Friday, November 17, 2006

Plucking the Tofu in time for Thanksgiving

The last post was a little long and self-indulgent. But my nostalgic demon had to have it before I could get on to what I wanted to write, which is more on the topic of Green Parenting, and is short and sweet... Although it is another cooking post, but I promise it's the last for awhile.

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks learning how to cook tofu. I haven't learned sooner because I'm terrified of marninades. But since I've been an on-off vegetarian for over ten years, I figured it's about time I got over that hump. Oh, and when I write, "I've been learning to cook tofu" I mean, actually, that I’ve just tried the same two recipes twice: A Veggie Loaf and a Veggie Cutlets with gravy.

I’m doing this partially in order to provide my family with tasty food on Thanksgiving, but mostly because I just miss hearty food supplemented with a vegetable, sometimes, and beans and/or pasta doesn’t always do it for me. I'm not experimenting with the Tofurkey because that's my friend Chuck's territory.

I found the recipes at Vegweb.com, and since I really hate most tofu-based meat replacements, and I really loved these recipes, I decided I ought to share them. I don’t know how long the link will work, as they’re special Thanksgiving recipes, but if it breaks, go to VegWeb.com and look up holiday/Thanksgiving recipes.

The two I like are Thanksgiving Meatloaf and Marc’s Cutlets -- and note, something like fifty other people also gave them five stars... And I'm sure I don't need to tell you these hardcore vegan/vegetarian types are generally pretty damned stingy with the stars. Both recipes are really well flavored...

My special notes for anybody who actually decides to lift one of these recipes:
Veggie Cutlets: a) you eventually turn the marinade into a gravy GreenDaddy is a huge fan of, and which will allow us to finally have gravy on Thanksgiving; b)I pressed, then froze, then thawed the tofu before marinating; c) I dipped the marinated chunks in egg to make the breading stick better, added chopped almonds to the breading to make it more glamorous, and cooked it in the oven instead of on the stove. GreenDaddy likes the baked, which are crunchier; I like the fried, which are fattier, but still crunchy.

Meat Loaf: I didn't try, but think you could use the old tofurkey-collander method to make this shaped like a dead and plucked turkey. I also accidentally purreed the onions on my first round of making it, and I think it made the recipe better, it wasn't at all crumbly like the second round was.

So there you have it. And if anybody out there can point me to any other types of tofu recipes...please do!

3 comments:

dear wife said...

I will definately have to try that veggie cutlet recipe.I love baked tofu, but have yet to find a good recipe. ZD makes a really good pan fried tofu. We press it, cut it reall thin and cover it in shake and bake with whatever spices we feel like, then we pan fry the tofu until it is crispy. It is really good served with twice baked potatoes.

Anonymous said...

You should know that I cooked the Beets Roetsi (sp?) for the second time yesterday and impressed some friends with it. Keep up the info sharing :)

Izzy said...

I used to be quite the tofu cooker but I haven't done much with it in the last several years. I have a thyroid issue and I'm supposed to go easy on the soy. I had this barbecued tofu recipe that was really good. It involved taking half inche slices of firm tofu and covering it with barbecue sauce while you slow-baked it in the oven. It has a nice dense, somewhat chewy texture that I liked.

Miah, if you ever want to review any organic or vegetarian products (or anything really)for Props and Pans, please let me know. We like all sorts of perspectives, good or bad, and we do have some green and/or veggie readers!