Thursday, January 24, 2008

Something Old, Something New

When I made the Quinoa with Caramelized Onions earlier in the week (something old), it made a ton. I knew I needed to find something to make with it that would compliment the flavor without copying it. Another Jack Bishop recipe, Spicy Pan-Glazed Tofu (something new), was a perfect match. Now, I have to be honest. I'm still struggling with tofu. I like it crumbled and squeezed dry, then cooked, but slab o'tofu still leaves me cold. It has the texture of over-fried eggs. Plus, I made roasted Brussels sprouts again, which eclipses every other food group in my kitchen. Plus, I pretty much had a toast orgy when I got home tonight. I was starving, it was cold, and toast just sounded good. So, my appetite didn't exactly have a razor-sharp edge by the time I got dinner on the table.

With that said, though, I can still be objective about this. The warm, cinnamon undertones of the quinoa dish, and the sweetness of the caramelized onions, called out the sticky, warm notes of maple syrup and balsamic vinegar in the tofu glaze. In this preparation, the tofu is sliced, patted dry, and pan-fried to develop a golden brown crust. The glaze ingredients are then poured into the pan with the tofu, where the crispy cutlets absorb the flavor but still retain their chewy texture and crisp exterior. I turned my back at a crucial moment, though, and let the syrupy glaze absorb completely into the tofu. I think I would have liked this better had I had some of the glaze to drizzle over the tofu. I really liked the glaze, and I can see using it over a crumbled tofu/browned mushroom mixture, or even to glaze braised and browned tempeh.

And I just need to work on my tofu attitude.


LisaRene said...

This is exactly my kind of food! So glad to have found your blog, you cook up some wonderful recipes.

Ricki said...

This sounds totally delicious to me--and I am a great fan of tofu (though wasn't always--it does take some time!). Must admit I hadn't thought of the overcooked egg analogy before, though it IS sort of like that, isn't it?

Just keep making this type of recipe, and you'll come to love tofu, too. (Oh, and now I REALLY must get that cookbook!) :)

Michelle said...

Thank you both for your comments. LisaRene--I do find that we eat a much more varied, adventurous diet as vegetarians than we did as omnivores. I simply have to think outside the box more often.

Ricki--I'll keep trying it, because I do think tofu has a place in a healthy vegetarian diet. I'm still better off with the crumbled, squeezed dry, cooked method, but I'm sure that enough exposure with flavorful sauces will get me there. Bishop has several other tofu glaze recipes--Tofu with Warm Spices, Tofu with Mole Sauce--that I'm sure I'll be trying.