Friday, August 27, 2010

Southern Tofu on a Corn Cake

I can't help myself, I have made this twice already this week! It's really just a version of my Memphis BBQ Tofu, but with fresh garden ingredients that give it a more refined and delightful taste. It is sweet and sour with a touch of hot, and goes perfectly with the hearty and slightly sweet corn cake below. I served this with a side of greens and some fresh garden produce. The corn cakes are from the August 2010 issues of VegNews (anyone see me listed on the last page as a Top Ten blog?) and are only adapted slightly because I did not have all the ingredients.

Southern Tofu
- 1 pkg firm tofu, diced
- 2 tbsp margarine
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 green pepper, small dice
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp mustard
- hot sauce to taste
- 1/4 cup ketchup (more as needed)
- salt to taste
- chopped parsley to garnish

Prepare tofu however you see fit. You could leave it raw, but I fry it up in a touch of oil over med-hi heat, turning regularly to get a nice golden colour on each side and to give it a more chewy texture.
1. Heat margarine and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 10-12 mins, stirring regularly, until beginning to get golden on the edges. Add garlic and cook 1 min, then add green pepper and cook 2-3 mins, until starting to soften.
2. Add bourbon to the pan and mix well, letting it cook down a bit (just a min or two). Add brown sugar and bring to bubbling. Let cook for 2 mins.
3. Add vinegar, lemon juice, tomatoes, paprika, mustard, and hot sauce. Bring to bubbling, then reduce heat, and let simmer for about 5 mins, letting tomatoes cook down a bit. Add ketchup to thicken, and season to taste. Add tofu back to the pan and stir to coat. Cook a few mins to heat tofu back up and absorb some sauce. Serve over corn cake and garnish with parsley.

Corn Cakes
Makes 6
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp ground flax seed
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp boiling water
- 1 tbsp canola oil

Heat a thin layer of oil in a frying pan over medium to med-hi heat
1. Whisk cornmeal, baking powder, flax, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add boiling water and mix until just moistened. Add canola and stir to incorporate. The batter will thicken a bit as the cornmeal absorbs more water, so add more water if needed.
2. Spoon equal portions of batter into the hot oil, and press into patties. (This is what the original recipe calls for, but I actually found it easier to wet my hands and pat the dough/batter into patties). Cook for 2-3 mins each side, until golden, then drain on paper.