Saturday, July 2, 2011

Tofu Steaks with Red Pepper-Walnut Sauce and Saffron Potatoes

With all the fresh herbs in our yard, I thought it would be a perfect time to make this recipe. It's loaded with flavor and simply unique. Ever have someone over for dinner and wish to impress them/convert them to a plant-based diet? Haha. I think this vibrant-colored dish bursting with flavor will do just the trick. Muwahahahaa!! *mischievously taps fingers together* Maybe not, but it sure is delicious. I served this with italian bread and saffron potatoes. I've been wanting to make a recipe with saffron to honor a request. These potatoes looked delicious to me. The flavors all went so well together. Try it for yourself. I made the tofu steaks vegan but the original recipe is from Cooking Light.

Tofu Steaks with Red Pepper-Walnut Sauce (vegan)
     serves 4

1 14 oz pkg water-packed extra-firm tofu
1/4 C. fresh basil, finely chopped
2-4 T. water
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
1 T. Dijon mustard
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. crushed red pepper
8 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 C. flour
3 "eggs" worth of egg replacer, mixed according to box
3/4 C. panko (or any breadcrumbs)
2 T. olive oil
3 T. chopped walnuts, toasted
2 red bell peppers, roasted (or a 12 oz jar)
Roast peppers and set aside. (See instructions here on how to roast peppers.)
Meanwhile, Cut tofu crosswise into 4 slices. Place slices on paper plate lined with several layers of paper towels; cover with additional paper towels. Let stand 30 minutes, pressing down occasionally. 

Make marinade:In a large ziplock bag, combine basil, water, parsley, thyme, vinegar, dijon mustard, salt, red pepper and garlic. Add tofu and seal. Marinate in refrigerator 1 hour, turning bag occasionally. 

Set 3 shallow dishes on the counter. In the first, add flour. In the second, "egg"s mixed well with a fork. And panko in the third dish. 

Remove tofu from marinade, reserving remaining marinade. Working with one piece of tofu at a time, dredge tofu in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in "egg", coating well and allowing excess to drip off. Coat tofu completely with panko, pressing lightly to adhere. Set aside. Repeat procedure with remaining tofu. 

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil to pan, swirling to coat. Add tofu to pan; reduce heat to medium; and cook for 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Combine remaining marinade, walnuts, and bell peppers in a blender; process until fairly smooth. (I like a little texture, you can make it as smooth as  you prefer.) Pour mixture into a pan til heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve with tofu. 
The tofu and the sauce was delicious! The leftover sauce would be tasty on a grilled veggie sandwich or in a pasta. After I blended the sauce in the food processor, I opened the lid and boom! The fresh garden herbs, walnuts, garlic, roasted pepper.. ahh.. the flavors all came bursting out like a beautiful melody, perfectly in harmony.. Now for the potatoes!

My sister asked me to make a recipe using saffron. I've never used it and always wanted to. I picked an $8 bottle up at whole foods, pulled out the tiny tiny bag that contained a few pinches of saffron and decided I better find a recipe. I found a recipe online and used it as a guide. I thought it would be perfect with this dinner. See what you think.
Saffron Potatoes

5-6 russet potatoes
4-6 sprigs of saffron
olive oil 
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper

Preheat oven 425.
Wash potatoes and cut in fourths. Place in a large saucepan and fill it with enough water to cover the potatoes. Add saffron and bring to a boil. Cook potatoes until just tender. About 5 minutes or so. 

While potatoes are cooking, Line a baking sheet with foil. When potatoes are tender, drain and lightly shake, removing access water. Dump potatoes on sheet and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and combine. Bake until nice and crispy, about 30-40 mins. 

 So crisp yet tender in the center...Perfect! It was fun using a new spice. If you have any suggestions for interesting spices or recipes, let me know! 

God's blessings to you,

Chef Teebs

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