Yeah, that sounds pretty gnarly. Forget the silly title – what I’m saying is: eat more tofu! Reducing meat consumption is something we’ve been trying to do for a while now (not for any humane reasons, mind you, but just cuz I’m cheap and most weeks I don’t want to pay these goshdarn crazy beef and chicken prices. Plus there’s the whole green issue), and tofu is the miracle protein I turn to first. Some folks disrespect tofu because of its lack of flavor, but that is exactly the reason others exalt it, since it is so versatile.
Lately I only buy Trader Joe’s Super High Protein (!), Extra-Firm (!!) tofu, so my lazy self can skip the draining part required for less firm tofus. Plus, this particular product is so dense it’ll go a long way – very important for the hungry mouths I have to feed. I was pleasantly surprised that usually a single block will be plenty for the three of us to share.
I usually cut the blocks up into 1/2-inch cubes and stirfry them with random veggies and oyster sauce (borrrinnnggg), but lately I’ve been taking it up a notch and dredging the l’il buggers in cornstarch and deep-frying them in grapeseed oil. This process yields nice meaty morsels with a crispy coating that can then be tossed into salads, noodle stir-fries, rice dishes, you name it – throw it anywhere you want some extra protein.
Having recently gotten over my fear of frying, this time I breaded and pan-fried the tofu cut into finger-food-sized sticks. Pretend it’s fish. Pretend it’s chicken. Whatever your fancy, boy, what yumminess.
To accompany the crunchy logs, I chopped up a head of romaine, quartered some leftover boiled new potatoes and tossed both in red wine vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. As with all fried foods, a dipping sauce was in order, so I made a sort-of-tartar sauce with mayo, hot dog relish, tabasco, and some Guinness whole-grain mustard (brought back to us from Ireland by our awesome neighbors), and dolloped it right on the suckers. The lightly dressed tang of the salad balanced nicely with the tofu sticks smeared with the creamy, kickin’ sauce. What can I say, we all licked the platter clean!