Monday, July 21, 2014

Meatless Monday: Peanut Butter Pretzel-Crusted Tofu

This new recipe is a dream! Literally.

Recipes have a strange way of coming to me. Sometimes, I'll think of a great addition to a sauce while I'm waiting for the train. Other times, an idea for a dish will come to me at the office, in the middle of a meeting. (I have a scribble about "asparagus and mint" from a 2011 budget meeting that I'm still deciphering.) Or when I'm traveling, I'll start thinking up menus in my head. But, the strangest is when recipes come to me while I'm sleeping.

We had a package of firm tofu that was almost past its prime and Chris mentioned that we should probably make something with it soon. I already had a bunch of meals planned for the week, and I was a bit annoyed at myself for not using the tofu earlier. So, of course last night I had a dream about the tofu. In the dream, I turned the remains of the peanut butter pretzels we had taken on our recent road trip into crumbs and coated the tofu with it, then baked it into crispy, crunchy goodness. Um, okay?

The idea for my lasagna roll-ups came to me in a dream ages ago, and everyone loves those, so, I figured, why not try another "dream recipe" and see what happens? After all, peanuts go great with protein and in curries and satays and such. And pretzels are great for coatings and crusts. So, having the peanut butter inside the pretzels would make for a great breading, right? Fingers crossed.
I cut my tofu lengthwise into four equal squares, then mixed up some Greek yogurt, curry powder, minced ginger, lemongrass powder, cumin and a pinch of salt, and then coated the side of each tofu square that was facing me (and the edges) with the mixture. Then, I took the pretzels and pulverized them in the processor with some minced cilantro, powdered ginger, powdered garlic, and chili powder. I put the yogurt-coated tofu face down into the crumbs and pressed the crumbs into the edges. Then, I coated the other side of each square (the bare side) with the yogurt mixture and then covered it in the pretzel crumbs, too.
The coated tofu went onto a greased baking sheet, then into a preheated oven (400 degrees) for about 30 minutes or until brown and crispy on both sides. You can turn them once at the halfway point, but don't do it too early because you'll make a mess. (Make sure the bottom side is brown and firm before you flip.) When done, let the tofu cool briefly before eating. You can cut the squares up into smaller squares and serve in slider buns with a bit of sriracha mixed with mayo, or cut them into "bites" and dip in a spicy peanut sauce. Who needs chicken nuggets when you have these? Yum. 

Honestly, I'm really pleased that this recipe turned out so great. Chris agreed that it was a winner, but I think we were both a bit nervous about how they'd turn out. But, apparently, there was no reason to worry.

This dish is nothing to snore at. (Wink.)

xoxo









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