It is less than an hour before the Phillies begin their quest for a World Series title. Seems like the perfect time for another Philly’s Phinest entry that celebrates the varied cuisine of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This one is a vegan version of scrapple. Sometimes referred to as “everything but the oink” scrapple traditionally uses the leftover pig parts (scraps) and combines them with cornmeal and flour and spices to create a sausage like patty.
My earliest memories of the Pennsylvania Dutch dish took place at my grandmother’s house. As my cousins and I beat each other with hockey sticks, threw interceptions on purpose and drove golf balls at our oppositions head my grandmother, aunts and uncles and parents were back at the house throwing all the leftover parts from their freshly butchered pigs into a big bucket. My grandfather then stomped it like grapes for wine. Seriously.
I also remember my mom cooking the stuff up for winter breakfast, covering it with maple syrup and eating it. The smell, the taste, my grandfather’s bloody feet, it is enough to give me shivers. But my sadistic side called for me to make my own version. With a little help from a Doctor, here is what I got:
Vegan Scrapple (adapted from food.com)
-2 3/4 cups vegetable broth
-1 1/3 cups yellow corn meal
-1 Tbsp flour (plus more for coating)
-1 1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp sage
-1/4 tsp thyme
-1/4 tsp of cayenne
-1 block of tempeh, grated
-1 block of tofu (drained and squeezed into mush)
-1 onion, diced
-freshly ground pepper
-vegetable oil for frying
1. In a large sauce pan, warm the vegetable broth and chopped onion. Simmer for ten minutes.
2. Mix the cornmeal, flour, salt, thyme, sage and cayenne with 1 cup of cold water. Pour into the simmering broth.
3. Add the tempeh and tofu. Simmer for an additional five minutes.
4. Pour the tempeh mixture into two greased loaf pans. Chill overnight.
5. Remove the chilled scrapple from the loaf pan. Form into patties and coat with flour. Fry for five minutes on each side. Eat quickly, this is how your pig would’ve wanted it.
As the scrapple simmered and chilled and fried I enjoyed the sounds of We Were Promised Jetpacks new album, In the Pit of the Stomach, (currently streaming here). Two years ago these guys ripped off an amazing debut album, These Four Walls, which included the radio friendly lead single “Quiet Little Voices.” Fueled by a stateside tour alongside Frightened Rabbit and The Twilight Sad, WWPJP seemed poised to bring the entire post punk/indie rock world down. Instead they vanished, returning to the studio to begin working on the follow up. In the Pit of the Stomach features Adam Thompson’s gruff, introverted vocals just like its predecessor but the music is slightly bigger and bolder with a tad more fuzz. It isn’t a huge leap forward from the last, probably more like a bunny hop, but it is a worthwhile listen. My favorite song, so far, is the ninth track “Human Error.” Here is a live version: