Friday, February 17, 2012

Baked Tofu with Wine, Lemon & Caper Sauce with Dirty RIce

This dinner was all about cooking quickly and getting to eat quickly.  Hubby and I were both very hungry, and I was able to get this dish from start to finish, on the table in an hour.  Pretty good.  Sometimes when I'm feeling more like testing and trying new things, I could spend several hours in the kitchen preparing one meal.  Organization is what really allowed me to get this bad boy into our bellies really quickly.  Since I didn't have any seitan prepared and know that it can take a while to make something with tempeh (I like to bake it in a flavorful sauce for at least 45 minutes covered, uncover and bake another 15-20 minutes - way too long for our hungry bellies!), I decided on tofu, because you can bake that in the oven, forget about it, make the sauce and everything else at the same time, then the tofu is done and just needs to simmer for a little while in the sauce.  Done.  Easy. 

The idea for this sauce came from the Vegan Yum Yum cookbook which I am slowly making my way thorough, and as I am sure I have said before, the recipes are great bases, but generally need some reworking to suit the Hubby and my tastes.  But hey, it makes it so that dinner is never boring and there is always something different on the table.  This dinner turned out very well, so much so that between the Hubby and I (and I only ate 2 slices of tofu and less than a cup of the rice), it was literally all gone!   ALL of it!  Hubby was disappointed, because since he ate it all, there was none left for him to take to work the next day, so he had to settle on something uninteresting to take with him.  Serves him right for almost eating a whole pound of tofu by himself!   

Baked Tofu with Wine, Lemon & Caper Sauce:

Steamed Broccoli, Tofu over Rice, Simple Salad

Serves 2-3

1 lb. tofu, drained, sliced into 6-10 slabs
olive oil, to drizzle
sea salt and black pepper

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup white wine
1 lemon, ends removed and sliced into 4, seeds removed
1 cup filtered water mixed with 1 teaspoon Better than boullion
1 tablespoon capers, chopped
sea salt and black pepper to taste
Parsley, minced, to serve

Dirty Rice:
2 cups cooked white rice
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup small diced onion
1/4 cup small diced celery
1/4 cup small diced green pepper
1 green onion, minced
2-3 teaspoons Cajun seasoning, preferably homemade

1.  Start with the tofu - it is going to take the longest because it needs to bake.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.  Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the tray, lay the tofu on the sheet, drizzle with a small amount of olive oil and sprinkle each piece of tofu with sea salt and black pepper.  Place in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes.  Turn over, sprinkle with a small amount of olive oil, sea salt and black pepper.  Return to oven and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the tofu is firm.  Remove from baking tray and place on a plate, so the tofu doesn't continue to cook.
2.  Prepare the sauce.  In a large saute pan over medium-heat, add the olive oil and allow it to become hot.  Add the shallots and garlic and cook until softened and fragrant.  Add the wine and allow it to evaporate about halfway.  Add the water and boullion and stir mixture.  Add the lemon slices, being careful not to move them too much or they will break.  Add the capers, sea salt and black pepper and taste.  Wait to adjust seasonings unless it clearly needs more salt.  Once the sauce mixture comes to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and stir periodically. 
3.  Place the baked tofu in the simmering sauce, turning the heat down even more.

Tofu Simmering in the Sauce.  Beautiful isn't it?

4.  Now you can get started on the rice, but keep an eye on the tofu in the sauce.  After the tofu has been simmering for about ten minutes, turn it over so that the other slice can have an equal amount of time absorbing the deliciousness! 
5.  Back to the rice:  place the olive oil in a wok over medium-high heat and allow the pan to become hot.  Once the pan and oil are hot, add the onion, celery and green pepper.  Saute for several minutes, stirring periodically.  Add the cooked rice and stir pretty frequently - you don't want it to stick to the bottom of the wok.  Once the rice has cooked and separated, add the white part of the scallion and stir into the rice mixture. 
6.  You can turn the heat down now to medium.  Add the Cajun seasoning, being sure it coats each individual piece of rice.  Taste the rice and add more of the Cajun seasoning if you would like.  Add the green part of the scallion just before serving. 
7.  To serve, place a couple pieces of the baked tofu on your plate and generously add the sauce.  Place a nice helping of the rice on the plate as well.  You can do what my hubby did - lean the tofu pieces against his pile of rice and drizzle the entire thing with the sauce.  So delicious!  It's nice to have tofu with a fresh, light sauce for a change.  I will definitely make this again!

A Close-Up of the Tofu with the Wine, Lemon & Caper Sauce



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