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Flash in the Pan: Mex-Ital Tofu Scramble

Posted Jul 28 2008 8:14pm


[I've decided to offer a mini-post every once in a while, for a dish that comes together incredibly quickly, or else is so easy to make that no recipe is required.  Here's today's "Flash in the Pan."]

[Non-salsa version]

Oooh. . . I’m feeling the crunch.  I wish I could say that’s the “crunch” of a lovely rice crisp-filled chocolate bar or the crunch of ice in a gin and tonic as I lounge by a pool, or even the crunch of my feet as they traverse a lovely woodsy trail withThe Girls, but no; the crunch I am experiencing is the crunch of marking as the semester nears its end.  And now that we’ve reached this critical juncture in the term, I’m afraid I won’t be able to post as often as I’d like, at least for a couple of weeks.

I did discover that I’ve got quite a few photos from previous cooking adventures, however, patiently waiting for posts, so I’ll try to clear out some old files over the next while as I simultaneously clear out that pile of marking.

First up is a recipe I remembered while readingKaty’s postyesterday, about her first-ever tofu scramble. I realized I’ve got no fewer than 4 potential posts about various tofu dishes, as the quintessential bean is a regular in our household and I’m always trying out different recipes in a quest for variety and novelty. I’ll start you off with this super-easy Flash in the Pan recipe before moving on to other favorite scrambles in the next week or two.

Like so many of you, I am a big fan ofVeganomicon.  One recipe in particular calls to me over and over, sort of likeCasablancaorIt’s A Wonderful Life:  no matter how many times I sample Isa and Terry’s Caesar salad, I’m always excited to see it again. In fact, I do believe I’ve never tasted a Caesar dressing quite as good as that one, vegan or otherwise. (”We’re pretty fond of it, too, Mum.  We just love that high-protein, high-fat combination of tofu and ground almonds!”)

Just a wee problem:  every timethe HHand I whip up a batch of that dressing for our romaine lettuce, we end up with enough silky, garlicy coating for 10-12 servings.  But we are only two.  And yes, I eat Caesar for four days in a row–butstillend up with half the dressing in a jar in the fridge.  So, what to do with the leftovers?

Last weekend, I had a little epiphany:  why not COOK IT??  Yes, my friends, I heated up a Caesar salad dressing.  And not only that; I also mixed it with salsa and crumbled tofu.  Yep, life sure is wacky in the DDD household!  (”You said it, Mum!But does this mean we get to lick dressing off your fingers now?”)

And you know what?  It was fantastic!  The combination of slightly spicy (I used a medium-hot salsa), creamy and pungent was to-die-for.  The raw garlic in the dressing is cooked a bit, thereby mitigating the usual bite when that particular bulb is eaten raw.  The dressing-salsa mixture was the perfect consistency–thick enough to smother and cling to the chunks of tofu, yet soft enough to remain a bit saucy. (And we’re all for saucy here at DDD).

The second time I tried it, we were actually all out of salsa, so I just used a chopped onion sautéed in a tad of olive oil, a (large) chopped tomato and a few sprinkles of tabasco, for a very similar effect.  I think I’m addicted to this stuff now (or, at least, for the next couple of weeks, before I move on to something else. . . not only wacky, but fickle, too. I guess that’s just what life is like during crunch time.).

Mex-Ital Tofu Scramble

[Salsa version]

If you’re in a hurry and happen to have leftover Caesar dressing in the fridge, this is a great scramble for breakfast or lunch.  People are particular about the tofu they use for scrambles–I like really firm, solid chunks, but if you prefer the water-packed kind, go for it.  This is lovely on a piece of spelt pita.

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 package extra-firm tofu (about 350 grams or 12 ounces), crumbled or cut in small cubes

leftover Caesar salad dressing (about 1/2 cup or 125 ml.)–I use theVeganomicon recipe

about 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa

1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro (optional)

In a large frypan, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the tofu and sauté just until the bits of tofu begin to dry out on the edges and perhaps start to brown a little.  Stir in the Caesar dressing and salsa and mix to blend well, coating all the tofu.  Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens just a bit and is heated through, 3-5 minutes.  Stir in cilantro if desired. Breakfast* is served! Makes 4 servings.

*or lunch, or dinner.

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