A juicy Ginger Tempeh redeems an otherwise bland, vague (yet somehow voyeuristically appealing) cookbook.
The appeal of Tamra Davis’ new cookbook is basically the same as that of the Internet cooking show on which it’s based. Featuring her husband Mike D of the Beastie Boys, their two cute-as-hell young sons, and Davis herself—a film and TV director whose credits include Billy Madison and Grey’s Anatomy—both the book and the show (found at www.tamradaviscookingshow.com) focus on bland, kid-friendly, pescetarian cuisine, making them more interesting to creepy celebrity voyeurs (like me!) than to serious cooks. So while this self-published collection is unfortunately riddled with typos and casually vague cooking instructions, at least now I know that Davis’ formerly vegan hubby currently eats fish and eggs but is lactose intolerant, and that their pal Chris Martin from Coldplay had trouble making her Banana Pancakes because of the pan and spatula he was using. And when my rendition of Davis’ Peanut Butter Noodles with Tiger Tofu came out icky and sticky, at least I could console myself imagining what her expertly crafted version of the dish must have tasted like fresh out of the backstage kitchen where she says she cooked it before a Beastie Boys show. The recipes aren’t all misfires, though. Redeeming the entire book in my eyes is her take on Ginger Tempeh, a super-easy concoction that produced the most juicy, flavorful, and succulent version of this veggie staple I’ve ever had. By her own admission, however, this one isn’t actually Davis’ recipe. So to Nichole, the woman Mike met in India who later became the family nanny, and thus brought this recipe circuitously to me, I salute you, wherever you are.