Saturday, October 29, 2011

Apple Cider Tofu with Butternut Squash and Roasted Pears

Another recipe for all y'all having Thanksgiving in November, or for the rest of us who want a tasty fall meal.

Makes 8 portions
- 8 slices butternut squash (from the top end), about 1/8-1/4" thick, trimmed to the same size as the tofu
- 24 pear slices (i.e. peel pear, cut in half lengthwise, core, then slice vertically)
- olive oil
- salt
- sugar

- 1 pkg firm or extra firm tofu, vertically cut into 8 slices
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 tbsp margarine
- 1/2 cup apple cider

- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 large sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups diced cooking apple
- 1/4 cup apple cider
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
- 2 tsp fresh thyme
- salt and pepper

Cider Reduction
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1 tbsp margarine
Bring cider to boiling in a small saucepan, and let reduce over med-hi heat for about 40 mins, until reduced to about 1/3 cup.  Whisk in margarine, and serve warm.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
1. Toss squash slices, and then the pear slices, in a drizzle of olive oil (just enough to lightly coat).  Place squash and pear slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Sprinkle the squash lightly with salt and bake for 20 mins. Turn over all slices, then lightly salt the squash and sprinkle some sugar (about 1 tsp) on the pears.  Bake for another 20 mins, or until cooked and golden.
2. While the squash is baking, season both sides of the tofu slices with salt and pepper.  Heat the oil and margarine over med-hi heat, then fry tofu for 3-4 mins per side, or until golden brown.  Add 1/4 cup of cider, reduce heat to medium, and cover.  When cider is absorbed, flip tofu over and add remaining 1/4 cup of cider.  Cover, reduce heat to med-lo, and cook until cider is gone.  Keep warm until needed.
3. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat and sauté onions and garlic for 7-10 mins, until lightly golden.  Add apple and fry for 2 mins.  Add cider, cranberries, and herbs.  Cook until apples are soft and liquid is reduced (5-7 mins).  Season to taste.
4. Assemble: tofu slice, then squash slice topped with apple-cranberry mixture and 3 pear slices.   Drizzle cider reduction over top before eating.