Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pink Smoky Baked Tofu is for Lovers.


I blame Kim.
Ever since Kim brought me one of her leftover baked tofu rectangles, I've been all over the white stuff.  It's easy for me to forget how good tofu can be, that's why I need regular baked tofu reminders.  My favorite way to eat baked tofu is straight out of the fridge, where it never lasts long.  I like to bake it until it dries out and becomes very chewy.

It's just a bacon fantasy.  It's not the real thing
While this recipe's inspired by a tofu bacon I saw in The Veganopolis Cookbook, I would not describe it thus.  It's smoky, delicious, and would go very well with cheese grits, yes.  But it's not bacon, and I for one am happy that it's not.

You can eat this stuff any which way.  Once the tofu's been well marinated it's great raw, pan-fried or baked.  I've done all three, and my gustatory system's been delighted each time.  I've also soaked tempeh in this, and it came out great browned on a grill.

We like it with breakfast/brunch stuff like pancakes and waffles, on top of noochy broccoli noodles, in salad rolls, in salads with Julie's Creamy Tomato Dressing, and straight out of the oven. But, I especially like to snack on it out of the fridge and as is.  I've been marinating two pounds at a time, because even with just the two of us here, this disappears fast.

Beets are treats.
Once the tofu's been used up, the leftover beets are magical, too.  I've been stuffing them into raw collard leaves with a little cashew cream cheese and devouring them.  They pickle in the marinade, and if you get them thin enough, they get really soft and flexible. Definitely use a mandoline if you have one, it makes a big difference.

These tofu slices were marinated for a few days and then grilled in a little olive oil while the waffles cooked.
Pink Smoky Baked Tofu
Inspired by The Veganopolis Cookbook
Enough for 2 pounds of tofu.

What You Need:
    • 1/2 small beet, peeled and sliced as thinly as possible (use a mandoline if you have one)
    • 2 pounds firm/extra firm tofu, well pressed
    • 1/3 cup tamari
    • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 3-5 medium cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
    • 2 teaspoons smoked salt
    • 3" sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
    • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
    What You Do:
    1. Layer the bottom of an 8X8" lipped pan with half the beets.
    2. Slice the tofu into 1/3" slices and layer on top of the beets.
    3. In a medium bowl, prepare the marinade by mixing together the rest of the ingredients.  Pour on top of the tofu, then layer the rest of the beets on top.
    4. Tilt the pan around, so the marinade covers the tofu.  Marinate in the fridge for as long as you can stand it.  The longer the tofu remains in the marinade, the better the flavor. I often bake the tofu off little by little, letting pieces sit for up to a week.
    I know you know how to cook this in a pan, but this is how I bake it:  Preheat oven to 425F.  Place a single layer of tofu slices in a lipped metal pan and cover with 1/4" of marinade.  Bake, flipping the tofu over every 10-15 minutes until well done.  About 35-40 minutes.

    xo
    kittee

    15 comments:

    1. I'm not a huge fan of PINK but I can make allowances. Sounds great.

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    2. What a great idea! I love how the beets really, really pull their weight here. I had totally different and separate plans for the beets and tofu in my fridge, but I think they may commingle.

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    3. Ooh I always need ways to use beets - our CSA sends us so many when they're in season, and there are only so many times I can pickle or roast them.

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    4. So pink! I'm not the biggest beet fan, but I'm guessing the tofu doesn't really taste much like beets. Definitely trying this out soon!

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    5. Oh yes please! I love baked tofu, it's my favorite way to make tofu. This marinade looks awesome. Beets rock!

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    6. I prefer my baked tofu right out of the refrigerator, cold and chewy, just like you! It's amazing how a spin in the fridge makes it so much more dense and moist.

      All of the flavors in this tofu sound wonderful, except for the beets. I'm just not into them. Do you think the beet could be omitted and/or does it leave much of its beety flavor?

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      Replies
      1. Hi Cadry!
        You could definitely leave the beet out, but the color is my favorite thing about using them here. They don't really add too much flavor, just the color and maybe a bit of sweetness.

        xo
        kittee

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    7. I love the before and after. Before is almost phosphorescent! I love anything with tofu and most things pink.

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    8. How pretty is that? I want to put up a little shrine to its wonder in my front room!

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    9. I'm not *quite* sure about the pink, but baked tofu is awesome ... and, yes, totally best eaten cold from the fridge.

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    10. Pretty pink tofu! So lovely, through and through- That great flavor is clearly more than just skin deep. <3

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    11. Bacon Fantasy! Haha! I can't get enough baked tofu either, we sometimes press tofu and make tofu jerky. Better than the real thing I say. I need to get me some beets STAT and try this!

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    12. Pink tofu!!! This is the best! I loooove baked tofu and I pretty much always have a tub full in the fridge for snacking on or making quick sandwiches. I can't wait to try this recipe next time I have beets in the house.

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