Saturday, 1 November 2014

Tofu Steaks

Right so, third time lucky, finally I've managed to take a photo of these tofu steaks before we consumed them. Apologies for the really slapdash 'snap' of them but we were ready to eat and I had been sampling a rather nice French vino tinto (La Patrie Cotes de Bordeaux 2012 Merlot for the record - currently available in 'Sinsburys'). That's my excuse anyway.

The speed of taking the photo does however rather match the speed of preparation for these satisfying savouries. They are just so quick and easy and take just five ingredients; hence we have sampled them about three times in as many weeks.  

I was originally inspired to make these because we had a block of tofu and very little else in the fridge but I didn't want to go shopping.  Besides, I thought, surely tofu deserves to be made the 'main star' of a meal sometimes rather than cut up and hidden in the likes of a stir fry? The challenge was to make the rather subdued taste of tofu into something with a flavoursome punch quickly and with very little other ingredients.  My usual kitchen tactic of a good old rummage in the cupboards and fridge bore dividends.  Some caramelized onion humous and a jar of sun dried tomato paste got the ball rolling.  

After a bit of a gentle pressing to extract some of the water, I sliced the block of tofu carefully into four thin slabs. Placing two of these on a greased baking tray, I generously spread the humous on top of both.  Subconsciously I then reached for some dried oregano and gave both slices a good old sprinkle on top of the humous before sandwiching them with the top slice of tofu. Out came the jar of sun dried tomato paste and I wasn't shy in slathering it on top, right to the edges.  Then I faltered.  It needed something else.  I did think breadcrumbs but that wasn't exciting enough.  Then I thought nuts.  Like the vegan squirrels we are, we always keep a good stock of nuts and among said stock we had pistachios.  Perfect.  Taking a couple of small handfuls I blitzed them in our spice grinder before spooning the resulting powder on top of the tomato paste.  The steaks were baked at 200 degrees C for about 30 minutes until nicely browned and slightly crispy on top. Last night we had ours with baked sweet potatoes and salad leaves, avocado and lentil sprouts on the side.

Tofu, humous, oregano, sun-dried tomato paste and pistachios; it really is that simple.  I also think there are many more variations on this to try too.  How about using vegan cream cheese or miso instead of the humous, chili sauce or tahini and other nuts or sesame seeds on top. Experimentation is called for and I'd love to hear from anyone with a good combo. 

By the way, tofu that has been frozen first, then thawed and pressed also works a treat with this recipe. 


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