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So what did I think of when John gave us the 4 random numbers that included Tofu? Well my first thought was “can we get some new numbers”! I then thought about it some more and came to the conclusion that these ingredients were truly an example of a “Chopped” basket. I must admit I’ve never made it and hardly ever eat it. That may change after eating this dish. I started thinking about what I could make and came up with some ways I could use all these ingredients in in a dish. Sriracha was easy as I use it quite often. Corn? No problem here either. Apples gave me a slight pause but then I thought of using it in a slaw so I was good. No, tofu was the problem, so I thought about tofu and what it’s like. It’s like a geometrically shaped meat substitute. Kind of like Spam but without any actual meat. So how do I normally use Spam? Well I don’t use it very often but when I do it’s normally in a sandwich. A tofu sandwich didn’t sound like a winner, but then I remembered seeing something on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives where the cook used plantains as the bread which I’m dubbing the “Planwich”. Plantains instead of bread. Link: http://www.foodnetwork.com/restaurants/il/chicago/the-jibarito-stop-restaurant.html Now that was the ticket and I also decided to use Sriracha in all 3 dishes. The first thing I did was prepare the tofu. Now I don’t know much about tofu but I do know that you need to get the moisture out of it so it can soak up whatever seasoning / marinate your using on it. I drained the liquid off and then sliced it up. Next I placed the slices on a double layer of paper towels and covered with another layer. I then place a 9 x 13 pan on top and pressed down to push more of the liquid out. (Note: I did this twice as the paper towels were completely soaked the first time) Next I made up a Sriracha Honey Marinade. Here are the ingredients. Stirred. I spread out some marinade on a 1/4 sheet, placed on the tofu and then covered each piece with the rest of the marinade. I covered this with foil and let it take a nice long rest. Next I went about making the bread for my Planwich. I took a plantain and cut the ends off and peeled it. I cut it in 2 and fried them in some preheated oil. I placed them on a plate with some paper towels to cool. I then took them and smashed them with a large smooth bottom pan. and then fried each one again. (Like a tostones) I then placed each one on a plate with some paper towels to cool. I then made up my Mexican Slaw using the apple in lieu of the jicama. (Link to recipe: https://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/18547-mexican-style-slaw-with-cilantro-lime-creama/) Apple cut and cored and then grated. Everybody in the pool and then stirred up with some Sriracha Cilantro Lime Creama. Now I took the tofu out to the grill. I placed them on my searing grate. (Note: I would have set it up differently but I was going to make pizza afterwards so that was why it’s set up this way. As it turned out, I didn’t have time for the pizza.) After approximately 10 minutes it looked like this. I look them off the grilled and on to a plate so I could now glaze them. I took what was left of the marinade and added some more honey, Sriracha and ponzu sauce and pour it onto a hot griddle and let it start to caramelize. Placed all the tofu pieces in the sauce and let it cook for 1 minute. I flipped them and repeated for another minute and here is what they looked like. I sliced up some tomato and red onion and made up some Sriracha mayo. I took one of the plantain slices and spread on the mayo and placed on the tofu and then the tomato, onion and some lettuce. And finally I made up the Mexican Street Corn (Esquites) with Sriracha Mayo Here’s my corn. I took 3 ears like this and cut off the kernels. I added 3 tbsp. of butter and 1/2 cup of finely chopped cilantro and stirred. As my 90 year old MIL was also eating this I took my serving and mixed in the balance of the Sriracha mayo that I had made up. (No Sriracha for her) Here is everything plated up with a Negro Modelo. This did not suck! In fact it was absolutely delicious and I would definitely make this again. Thanks for looking.
So I had some leftover smoked Mac & Cheese from my Sunday cook, and the guys in my staff wanted to try it fried, so I of course obliged. If we were going to do it though, we were going to do it big! I brought in that smoked bologna I made last night, and that extra pan of smoked mac, along with a bunch of other goodies. I forgot that those observing Lent wouldn't be able to enjoy the mac that had bacon in it, or the bologna, or the burgers I was planning on cooking, so I had to go to the freezer and pull out some veggie burgers, and some cold smoked Tofu I made up a few weeks ago. I cubed up the Tofu, tossed it in corn starch, and fried those babies up! Tasty smokey protein bites. Good enough plain, or also awesome dipped in various sauces. Next up, I cubed up the smoked mac from last weekend, washed in egg, and dipped in a mix of Panko and Italian breadcrumbs. After sitting in the freezer for a few hours, I tossed them in that hot peanut oil, and they came out perfect! Smoke, cheesy, and super crunchy! Then the beast burger! I used the company gasser, and threw on some fresh patties along with the veggie burgers. After dressing with a bit of Muenster cheese, I threw on a nice thick fried round of the mac and cheese I made last night. This was the whole reason we decided to grub today. One of my buddies asked me if I could cut the mac into a round "patty" and put it on the burger... HECK YES!! Follow with some nice fresh Onion, Lettuce, and Tomato, and you've got yourself a artery clogger on a bun right there!