Sunday, October 16, 2011

Have it Your (Tofu) Way

It amuses me the looks on the faces of those who have never had good tofu. The nose wrinkles, the head shakes, all followed by the inevitable "Yuck!". In fact, the only people I know who like tofu are vegans and some vegetarians. I suspect, no, I KNOW, it is because their exposure to tofu has been the little spongy blocks found in some dishes in a Chinese restaurant, or a block sitting in the refrigerator they mistook for cream cheese and wondered at the blandness. Some don't like the mouth feel, or as my non-vegan son states, the sense of biting into a marshmallow when you weren't expecting to.

It's all in how it is prepared.

I got in a major cooking mood yesterday. Two blocks of tofu were calling my name and I was in a feasting mood. I pulled out the packages from the freezer, boiled them, drained them and pressed them. Sliced one and cut the second into small squares. Let the cooking begin!

The tofu squares became:

Tofu Turkey

Marinate the squares in:

1-1/2 c. boiling water
1/2 t. dill
1/2 t. rosemary
1/2 t. thyme
1/2 t. marjoram
1/2 t. sage
1/2 t. black pepper
3 cloves garlic, sliced
3 T. olive oil

Let the tofu marinate for at least 2 hours, laid out in a single layer, in a casserole dish. After the 2 or more hours have passed, put the entire thing in the oven. 350 for one hour, but turn the slices over after 30 minutes.
When it is done and cooled, fry the squares in some olive oil until nicely browned on both sides.

The slices became:

Chicken Fried Tofu with Cream Gravy

Dip each slice in a non-dairy milk of your choice, and then into a mixture of:

1-1/2 c. flour and 1 T. of seasoning

Fry the slices in oil until nicely browned.

Chicken Fried Tofu Seasoning:
1/4 c. salt
2 T. garlic powder
2 T. black pepper
1 T. white pepper
1 T. onion powder
1 T. paprika
1 t. cayenne pepper
1 t. cumin

Combine this and mix well. Label so you'll know what it is so you can use it again!

For the gravy, I added the leftover milk and a handful of the flour mixture I'd used to coat the tofu with in the pan with the leftover oil. Whisk, whisk, whisk until it is blended smoothly. Add more milk if you have to.

I also whipped up some mashed potatoes, but not the usual boring kind. I cut up potatoes and carrots and about 3 garlic cloves and boiled them together. When everything was soft I mashed them with some non-dairy milk until smooth.

Then a green bean casserole.

My son overdid it a little with the gravy in the picture and the orange plate lends an interesting color to the photo, but everything turned out really well and was subsequently devoured. It really put me to thinking about Thanksgiving. I need to start to work on that menu!

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