Tofu alla Grappa, Fennel Risotto
We decided to break out the vacuum-sealer again, after finding a bottle of grappa hiding in the back of the cabinet.
It’s the same technique as the Tofu L’Orange, with the same excellent results.
Tofu alla Grappa
16oz extra-firm tofu
The block of extra-firm tofu was cut into six cutlets and smoked with apple wood for 25 minutes.
1/4 cup grappa
pinch of salt and pepper
In a small pan, reduce the grappa by half to 2 tbs. and remove from heat.
Place the smoked tofu in a single layer in a vacuum-sealer bag, add the marinade and process. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
Remove from the bag and cut a slit in the side of each tofu cutlet, being careful not to poke through the edges.
Pan-fry the tofu in olive oil over medium-high heat until golden brown (about 4-5 minutes per side). Add a splash of tamari to evenly coat and cook the tofu for an additional minute. Remove and keep warm.
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 tbs. tarragon, minced
1 tbs. parsley, minced
1 1/2 cups of grapes, cut in half
In the same pan, add a little more oil and sweat the shallots and garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the tarragon and parsley, stir to combine (If you want to throw and additional shot of grappa in the sauce at this point we won’t tell). Add the grapes and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Remove half of the mixture and gently place inside the slit in the tofu. Puree the other half in a blender or use a immersion blender for a more “rustic” look, check for seasoning, reserve and keep warm.
Place the stuffed tofu on a sheet pan and bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes.
Serve hot topped with the sauce over the fennel risotto.
More than the weekend, I played with the very first of the numerous analogs I picked up at MT Marketplace, the vegan “smoky pork belly”. I need to say, very first of all, that although I utilized to adore bacon, and I’ve frequently heard of it as “the gateway back to meat”, I do not truly miss it, and I do not like most of the bacon analogs I’ve tried. Most bacon analogs possess a truly intense liquid smoke flavour, or if the flavour is okay, the texture is as well a lot like a cracker. I’m NOT a fan of liquid smoke. When I want a flavour as smoky, salty and complicated as bacon, I generally add alder wooden smoked cigarettes sea salt along with a dash of olive oil or toasted sesame oil. If I want some thing which is comparable to bacon in each flavour and texture, I like to make use of either pan-fried dulse, tempeh which is been simmered inside a marinade of shoyu, alder wooden smoked cigarettes sea salt, drinking water and occasionally garlic, smoked cigarettes paprika, or black pepper, or, for the most fatty bacon texture, fresh shiitake mushrooms pan-fried in olive oil till slightly browned and seasoned with alder wooden smoked cigarettes sea salt along with a dash of shoyu. As you are able to tell, in my home, we’re large fans of alder wooden smoked cigarettes sea salt–JD utilizes it anytime he can, and usually pleads for me to place it in the greens-blanching- drinking water.
In the package, the vegan pork stomach looked like a thick piece of black pepper cured, unsliced bacon. I toyed close to having a couple of suggestions, like utilizing it as the pork inside a batch of green chile, but in the end, I made the decision to attempt a little of it merely pan-fried with a number of the stunning Asian greens I experienced, to ensure that we could truly tastes the flavour, and get a really feel for the texture. I reduce about 1/4 cup of the vegan pork stomach into 1/4″ dice and as I diced I was a small impressed with the way the “meat” and “fat” experienced various textures, and I wondered if they would tastes various, as well. If I experienced been utilizing real bacon or pork stomach, I would not have required any salt or oil, but because the white component of the vegan pork stomach wasn’t truly solid body fat, I figured I’d require a little of oil. I heated about a teaspoon of safflower oil inside a cast iron pan, then additional the diced vegan pork stomach. I utilized safflower oil simply because I desired a flavor-neutral oil, to ensure that we could tastes all the flavour nuances of the pork stomach. Following the pork stomach started to brown, I additional the thick, sliced stalks of the Chinese broccoli, but did not include any salt, simply because I believed the vegan pork stomach would have lots of salt. At this point, I made the decision that a small garlic and some chili flakes would include a truly great flavour, so I additional a pinch of crushed red chili flakes, and about 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder (usually, I’d use fresh crushed garlic, but because my pan was currently hot, and there was some liquid in the pan, I knew the garlic powder wouldn’t burn). Following about two minutes, I additional the gorgeous, super-tiny heads of mystery greens, which I just washed and reduce in half. I sautéed these for about 1 much more minute, then additional the leafy tops of the Chinese broccoli and sautéed for about two much more minutes. Because the dish experienced a definite Asian bend, I believed some toasted sesame seeds will be a great garnish.
