Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tofu with Cranberry Paste

Tofu with Cranberry Paste
A few days after Valentine's Day, here's part two of my Valentine's Day-appropriate Cornish Hens (and Tofu) with Cranberry Paste. Obviously, today is the tofu version of the recipe. Now, just as a disclaimer, this isn't an entirely vegetarian dish. There is chicken stock in the paste and, when I made it, I cooked the tofu in the same pan as the Cornish hens. If you are cooking for a strict vegetarian, you could substitute the chicken stock with a strong-flavored vegetable stock (or even a mix of vegetable stock and cranberry juice) and if you do, I'd be fascinated to know how it turned out. However, for the sake of total honesty, I'm only writing up what I did. The Vegetarian loved it, with a side of couscous, some cinnamon sweet potato slices and a delirium tremens and I hope you do too. Enjoy!

Tofu with Cranberry Paste

  • 1 pound extra-firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup + 1/4 cup pistachio nuts, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • shallotssliced
  • 2 tablespoons thyme leaves, fresh
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 6 ounces cranberriesfrozen
  • 4 leaves basil
Wrap tofu in a clean dish towel and set on a clean plate. On top, place a colander filled with heavy bottles or boxes (I usually use a bottle of olive oil and a box of kosher salt). Let rest for as long as possible, preferably at least an hour. This removes excess moisture from the tofu and helps it to better soak up the flavors you're cooking it in.

Preheat oven to 350F. Once tofu is sufficiently pressed, slice tofu in half depthwise. Coat both sides in 1/4 
Tofu, ready for the oven
cup pistachio nuts, salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Sear tofu for 2-3 minutes on both sides. Place in a roasting pan, on a roasting rack. Once oven is heated, place tofu in oven and roast for 30 minutes.

While tofu is cooking, add shallots to pan and saute 6 minutes, mixing shallots well with any pistachio nuts that fell into panStir in thyme, then deglaze with chicken stock, using a wooden spoon to get all the nuts from the pan. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. 

In a food processor, combine remaining 1/4 cup pistachios, cranberries and basil. Add shallots and pan drippings. Pulse 
Cranberry Paste
until all is a uniform texture.

Serve tofu with at least two tablespoonfuls of cranberry paste. You will have plenty left over!

Links to other tofu cranberry noshes:

1 comment:

Soma said...

tofu with cranberry paste sounds so exotic but so good! What an idea to come up with.