug and Karen, I served up all sorts of animal products. From deep frying in bacon fat, to “jackalope” tacos, to fish fumet gravy, I esentially crafted a vegan’s nightmare.
As a lapsed vegetarian, I’m not afraid of cooking all sorts of animal products, but when cooking for myself I still find myself mostly vegetarian. So I thought it might be fun for podcast listeners hear me come up with a vegan menu for Doug.
I thought Doug’s good friend Sarah Silverman was a vegan, but it turned out she’s actually just a vegetarian. Matters not though, as she was still the perfect guest to appreciate this menu. She cleared her plate on every course and seemed to genuinely enjoy my efforts.
The dish that I was most proud of on this episode was my black eyed pea tempeh biscuit slider. I recently got some samples of a 100% black eyed pea tempeh from a company in Austin, TX called The Hearty Vegan.
I wanted to make a variant on my Blackened Tempeh Burger, and the black eyed peas made me want to pair it with collard greens. Which, playing with this southern food idea, made me think of biscuits.
I’ve been making a lot of biscuits lately. I’ve had great success making them with rendered pork fat, and even greater success recently using chicken fat. Obviously, I couldn’t take this approach on a vegan menu, and I don’t believe in using soy isolate emulsified vegan “butter.” So I made my own butter substitute by using bacon avocado blended with virgin coconut oil to create a balance of saturated and unsaturated fats similar to butter. The results are not the same as an animal fat biscuit, but it’s still pretty great. Especially when slathered with whole grain mustard and sherry vinegar fortified organic ketchup sandwiching the spice rubbed tempeh and juicy braised greens.