General, the dish was truly quite, and the taste was great, even though it would happen to be difficult to screw up individuals lovely greens. The vegan pork stomach was type of neat and enjoyable, but in this dish, it did not truly provide something new. JD like it sufficient, but did not rush back for seconds, and as I told JD, it did not truly add something that tempeh as well as smoked or fried tofu couldn’t. The big pieces of black pepper additional a truly great taste, and the smoke taste was moderate sufficient to become pleasant without having tasting overpoweringly artificial, however it was nearly as well moderate, actually, I discovered myself wishing I experienced additional a little bit of smoked salt although cooking. The “meat” and “fat” component of the pork stomach did have slightly various tastes and textures, which was novel, but following this dish, I wasn’t impressed sufficient with this element to picture heading away from my method to purchase it once again.
A minimum of, I couldn’t picture heading away from my to purchase it once again till I experienced The BLT of AWESOMENESS. As I was placing away the remaining unused vegan pork stomach, I believed I ought to truly attempt slicing it and utilizing it like bacon. I made the decision that a BLT will be the method to go, partially simply because I experienced most of the elements on hand. I frequently make Dulse, Lettuce and Tomato sandwiches having a slice of avocado, and I adore these simply because they’re fast, simple and scrumptious. I figured the vegan pork stomach might be an fascinating addition, but I no concept..<br>.
I started by heating a little quantity of safflower oil in my cast iron pan, then adding the sliced vegan pork stomach, along with a small little bit of smoked sea salt to enhance the smokiness. Although that was browning, I reduce my ciabatta into a sandwich-size square, and sliced it in 50 %. I spread FYH vegan mayonnaise on the best 50 %, then topped that with two layers of thinly-sliced tomato–you could use 1 layer of thick-cut tomato for much less mess, but arrive on, sloppy is much more scrumptious! At about this point, the very first side of vegan pork stomach slices experienced browned, so I flipped then, and positioned slices from 50 % a little avocado on the bottom 50 % of the ciabatta, sprinkled it with sea salt, and place a great bed of baby red and green romaine leaves more than the avocado. By now, the vegan pork stomach was nicely browned, so I positioned it more than the lettuce, place the best 50 % of ciabatta on, and sliced it.
It had been gorgeous. Thinly sliced layer upon layer, mayonnaise coating tomatoes and leading to them to gently slide down the baby lettuce, although the vegan bacon glistens and the avocado all but hides below the lettuce. I nearly did not wish to consume it. Nearly. It had been certainly 1 of the best 5 sandwiches I’ve actually had in my existence. I believe it’d most likely even be the second greatest, only behind a tempeh reuben created with fresh, homemade sourdough rye.
Although I had been constructing my sandwich, JD observed I had been in the kitchen, and came to determine what I had been producing. He made the decision he also desired a sandwich with the vegan pork belly (despite the fact that he had lunch meat and smoked salmon in the fridge), so he sliced up and fried the remainder. Because he doesn’t like avocado, lettuce, raw tomato, or mayo in any form (JD picky?? Nah!), he just had a vegan pork belly sandwich, so apparently it was much more than tasty sufficient to satisfy even a omnivore, even when meat choices are obtainable. Simply because of its stellar participation in The BLT of AWESOMENESS, I need to say I would certainly purchase vegan “smoky pork belly” once again, but most likely only for use in sandwiches.