Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tofu with a Cranberry Balsamic Glaze, with Scalloped Potatoes

Tonight I had a real hankering for scalloped potatoes--must be the cold weather and snow (it's going down to -17 degrees Celsius tonight (that's about 1 degree Fahrenheit for those outside the Commonwealth)). This recipe is modelled after a Betty Crocker recipe I used to make in my pre-vegan days, and they are, in my humble opinion, the best vegan scalloped potatoes I have ever had. The key is slicing the potatoes really thin, so you must use a food processor. The smooth creaminess of the potatoes is nicely complimented by the crispy and tangy tofu.

Scalloped Potatoes
- 1/3 cup non-hydrogenated margarine (Earth Balance)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 generous tbsp flour
- 5 cups plain soy milk
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 yukon gold potatoes, very thinly sliced (use a food processor)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large Corningware dish (9x14)
1. Melt margarine in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook onions for 10 min, until translucent.
2. Add in flour 1 tbsp at a time, stirring constantly. Slowly add in soymilk. Add in nutritional yeast and season to taste with salt and pepper (I would suggest making it slightly saltier than usual since potatoes seem to suck up salt). Bring to bubbling, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
3. Slice potatoes (if you do this too far in advance they will brown). Put a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with a layer of potatoes. Top with a layer of sauce, then more potatoes. Repeat until all potatoes slices are gone, and top with the last of the sauce.
4. Cover dish and bake for 1 hr. Uncover and bake for 30 mins, until top is golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit for at least 15 mins before serving.

NOTE: You can play with some of the quantities here. If you like more "liquidy" scalloped potatoes, make the sauce as is. If you like them a little drier, add in an extra tbsp of flour for a thicker sauce. No matter how you like them, make sure you use thin layers of sauce between the potatoes. Depending on the size of the potatoes you use, you may need to slice more than I indicate here.

Tofu with a Cranberry Balsamic Glaze
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 cup cranberry juice
- 2 tbsp non-hydrogenated margarine
- 1 pkg firm tofu, cut into 16 triangles
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp dried parsley
- 2 tsp dried tarragon, crushed
- 1 tsp salt
- oil for frying

1. Combine vinegar, sugar, juice, and margarine in a saucepan. Bring to bubbling, reduce heat, and simmer for about 20 mins until reduced to a thin glaze.
2. While glaze is simmering, heat oil on med-hi heat in a frying pan. Combine cornstarch and spices in a bowl, dredge tofu triangles, and fry on both sides until golden brown.
3. Toss tofu in the glaze and serve immediately.