Thursday, July 28, 2011

Agave-lime grilled tofu with asian slaw and mashed sweet potatoes

Now I have a bookshelf overflowing with cookbooks, and I have a relationship with them much like a young child would have with their toys, or a teenager with their fashions.  When I get a cookbook, I tend to go back to it multiple times per week, skipping complicated recipes, and using it's recipes over and over (see previous posts sources, i.e. my mark bittman obsession).  Then, when a new toy or piece of clothing comes along, I tend to forget about the cookbook I was so recently distracted by.

I got Tal Ronnen's cookbook recently from the hubs when the first round of Border's closed and never really made anything out of it because the recipes seemed so complicated.  Many of them also needed unique ingredients that are used often in vegan cooking but no one else would really ever have in their pantry/fridge.  I decided to give it a new try the other week after browsing through it one evening (yes, I read cookbooks for pleasure and during down time). 

I just got a few new cookbooks with this second, sad round of Border's closing for good.  It is a sad day that our date night place is closing ;(  Alas, Barnes and Nobles will now likely be our relaxing date night place.  Though I must admit that the hubs and I probably contributed to the downfall of our bookstore.  We would spend date nights there, buy a coffee, grab a stack of books/magazines to parouse, and then put them back.  If a book struck our fancy, we would buy it (if we had a coupon), or go to Amazon to buy it (more often the case).  Byebye borders, we will miss you on Friday nights! 

Back to Tal and his amazing tofu. This recipe was one of the easiest in the cookbook but still a bit complicated with lots of steps.  The cookbook is not set up as I would prefer, and the table of contents for each section is difficult on the eyes.  And finally, my last complaint, there is a lot of faux meat being used in here...not my cup of tea all the time.  But whoa, was this recipe tasty.  The adobo mashed sweet potatoes: yum.  The asian mariande for the tofu: divine. 

Agave-Lime Grilled Tofu with Asian Slaw and Mashed Sweet Potato

1 pound extra firm tofu, pressed and sliced into 12 slices
1/4 c agave nectar or maple syrup
1/2 c soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 sprigs thyme
1 t pepper
2 limes, juiced
1 1/2 T brown sugar

3 T rice wine vinegar
1 t agave nectar
1/2 t salt
2 T lime juice
1 t soy sauce
1/2 mild flavored oil (i used olive because it was what i had)
1 large carrot, julienned
1/2 diakon radish, julienned
1/2 head cabbage, shredded
1 scallion, julienned
1/2 t sesame seeds

sweet potatoes:
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 c cashew cream (see below)
2 T earth balance (vegan margarine)
1 canned chipolte pepper, seeded and minced
salt and pepper

Mix the ingredients for the tofu and marinate it for at least 2 hours. 

Tal's recipe says to bake the tofu here, I pan fryed it on high heat until brown on both sides, probably 5-7 minutes each side.   Pour the remainder of the marinade into a small saucepan over medium heat and reduce until syrupy. 

For the slaw, prep the veggies and in a seperate bowl mix together the remaining ingredients except for the oil.  Once mixed, slowly add the oil while whisking until emuslified. 

For the sweet potatoes, cook the sweet potatoes in boiling water until soft but not mushy, about 15-20 minutes.  Drain and put the sweet potatoes in a bowl to mix with the remainder of ingredients. Whip with a mixer on high speed until light and fluffy. 

To put together, place 1/4 of the mashed potatoes on a plate, top with a 1/4 of the slaw, and 1/4 of the tofu.  Drizzle some of the marinade on top.  Enjoy!

cashew cream: (prep night before)
2 c whole, raw cashews rinsed well under cold water

Put cashews in a bowl and cover with water to rest in the fridge overnight.  The next morning, drain and rinse the cashews.  Put cashews in a blender and just cover the nuts with water.  Blend on high for 1 minute or until smooth.  If your blender is not high-powered, run the cream through a fine mesh sieve.  This recipe only calls for 1/2 cup of get creative with the rest!  I added it to some marinara sauce....yummy. 

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