Monthly Archives: November 2012

Fuck Tofu?

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Tofu used to be the vegetarians holy grail, something prized and cooked all the time for protein. Today much controversy surrounds the infamous soybean as companies like monsanto stick their GMO soybeans in just about every processed product.  For all the bad rap that tofu gets nowadays in a world with bountiful meatless meat choices, it is still a canvass for flavor and should be treated as such!  Tofu itself has relatively little flavor, but when combined with sauces, garlic etc, it becomes a brilliant piece of food porn. Today I am bringing back the little used method of baking tofu! ENJOY

Teriyaki Tofu with Coconut Milk Saffron Rice w/ Carmelized onions

For the Sauce:

1/2 cup soy sauce (I use Tamari Reduced Sodium, trust me it has enough sodium still!)

1/2 cup Mirin (A Rice cooking wine)

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1/4 cup shallots chopped

1 clove garlic minced

For the Rice:

1 Red Onion (for caramelized top)

1 cup Rice

1 can coconut milk

more water if needed according to rice packaging

saffron

pinch of cumin

pinch of turmeric

For the plate:

vegetarian hoisin sauce

dried basil

red pepper flakes

grated ginger

salt & pepper

First set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Take a package of extra firm tofu and put it between two plates. Put something heavy on the top plate so that water will come out of the tofu and you can replace it will the teriyaki sauce!

Next prepare the Teriyaki sauce. Grate the ginger and mince the garlic and have ready. Pour the soy sauce and mirin in a sauce pan and heat until it begins to bubble- about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the rest of the ingredients.

Cut the block of tofu into 1/4 inch strips along the tofo width. Lay these on a baking sheet 9 by 13 and pour the teriyaki sauce over the tofu. cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 1 hour, turning occasionally. The benefit of placing the tofu in the freezer is that it will develop a nuttier flavor and a better texture.

After tofu has marinated for an hour take the tofu out and place it in the oven for 40 min to an hour. Make sure to turn the tofu every 20 min to keep it from burning. When cooked the outer part of the tofu should have crusted somewhat and the inside should be like custard.

While the tofu is baking begin the rice. I made mine with organic brown basmati rice from trader joes. I prepared mine by adding a can of coconut milk, saffron, cumin and turmeric for color. I used water for the rest of the rice, look at the packaging of your rice to determine how much more water to add! Combine all these ingredients and place on the stove in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer till the liquid is absorbed.

While the rice is cooking slice the onion into 1/8 inch slices. Heat some olive oil over medium in a frying pan and then add the onions. Stir till caramelized about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the baked tofu on a plate with a 1/3 cup of rice and a handful of onions on top! splash with vegetarian hoisin sauce and sprinkle dried basil, red pepper flakes, and grated ginger. EAT

We All Know the Best Part of the Muffin is the Top

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Plum restaurant in Oakland fired their whole staff, the general manager, head chef, sous chef, etc. This led to two other cooks leaving the restaurant as the regime change began. I worked one day under the new chef before I completed my internship with Katie, who was leaving the west coast in a couple weeks. Life moves on, the seasons change, and I bake muffins.

These muffins are adapted from a recipe in Dreena Burton’s Let Them Eat Vegan. Her recipes tend to be hit or miss, but this one knocked my socks off.

Chia Banana Muffins w/cinnamon and nutmeg

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups sifted spelt flour

1/3 cup ground white or black chia seeds

1/4 cup unrefined sugar (I used turbinado)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup pureed banana

1 cup vanilla or plain nondairy milk

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 tablespoons neutral oil like canola or grape seed

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit

sift and combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, mix well

In another bowl combine wet ingredients.

Add wet to dry and combine gently until well mixed.

Scoop into 12 lined muffin pan cups and baked for 23-26 min.

If a toothpick comes out dry its ready!

ENJOY!

Stay tuned for rockin vegan dishes to eat for Thanksgiving, even if the theme is meat centric!