Several months ago, I found a amazing recipe through Pinterest. I am fortunate to have a husband that will eat tofu. There are many people out there that won't. I'm even more fortunate that he will also eat meatless veggie crumbles, meatless sausages, and all sorts of other fake meat products. He may draw the line at turkey bacon. I know I do.
Yes, turkey is real meat. But turkey bacon is fake bacon.
Earlier this week, I was feeling a little lazy and not quite up to making whatever concoction I had planned, so I went with the Carmelized Tofu recipe from 101 Cookbooks. I actually have Heidi Swanson's cookbook, Super Natural Every Day. I bought it at Patina the same day I bought this thing. Both have been handy, but really...this is a much better way to cook eggs in the microwave.
This recipe is a delicious way to make tofu - I'm sure that is primarily because it has three tablespoons of sugar in it (that doesn't sound like a lot...but when you are scooping it out you just think, "holy moly, that's a lot of sugar!"). It also has a lot of brussels sprouts, so it's all good.
So, here is everything you need.
Sugar! I used some raw sugar that I have had for approximately eight years. It was bought when I still worked at St. Ben's and made a disaster of a jerk chicken for my then-boyfriend. The relationship was kind of a disaster, too (I was going to say he was kind of a disaster, but that's mean). I did use the powers of the internet to find out that sugar lasts indefinitely, so I could use this when I'm 98. There are also some toasted pecans, cilantro, salt garlic, the brussels sprouts, and peanut oil. How can you not be excited about a recipe that uses peanut oil? The recipe calls for a splash. My splashes are quite generous and would be suitable for swimming by very tiny children that have been shrunk by that laser ray thing in "Despicable Me".
Where is the tofu you ask? It's off to the side, getting a little tofu massage by it's buddies, the cans of chickpeas. I am amazed how much water there is in tofu.
Now, I am not the type of person who cooks all Rachael Ray style and chops while something else is boiling. Save time? Bah! For me, cooking is fraught with stress and worry that everything in the pan will burn while I mince the carrots, so I prefer to get all my ingredients ready to go before hand. This is called "mise en place". It also gives me a chance to use my wee little prep bowls. Those French know what they are doing!
Of course, this occasionally leaves me standing around with nothing to do while my tofu gets squished. More time for this, I say!
I like to drink my wine from the little tasting glasses we got at the New Glarus Brewery. I was also surprised that this wine actually had a cork, because it seemed like more of a screw-top brand to me. Whatever. I don't know what I mean by that.
So, I had a couple glasses of wine and then started to brown my tofu. Recipes always state about how long it should be before your tofu or meat or onions should be browned. It always takes longer for me. But, it does look lovely when it gets all golden. Then I added my pecans and the sugar. It is just so pretty, I think.
It gets a chance to rest on a plate where it makes the acquaintance of the cilantro. A match made in heaven if you ask me.
I had no problem getting the brussels sprouts all nice and crispy.
Then it all comes together. David felt it could use a little something else, perhaps some red pepper flakes. I'll try that next time because I appreciate a little zing with my food.
This is AMAZING. You should make it. You will love it.