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Maple-Apple Cider Tofu with Stuffing and Apple Cranberry Chutney

Posted Oct 07 2010 4:57pm
Here is my contribution to Thanksgiving this year. It may look a bit complicated, but it really isn't that bad. Once everything is chopped and sliced and ready to go, the whole thing comes together pretty quickly. When I go back home for Thanksgiving I am usually responsible for providing the vegan entree (all the sides are made vegan), and this one seems perfect because it incorporates traditional Thanksgiving flavours but can be eaten alongside other holiday fare. The components really work well together, so try to get a bit of everything in each bite.

Apple Cranberry Chutney
INGREDIENTS
- 2 tbsp margarine
- 4 Gala apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (or another cooking apple)
- 1/4 cup golden raisins (optional)
- 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2-4 tbsp apple cider
- 10 fresh sage leaves, chopped

METHOD
1. Heat margarine over med-hi heat. Add apples and cook for 5 mins, stirring regularly. Add raisins and cranberries and cook for 3 mins.
2. Add maple syrup and mix well, then add 2 tbsp of cider. Cook until cranberries burst and apples are soft but still have some texture. Add more cider, if needed. It should be moist but not runny. Lower the heat and let simmer while you prep the other components of the dish.
3. When ready to assemble the dish, mix in the sage leaves and remove from heat.

Stuffing
INGREDIENTS
- 2 slices sourdough bread (or so. You will need 1.5 cups of cubed bread when you are done)
- 2 tbsp margarine
- 1 leek, white and light green part, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp apple cider
- 1 tsp thyme
- 4 cups packed baby spinach
- salt and pepper

METHOD
Turn oven on to 300 degrees
1. Heat a frying pan over med to med-hi heat. Lightly butter (margarine?) the sourdough bread on both sides and fry both sides for 2-3 mins, until golden. Remove from pan and cut into 1/4" cubes. Measure out 1.5 cups and put into a bowl.
2. Put the pan back on the stove over medium heat. Add the 2 tbsp of margarine, and when melted add leeks and garlic. Fry for about 5 mins, until leeks are translucent but not too brown. Reduce heat if needed.
3. Add cider and thyme and mix well. Add spinach and cook until wilted but still a vibrant green. Season with salt and pepper then add to the bread cubes. Mix well. Put in an oven proof container and keep warm in the oven.

Maple-Apple Cider Tofu
INGREDIENTS
- 2 tbsp margarine
- 1 pkg firm or extra firm tofu
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp apple cider
- salt and pepper

METHOD
1. Cut the tofu in half vertically, then cut each half into 5 thin slices. Use a 2" biscuit cutter to cut out 10 rounds. (The size of your rounds may vary, but since my tofu block is roughly 4 x 2 this worked out perfectly).
2. While you are cutting the tofu, heat a frying pan on the stove over med-hi heat. Add margarine and swirl pan to melt, then add tofu circles. Fry for 3-5 mins, only on one side, until a nice golden brown.
3. Add maple syrup to the pan and swirl/shake to distribute. Flip tofu over and swirl/shake again. Season lightly with salt, and a some freshly ground pepper. Add cider to the pan and swirl/shake to distribute. Flip tofu over (i.e. fried side is now back down, and season with salt and pepper. Let reduce for a minute or so, then remove from heat.

TO ASSEMBLEThis dish relies on a biscuit cutter (or metal ring) that is 2" in diameter, and 1.5" tall. Place one tofu circle on a plate, fried side down. Place ring over the tofu, then pack in stuffing, compressing the stuffing down with a spoon. Carefully remove ring, then top with another tofu circle, fried side up. Top that with a generous spoonful of chutney.

The chutney recipe makes plenty, so serve more on the side.
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