The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen, includes healthy, meatless recipes like Cashew Cream; Beet Ravioli with Balsamic Pickled Figs and Green Garlic Oil; Agave-Lime Grilled Tofu with Asian Slaw and Mashed Sweet Potatoes; and Paella with "Sausage," Nori-Dusted Oyster Mushrooms, and Wine-Braised Artichoke Hearts.
Makes 4 servings
Prep time: 1 hour, plus 2 hours marinating
This is an easy recipe that makes a gorgeous, colorful plate—and the leftovers are great for sandwiches. Agave is similar to honey, but it has a lighter taste. The marinade here is sweet and savory, and when you reduce it in the pan after the tofu is cooked, it turns into a wonderfully sticky glaze.
When you're using firm or extra-firm tofu in a recipe, you always want to get the water out first: After you rinse the tofu, just wrap it in a dish towel, put something heavy on top, and leave it for about 20 minutes. You'll get a denser product that will absorb the flavor of your sauce better. Of course, as with almost everything, the tastiest tofu is homemade, and the process is pretty easy. It's a lot like making mozzarella. You boil soy milk, add a coagulant (usually some kind of salt), then strain the mixture through cheesecloth to catch the curds. The curds go into a mold, which has holes for drainage, with a weight on top to push out the water. That's all there is to it. If you have a soy-milk maker, you can even go back a step and start right from the beans. Whether you go with store-bought tofu or you make your own, if you ever want a chewier texture (for, say, braising recipes), freeze and thaw your tofu before you prepare it—this gives it a more fibrous consistency.
For the tofu:
For the slaw:
For the sweet potatoes:
1. Make the tofu: Place the tofu in a single layer in a shallow nonreactive dish. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining tofu ingredients. Pour over the tofu and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet. Using a slotted spoon, remove the tofu from the marinade (reserve the marinade) and arrange it in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, pour the marinade into a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until reduced to a syrupy glaze, about 8 minutes.
4. Heat an outdoor grill or preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Transfer the tofu slabs from the baking sheet to the grill and grill for 3 to 4 minutes, or until grill-marked. Turn the tofu over and generously brush with the glaze; cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until grill-marked. Remove the tofu to the baking sheet, turning it over so the glazed side is down, then glaze the top side.
5. Make the slaw: In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, agave nectar, salt, lime juice, and soy sauce. Continue whisking vigorously in one direction as you slowly pour in the oil in a thin stream until emulsined. Add the remaining slaw ingredients to the bowl and toss to coat.
6. Make the sweet potatoes: Cook the sweet potatoes in a pot of boiling water for 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain. Put the sweet potatoes, Cashew Cream, Earth Balance, and chipotle pepper in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Alternatively, put the ingredients in a large bowl and use a handheld mixer. Whip on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
7. Assemble the dish: Place one quarter of the sweet potatoes in a scoop in the middle of a serving plate. Top with one quarter of the slaw. Place 2 tofu slices on top of the slaw or angled against the sweet potatoes and slaw. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
This page created April 2010
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