Friday, January 04, 2008

Cashew-Ginger Tofu

This dinner turned into a big mess..or so I thought at first glance.

First, I realized that I really like my tofu flavored and baked before I use it a recipe. Somehow I forgot this and tried to make it as the recipe stated. And, like I knew it would, it was still soft and spongy when done. *Kicking my own butt*

Then, I made the recipe as stated, but killed the cashew-ginger gravy/sauce by cooking it too long. And yep, just like the recipe said - it turned into a pasty-gluey-icky mess. And I think I added a wee bit too much time I'll measure it out better.

After that - you see how this is quickly turning into a disaster - I realized that I forgot to make the rice. *Another swift kick*

Okay, no rice, looking at the broccoli we were going to have as a side, I decided to put the tofu and sauce over the broccoli. It's just too bad that I WAY over steamed the broccoli. A big mushy mess. *A really hard kick in the rear*

I apologized to everyone as we sat down to dinner, told them all the mistakes I made, and how if everyone would just give it the old college try I would be happy. Well, I couldn't even give it the old college try. I decided to make a salad real quick. Well, while I was making the salad, a funny thing happened. People started eating! Not only eating but asking for more! What!?!? Even Boo ate three pieces of the tofu. WOW! What happened!?

Turns out that I was the only one who cared about gummy sauce, spongy tofu, and mushy broccoli. (Not to mention the green bean salad from yesterday that didn't reheat so well.) Hmm.

Whatever, I'll take it. Next time though I will prebake the tofu, use less ginger, watch the sauce carefully so it won't gum up and make sure to not over steam the broccoli. And, forgetting about the rice actually led to a great "serve it over broccoli" discovery.

Make no mistake, the recipe is a great one, it just happened to fall in the hands of an inexperienced, not-so-good-anyway cook, and, well, you can see what happened.

No picture, because as was par for the course today, I could not find the camera. :(

Recipe Source: Dreena's Vegan Recipes

Cashew-Ginger Tofu

1/3 cup cashew butter
3½ tbsp tamari
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp agave nectar
¾ cup water
1 pkg (12-oz/350-g) firm or extra-firm tofu (frozen or fresh), sliced ¼–½ -in (5–10-mm) thick squares and patted to remove excess moisture

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Using a hand blender or food processor, combine cashew butter, tamari, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and agave nectar and purée, until cashew butter is incorporated and mixture is smooth. Add water and purée again until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

Pour a little of mixture into an 8x12-in (20x30-cm) baking dish to cover bottom, then add tofu and pour in remaining sauce to cover evenly. At this point, either cover and refrigerate to marinate for 1 hour or more, or bake immediately.

To bake, cover with aluminium foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove cover, stir well, and bake again uncovered for 5–7 minutes, until sauce has thickened (lightly stir if necessary). Do not overbake, or the sauce will become too thick and pasty.

My Notes:
-Double the sauce (double the recipe, except the tofu)
-Chop/grind some cashews for the top after serving

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