Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tofu with Warm Cactus Relish

So, I dropped the ball and missed the last day of the Vegan Month of Food. But I did a lot better than I expected and posted nearly every day. I was having some camera difficulties and instead of just posting some recipe with no picture, I decided to wait. Yesterday I was at the dentist getting hacked and filled so I wasn't really in the mood to post. BUT, I'm back and hopefully I can keep up the momentum of before.

I bought a jar of cactus yesterday on a whim. I've had it before, never worked with it, but have always liked it. It seems to be in mostly Mexican dishes with eggs and I suppose it would pair nicely with a tofu scramble, but I didn't do that. I decided to pair it with a cornmeal crusted tofu and a creole sauce [[I used no-chicken broth instead of wine and halved the recipe for this]]. It's a little Southern-Cajun-Mexican fusion. And it's amazing. The cactus is a bit slimy at first, which is off-putting to me, but it picks up flavors nicely and pairs really well with onions and peppers.

[[Warm Cactus Relish]]

1/3 cup jarred cactus, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1/4 cup red bell pepper cut into 1/2 inch slices
1/4 cup coarsely chopped red onion
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
a dash of cayenne pepper, more to taste
1 tbs olive oil

-- Mix all ingredients in a small bowl, except for the olive oil. Toss to coat.
-- Heat olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Cook mixture in olive oil until the onions and bell pepper are soft.
-- Serve hot on top of seitan, tofu, tempeh, a salad, tofu scramble, etc. Anything!
-- Optional: At the end of cooking, at about 1 tbs chopped green onions.

[[Basic Cornmeal Crusted Tofu]]

1/4 cup chickpea flour or white flour
1/3 cup water

1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
a pinch of salt

4-5 1/2 inch slices of tofu, pressed
2 tbs vegetable oil

-- Mix the water and chickpea flour into a thick paste.
-- Mix the spices and cornmeal in another bowl.
-- Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet on medium-high heat.
-- After pressing the tofu, rub the tofu in the wet mixture. You may need to massage it onto all sides of the tofu. Then press firmly in the cornmeal mixture on all sides. Repeat with all slices.
-- When all tofu is breaded, cook each slice on each side for about 3-5 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Place on a paper towel or paper bag to drain.
-- Top with creole sauce and cactus slaw.

1 comment:

Andrew Warner said...

Now this is something I could eat every day... probably the best tofu I've ever had. Make this again for me soon?